Water Treatment System Maintenance

Water treatment can help household well owners address health risks and undesirable taste, odor, and smells — but treatment systems work only if properly maintained, says the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), which operates the website, WellOwner.org.
Periodic water testing can help ensure that treatment systems are working properly. A water treatment service provider or the manufacturer can recommend water testing intervals.
Consult with a water treatment professional about your capability of maintaining your
water treatment system. If you are unsure, have a water treatment professional do it.
Here are maintenance basics for primary water treatment technologies.
Continuous disinfection: Ultraviolet light systems treat water coming into the house. Good maintenance requires that the quartz sleeve in which the lamp is housed be clean. Also, annual lamp replacement is wise.
Ion exchange: Referred to as water softeners, ion exchange needs salt, which needs replenishment periodically. Water softeners can run years with minimal maintenance.
Maintenance requirements can vary. For example, if ion exchange is used to remove nitrate — a health risk to infants at certain concentrations — the system requires a different resin and substance to regenerate the resin than traditional water softening.
Reverse osmosis (RO): When coupled with granular activated carbon (GAC) filters before and after the RO membrane, RO is effective in treating many water quality issues. GAC filters usually need replacement once or twice a year. But the RO membrane can last for years.
Whole house sediment filter: These remove particulate and enhance effectiveness and reduce maintenance of treatment systems down the line. Follow the manufacturer’s filter-change directions.
Adaptable automatic backwashing filter: These backwash the filter media, requiring little maintenance to remove sediment, tastes and odors, iron and manganese, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and arsenic.
The media bed must be replaced periodically. For VOCs and arsenic, consult with a qualified water treatment service provider or the manufacturer about periodic water monitoring and proper media bed disposal.
Acid neutralizing systems to reduce lead: These reduce corrosiveness in water that can cause lead leaching from plumbing pipes, fittings, fixtures, and solder.
Adaptable automatic backwashing filters and sodium carbonate feed pump systems can reduce corrosiveness. The filter requires calcite addition annually and total calcite replacement every two to three years. The injection system requires adding sodium carbonate two to three times annually.
Click the “water treatment” tab on www.WellOwner.org for more.

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