Best Water Treatment Systems for Your Home

Water treatment systems are designed to solve differing issues with domestic water supplies. As hydrology and water quality vary widely across countries consumers need to determine their specific treatment needs before shopping for a suitable system. Issues can range from water hardness, chemical filtration, biological filtration, UV treatment, well water quality and other water contaminants or pollutants.

Professional and trustworthy water treatment system specialists are also an important consideration for consumers to consider. Due diligence on the consumer’s part is the best way to assure the success of any trade person’s installation or product.

In most cases, installation companies will offer the consumer a free water quality test to determine their specific needs. They will then usually guide the customer through the system selection process. You can, of course, employ an independent firm to carry out the test who have no ties to water treatment supplies.

Water Supply Types

The need for treatment will depend on the waters source and associated contamination from local land use or natural contamination. Water supplies most commonly come from the following:

Groundwater remains the most common source for bathing which may or may not need treatment.

Brackish waters, from for example estuaries, after desalination, are usually used for gardening and irrigation.

Surface waters sourced from, for example, lakes,  are usually safe to drink but may need some treatment to remove contaminants.

Let’s take a look at common issues and available solutions.

Water Treatment Systems – Contaminant types

A variety of different contaminants can make your water supply less than ideal for consumption or use. Some companies may use the term “purify” on their marketing materials, but this is actually a little misleading. Pure water is H2O and nothing else, which of course is highly unlikely to be found in naturally.

Bacteria

Some systems specialize in UV treatment of water supplies to disinfect it. This treatment method kills the contaminating bacteria that would if consumed, potentially lead to illness.

Minerals

Water softening systems excess mineral content in “hard” water. The minerals in question are excess concentrations of calcium, magnesium and certain other metal cations.

Multi-contaminant removal

Many water treatment companies offer services to remove a wide variety of materials from water. This can include heavy metals (from industrial contamination, damaged pipework, sediment and chlorine from public water disinfection. These contaminants will either effect the waters taste (metallic or chemical) and visual clarity but can potentially affect your health.

Some supplier companies provide systems that perform several different water treatment systems that treat various issues such as water hardness and pollutant filtration. This is often performed by installing ionic exchange devices or Granular Active Carbon (GAC).

Brackish Water Treatment

Desalination is usually performed by reverse osmosis.

Surface Water Treatment

Sources including rainwater or water at the top of natural water bodies may need to bet treated to remove algae, bacteria and other insoluble items prior to being deemed safe to drink. This can be performed by filtration, chemical or non-chemical treatment.

Water Treatment Systems Types

There are essentially only two principal locations for installing water treatment systems. Which of the two systems you need depends upon what you hope to accomplish. These are:

Point of Entry (POE)

As the term suggests, these types of systems treat the water supply before it enters the domestic water distribution system. POE systems are usually installed after water meters or storage tanks.

Point of Use (POU)

POU systems, as the name suggests, are installed at locations like the kitchen sink or a showerhead.

Technology utilized

Water treatment systems are great ways to treat impure or contaminated water supplies for your home or business. They often encompass one or more of the following methods.

Filtration

Water filtration clean water by trapping contaminants in a filter. The filtered materials are often absorbed or broken down after filtration.

UV

This method uses UV-C to fatally interfere with the bacteria’s DNA. UV treatment is actually more effective than chlorination. For Legionella, however, this system’s efficacy may not be reliable alone.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a process where inorganic solids such as salts are removed from a solution, such as water. This is accomplished by using water pressure to push the water supply through a semipermeable membrane. In effect, this method mechanically forces the impurities out through a filter.

Water Softening

The softened water is more compatible with soap but also extends the lifetime of plumbing and of course your very expensive kettle.  Water softening is achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins.

Eco-friendly considerations

Some systems may claim to be eco-friendly when in fact they are not. Softeners, for instance, may produce waste water that is potentially hazardous to the environment. Water filtration companies will differ greatly on how their systems are potentially damaging to the environment after the treatment process.

Green filtration companies will hold environmental protection foremost in their products. They will only ever use “green” materials and products.

Eco-friendly water treatment systems will offer products that are, for example, salt-free treatment, which uses less water during treatment than traditional salt-based systems.

Traditional water treatment systems companies use traditional technology and products. These companies are not particularly focused on environmental-friendliness.

