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Thread: Need recommendations for whole house system.

  1. #1
    mikealltogether is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Need recommendations for whole house system.

    Hey all, quite a bit of information on this site! I appreciate being able to look through it! My wife and I are looking to purchase a home and need a recommendation for a whole home water filtration system. The home we're looking at is in a community that uses co-op water and the water has left rings around the toilet, bathtub, etc. in the house. The water also looked a cloudy.

    I went and found the water quality reports for the water system being used and saved the charts, which I'm showing below. We're just trying to find out how much we're looking at to make this water a more managable situation for us. Please also feel free to let me know if you see anything in the report that should make us run away from this home instead of coming up with a filtration solution.

    I also looked at the EPA website and the SDWIS shows that they were violated seven times (from Jan. '08 - Sept. 09) for TTHM contamination. The number gradually declined from .101 to .081 during that period. Prior to '08, there are also several more violations through the years. Being ignorant on this topic, I don't know whether these violations are commonplace or if it should be of concern.

    Again, thank you for any help you can provide! Being the total layman that I am, please let me know if I left any information out that'd help you easier recommend something.


  2. #2
    mikealltogether is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    Due to the limit of five images, here are the last two images that I didn't throw in the OP.

  3. #3
    olno186 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Exclamation wow

    I aint sure about a lot of water stuff but those reports are enough to scare me

  4. #4
    PRR is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    That's a VERY extensive set of tests. You will need an expert chemist to explain what all that stuff is.

    Some of those "Health Limits" appear to be VERY strict, but I am not an expert.

    Dibromochloromethane, Haloacetic acid and some of the others are byproducts of chlorination. It's good the germs are getting killed. Chlorine byproducts health concerns are fairly new: some experts are upset and others point out that most city-water was heavily chlorinated all our lives and there is little *strong* evidence it made us sick.

    Frankly it looks like the water company uses a lot of Chlorine, and surely for some good reason. And that on-average they are not over-chlorinating, but monitoring carefully. That's per generally accepted "legal" water standards.... as I said, some of those "Health Limits" look extreme to me.

    You seem to be in a Radon area. Radon in the water is not a big deal, it mostly goes-away as it leaves the tap and the total radon in water is not much. However before you buy the house you should also run a Radon Air test.

    Radon in piped water does not prove radon in the air in the house. The well is in a different rock-strata than your cellar. But it's in the area, you should check for Radon in the air.

    Radon gas comes up through the ground into the house. Usually just a trace, but a few places get a lot of it. You buy a canister, it typically tells you to leave it open in the cellar a few days, then mail to a lab.

    In parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Radon in the air is so common that new homes always have Radon fans (but be sure they work!), older homes are often retro-fitted, and many sale-contracts are conditional on Radon testing.

    > the water has left rings around the toilet, bathtub, etc. in the house. The water also looked a cloudy.

    The Manganese will do that. I'm drinking this stuff:

    After researching Manganese in drinking water, I think the 0.05mg/L or 50ppb number is not about health, but about the stains in the sinks/tub. If mine were much higher AND I got pregnant, I would use bottled water through birth and for the child through the first years. There is a study suggesting an effect through adolescence, but the authors admit it is not conclusive.

    Cloudy water in a for-sale home is not unusual, especially with high Manganese or Iron. If I let the spare bathroom go idle a few days, the Mg/Fe settles in the pipe, then comes out when I run water again.

    95% of the Mg/Fe stains come off with a plastic scrubbie. I took both toilets apart outside and scrubbed them good, bowl and inside the tank. That did not get all 20 years of stain off, but they don't look so "ugh!". The plastic bathtub does not clean so well, but I think it was cheap and has been abused, and we'll replace it. FWIW: the stains do not come off on your skin, the stained bathtub gets you clean. (This is one place to consider a dark-brown tub.)

    No paper-filter or UV-light will treat Manganese, Chlorine byproducts, or Radon.

    I believe (but check!) that Reverse Osmosis membranes are available for Manganese and the Chlorine byproducts. RO can remove many things. It typically runs more water to sewer than to tap to flush the unwanted products away. It can be very effective. It is not cheap. You should contact a water treatment supplier who has experience in your area, who will be pleased to go-over your water in hopes of a good sale. Listen carefully and critically: your water is legally safe enough to drink, with a wide margin of safety. Cleaner could be better, but not inexpensive; don't be over-sold.

    Outside the forum's topic: when buying a house, check the electrics!! I've heard two stories this month of new/older houses with SERIOUS wiring problems. One was shocking the cable-guy and burning-off plugs. The fault was not found in the usual 20-minute inspection, but the hay-wire strongly suggested there "could" be real problems. It took a master electrician several days just to narrow the main problem, and the full solution will be brutally costly.
    Last edited by PRR; 01-24-2011 at 07:54 PM.


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