There Is Hope for Your Hard Water Problems

U.S. Water Hardness Map

If your water smells and tastes like metal or if you find yourself constantly scrubbing that unsightly scum that forms around the interior of your bathtub, then chances are you are suffering from a hard water problem. Water hardness results from the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium deposits in natural water. Hard water buildup is responsible for most scale formation that clogs and corrodes your pipes, plumbing fixtures, appliances and water heaters. Ion exchange systems, often called water softeners are effective for reducing water hardness with little or no hardness remaining in the water if they are used.

Here are 7 economical reasons why you should consider purchasing a water softening system to condition your hard water:

  1. Cost effective: Saves money on constantly buying cleaning supplies, because you will use less detergent and soap.
  2. Clothes last longer: Hard water shortens the life span of your clothes and dulls the color. Conditioned water will help your garments last longer and you may avoid the need for using fabric softeners.
  3. Eliminates stains: Hard water creates mineral buildup on your bathroom fixtures and darkens your porcelain. Softened water will deter this problem.
  4. Reduces streaky dishes: Hard water creates streaks and water spots on your dishes and glasses. Conditioned water eliminates this problem and helps your dishwasher last longer and perform better.
  5. Preserves faucets and protects pipes: Hard water corrodes and clogs the valves in water-using appliances and creates scale buildup. Softened water reduces the attack of hard water on your faucets and pipes.
  6. Ideal for your face and body: Hard water is harsh on your face and body. You will find that you tend to use a lot of moisturizing lotions and crèmes to soften your skin.  Conditioned water leaves your skin feeling cleaner and fresher.
  7. Wonderful hair: Hard water can contribute to damaged hair. Conditioned water will contribute to manageable, radiant and healthier looking hair. You will also use less shampoo.

 

Our certified Filters Fast Lifestyle Expert recommends some of the following solutions for tackling your hard water issues:

Hydrotech Water Softener System CAB5600CC-835-75

This basic cabinet model valve water softener features a brine safety float for convenience and worry-free operation.

Pentek PCC-1 Phosphate Cartridge

This filter cartridge reduces lime, scale build-up, rust staining and corrosion caused by hard water.

We offer a complete line of water filter cartridges and water filter housing units that will be ideal for your residential, commercial or industrial water application. Water softeners require periodic regeneration once their softening capacity has been exhausted. During the regeneration process, water will bypass the softener and subsequently come out hard. Water test kits are a convenient way of testing your water for contaminants. Water softeners should not be used to treat water that is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality without adequate disinfection.

The Dangers of Arsenic in Drinking Water

arsenic in drinking water

Arsenic is colorless, odorless and tasteless. A water test is necessary to determine if you are at risk.

Recent evidence from a region in Chile suggests a link between arsenic in drinking water and tuberculosis. Further research is needed to determine whether the element makes TB more deadly or whether it makes people who ingest it more susceptible to the disease. Tuberculosis used to be the leading cause of death in the United States. Today it is much less common here, but still affects people in other countries – especially those with weaker immune systems like children and elderly folk. Though TB is rare among Americans, we thought it would still be good to share with you the other, equally serious, dangers of water contaminated with arsenic.

Currently, the EPA has set the maximum allowable level for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb), and is considering lowering that limit, as ingesting arsenic can have dangerous consequences. A study by the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 reported that arsenic is linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer, as well as kidney and liver cancer. It also harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems.

Since arsenic is undetectable by human senses, how do you make sure your water is arsenic-free? Well, not everyone is at risk. So first, test your water for arsenic to determine if your levels are above or below the current maximum allowable standard. According to the CDC, currently about 80 percent of Americans are drinking water that contains arsenic at levels less than 2 ppb – well below the standard set by the EPA. However, two percent exceed 20 ppb. If you are within that 2 percent, it’s definitely time to get a water filter that removes arsenic.  These are easily found by visiting FiltersFast.com and typing “arsenic” into our new-and-improved search box. Yep, it’s that simple folks.

In addition to reducing arsenic, the Pentek RO-3500 Reverse Osmosis filter also reduces hexavalent chromium – a carcinogen that’s been found in the water supplies of 31 U.S. cities.

Chromium III vs. Chromium VI in Water: What You Need to Know

Child Drinking WaterRecent reports have indicated the presence of chromium vi, also known as hexavalent chromium, in the municipal water supplies of 31 cities across the U.S. This toxic compound is an industrial pollutant and is known to be carcinogenic. Currently, the most effective way to remove chromium-6 from water is reverse osmosis filtration.

However, yearly water quality reports fail to distinguish between chromium vi and chromium iii. While the former is toxic and cancer-causing, the latter is an essential nutrient that is biologically active and found in everyday foods. Chromium-3 or trivalent chromium, is known to enhance the action of insulin, a hormone needed to metabolize and store carbohydrate, fat and protein in the body. Researchers have investigated the effect of chromium-3 supplements on preventing the onset of type-2 diabetes, and though these studies are inconclusive, there is no doubt that trivalent chromium is an essential and healthy compound. Failing to distinguish between hexavalent chromium and trivalent chromium is, as one report notes, like “lump[ing] a known carcinogen in with a vitamin.”

The moral of the story? Make sure you test your water for hexavalent chromium, specifically. Since chromium iii is found in so many foods, removing it from your water, along with chromium vi, is likely inconsequential. Most water filters that remove hexavalent chromium are likely to remove trivalent chromium as well, and it’s worth removing both in order to reduce your exposure to chromium-6. But simply buying a water filter that claims to remove “chromium,” but does not specify which type, may end up doing you no good, if your goal is to reduce the toxic variety.

The good news is, since the discovery of chromium-6 in water supplies across the U.S., health officials have recognized the importance of specifying these details on yearly water reports and will likely do so, in order to ensure a higher level of reliability in the future.