Customer maintenance requirements

Maintenance remains the hidden cost for any technological solution to a problem such as water purity. Performing proper maintenance on water treatment systems ensures its lifespan and efficiency.

Water treatment systems will vary in the consumers need to maintain it or not.

None required – Some companies will offer “all in” options where they supply and fit the technology and also handle regular checks and maintenance.

Minimal Maintenance – This is a hybrid option where the supplier will only replace or repair devices/clogged filter but will need the customer to check filters.

Customer Maintenance – These types of systems will have complete control over the maintenance of the system after installation. This would usually mean replacing the filters once clogged.

Original Source: https://interestingengineering.com/best-water-treatment-systems-for-your-home

By Christopher McFadden

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Benefits of a Having a Water Softener System

Water is said to be hard when the high quantity of minerals such as dissolved calcium and magnesium are present. Having a water softener system installed in your home can prove to be beneficial in more than one way. A water softener is especially useful in areas where all people have access to is hard water.  Before shedding light on the benefits of having a water softener system installed in your home, let’s first look at some of the negative consequences that come with having hard water.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

  • Increases the amount of stains found from iron on clothing, landscape, sinks, and such
  • Decreases the lifespan and durability of appliances including dishwashers, coffee makers, and more
  • Shampoo and soap is less efficient in hard water as well as causing mineral build up in your hair
  • Hard water leaves spots on clean glasses and dishes
  • Increases stains and rings found on fixtures

In certain locations chemicals are added to the water to soften it by local authorities for residents.  However, not often is this the case.  Most people live in areas of hard water where a water softening system is the best option to achieve soft water.  There are many benefits that come with having soft water in your home.

Advantages of Soft Water

  • Cost-Effective

After the initial purchase, water softening systems don’t require much more than yearly maintenance, occasional cleaning, and a new filter but save homeowners money continually overtime.  One way this is accomplished is with the ability to buy less expensive detergent for laundry.  Softer water ensures that a rich lather is reached on the soap and detergent which does not occur with hard water. Clothes also rinse out cleaner without having to purchase costly detergents and products.

Hard water can also cause costly issues with minerals clogging the pipes within your home.  The minerals can build up within the pipes overtime causing a blockage that requires homeowners to spend money repairing or replacing.

  • Ease and Convenience

Whether it is dishwashing or laundry, soft water makes it easier for homeowners for cleaning of dishes and clothes. Unlike hard water that leaves stains on clothes and dishes, there is no such issue with soft water. Hence, homeowners will not be required to exert extra efforts for dishwashing and laundry.

  • Softer, Cleaner Hair and Skin

Soft water is also considered to be better for our skin and hair. It is known to make hair softer and skin cleaner. Thus, installation of a home water softener system can improve the way your skin and hair look and feel.

  • Longer Appliance Lifespan

Those kitchen appliances that require regular or frequent use of water, their lifespan will increase if you have a water softener system. Hard water tends to deteriorate their value and lessen their durability. No such issue is related to soft water; therefore, you can easily use it in your coffee makers and tea pots.

Consult With the Professionals

It clear that the best choice homeowners have is to install a water treatment system such as a water softener if the water in the home is hard.  It is important that you consult with a professional water treatment company when selecting one because there is a wide variety of water softener and conditioning systems available in the market and you want to ensure you get the best one for your water situation.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company, we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website https://reynoldswater.com.

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How to deal with hard water in your home

Hard water is water that has a high level of dissolved minerals in it. Minerals found in hard water are usually magnesium and calcium with a few traces of iron and manganese. These minerals present in the water can cause hard water stains and mineral deposits. The stains, lime scale, and deposits can be seen once the water evaporates. Hard water can also clog drains, leave stains on glass and tiled floors or kitchen tiles, leave a grainy residue on hair, completely ruin your water tank and filtration system, create bacterial growth in drinking water pipes, and prevent soap from foaming.

There is less health risk associated with hard water but is found to be highly inconvenient to normal living conditions. Usually, local water treatment companies will have Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment, water softening processes, or scale-less (no-scale) treatments already installed. These water treatment processes significantly reduce scaling and purify water considerably, but there might still be a buildup of minerals in the water. If you live in New England, there are chances that you will have a supply of hard water.

Effects of Hard Water

There are no damaging effects from hard water on your health and overall condition. It is usually only a nuisance during cleaning the stains and mineral deposits that clog your pipes and drains. Hard water is actually healthy since the minerals present in hard water are the ones recommended for consumption. These recommended minerals actually help prevent diseases and increase the immune system of the body. The only notable effect seen is in dry and dull hair and increased sensitivity of the skin.

While these minerals are helpful for your body, there have devastating effects on electrical appliances, glassware, silver, sinks, and so on in your home. They can also cause rusting of pipes, clogging, and reduce the effectiveness of cleansing agents. Heaters and electrical systems start consuming more energy due to the increase in load, and will eventually reflect on higher electricity bills and maintenance cost. It is better to treat the hard water and rid yourself of the additional burdens that hard water causes.

There are several ways to deal with hard water in your home. Let us look at some of them.

Salt water softener:

A saltwater softener efficiently takes out the excess calcium and magnesium from the water. When hard water enters the salt water softener, it goes through resin beads that attract positively charged ions of magnesium and calcium (hard ions). The softener then adds soft ions of sodium that convert your hard water supply to one of soft water. This process of water softening is done with the help of salts.

These salts have to be cleaned and replenished once the resin beads are full of hardened minerals. This process of cleansing the water and converting it to soft water helps eliminate undesirable minerals and salts from hard water. Invest in a good quality salt water softener for home use and enjoy the benefits with none of the disadvantages of hard water.

Salt-free softener:

As the name suggests, salt-free softeners work similar to saltwater softeners but use potassium chloride instead of salt. Salt-free softeners also differ from saltwater softeners in their functionality. They prevent minerals from creating excess buildup inside tanks, pipes, and drains but do not reduce the mineral content in the water. The absence of buildup and limescale helps in keeping pipes clean and requires less maintenance than saltwater softeners in the long term.

This method is usually not as effective as the saltwater softening method but is an excellent choice for people who prefer low sodium intake. The potassium, however, could be a cause for concern for people with high blood pressure and other health concerns. Always conduct thorough research of softeners and filtrations systems for your home before investing in one.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifier:

For clean drinking water, install an RO water purifier system in your house. A Reverse Osmosis water system can be easily installed above or below your kitchen sink with its own water dispenser or one that connects to the drinking water dispenser already present. The RO water filter purifies the water further by removing any additional chemicals present in the treated water. It then converts the treated water to into super clean drinking water that is entirely safe for consumption.

Many companies worldwide use RO systems to manufacture clean drinking water for large masses. With a few minor changes in plumbing, you can convert your hard water to good quality healthy and pure drinking water.

Original Source: https://www.praguepost.com/lifestyle/how-to-deal-with-hard-water-in-your-home

Original Author: Amy Hamper

Original Date: Dec 18 2017

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Owning A Water Softener Will Change Your Life

Water is essential for all living things on Earth.  There are however risks involved in ingesting the wrong types of water.  Drinking water that is contaminated or that comes from a tainted source can put your health at risk.  Studies have revealed that the water found in most countries, including the United States, is hard. Hard water is shown to contain a variety of mineral particles of limestone, lead, magnesium, iron, sulfur, and calcium.

Water that comes into your home may also contain bits of sewage waste contamination and harmful industrial run-off. Laws are in place to minimize the number of negative elements found in household drinking water to help ensure the safety of water however as seen recently these regulatory systems can be neglected leaving household water to become undrinkable. If you keep on using this water without filtration, it may begin to cause a deterioration in your health.

There are several water conditioning systems that can be put in place within your home or business to help prevent containments from ending up in your drinking water including: water softeners, water filters, water purification systems, and water conditioners.  If you are a little confused about whether you should install a water treatment system for your home or not, here are seven reasons to help you evaluate their importance.

Your Water Pipes Will Need Less Maintenance

Most homeowners complain about the heavy cost involved in plumbing repairs. Pipes carrying water often get clogged with mineral build up and homeowners must call professionals to fix them. Hard water stays loaded with magnesium and calcium content that is the major region behind clogging, a water softener can convert this hard water into soft by eliminating all these harmful minerals so that water pipes can also stay healthy for the long run.

Hard Water Is Harmful to Skin and Hair

Everyone love to have soft, shiny hair with glowing skin but when we keep on using hard water in routine, it keeps on damaging our skin and hair as well. This harsh damage cannot be recovered with beauty products or medications as well. To save your hair and skin from this harmful transformation, it is good to install a water softener at home to get rid of all the dirt particles. It will also avoid the chances of skin irritations and allergies so that you can enjoy a fresh appearance all the time.

Your Homes Water Will Taste Better

What if you have healthy water direct at your faucet and you can drink it directly without worrying about any health issue? Although, some of you might have installed costly machinery at home to enjoy the fresh water but this solution is not suitable for all. To eliminate the bad taste and smell from drinking water, it is good to use a water softener.

Life Expectancy Of Appliances Is Extended

Hard water is not suitable for electronic appliances as well as it causes them huge damage. The harmful particles in hard water keep on clogging the machinery and you must spend more on repairs. It is good to install water software that can save the life of your appliances as well so that they can serve you so long.

Can Lead to Saving on Utilities

Professionals recommend using water softener systems to eliminate impurities from hard water so that it can become safe to use. These softeners are not just limited to water purification rather they also help to save bills up to 65%.

Reduces the Amount of Detergent Needed

Hard water needs more soap because of tough chemical reactions. On the other side, soft water will help you to manage your laundry with a small amount of soap and detergent while ensuring deep cleaning.

Improves the Efficiency of Heating and Cooling Systems

When heating systems are operated with soft water, they become more energy efficient and result in less heat loss. You will be able to have maximum energy output without consuming more electricity. Studies reveal that softeners can reduce electrical consumption up to 10%.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website https://reynoldswater.com.

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Ask the doctors: How do I know about lead in water

Q: Ever since the news about lead in the drinking water in Flint, Mich., I’ve wondered about the water in my own home. I live in Oklahoma, and our house was built in 1988. Should I be worried?

A: You’ve asked a timely question that, unfortunately, has a complex answer. Let’s start with why the presence of lead in our environment — whether in the water, air or soil, or in the products we use or come into contact with — is of grave concern.

Lead is a highly toxic metal that has a detrimental effect on virtually every system in the human body. Children, with their developing brains and nervous systems, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead. The amount of lead that an adult can tolerate with minimum ill effect can cause significant damage to a child. The challenge is that until it becomes acute, lead poisoning virtually has no symptoms.

Lead causes anemia, hypertension and damages the kidneys and the reproductive system. Even low blood levels of lead affect the development of the brain and nervous system. In children it can result in lower IQ, hearing problems and behavioral changes like reduced attention span. The neurological damage caused by lead is believed to be irreversible.

Exposure to lead is bio-accumulative. That means the lead you ingest stays in the body and, as exposure continues, blood levels increase.

As for your situation, there is some good news. In 1986, two years before your home was built, the Safe Drinking Water Act significantly reduced the amount of lead permitted for use in plumbing fixtures, including pipes and solder. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that the most stringent regulations regarding the use of lead in water delivery systems went into effect.

You will also want to find out whether your water supplier is in compliance with federal lead contamination regulations. Federal law requires regular testing for contaminants. The results are published in a document called the Consumer Confidence Report. Ask for a copy. Should you wish to test your own water, the Environmental Protection Agency has a list of certified labs on its website. Most home improvement stores also sell water-testing kits.

If you believe your water supply is contaminated with lead, the EPA suggests the following:

  • Flush your pipes for 30 seconds to two minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.
  • Use only cold water for drinking or cooking. Hot water may contain higher levels of lead.
  • According to the EPA, it is safe to bathe or shower in water that contains lead, as it is not absorbed through the skin.
  • Consider installing a water filtration device that is certified to remove lead.

We recommend a visit to www.epa.gov, where you’ll find a wealth of information and resources.

 Original Source: http://www.pantagraph.com/blogs/ask-the-doctors-how-do-i-know-about-lead-in/article_0b16dc37-1526-55df-9b20-52a3800e0b87.html
Original Author: Dr. Eve Glazier and Dr. Elizabeth Ko
Original Date: Dec 22 2017
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5 Ways to Tell That You Need A New Water Softener

If your sinks and appliances are full of stains or your skin is itchy and dry, you may find your water is the cause of the problem. Hard water leaves lime scale behind, which affects the longevity of your appliances and the comfort of your clothes. A new water softener may be just what you need and here are five ways to tell.

Your Appliances have Lime Scale Buildup

Check the inside of your appliances. If water softening is necessary, the hard water will get through and leave mineral deposits behind. The mineral deposits will also buildup in your pipes, causing a blockage! The buildup will look like a white, chalk-like substance. It’s a mixture of magnesium bicarbonate and calcium and will leave to your appliances suffering wear and tear damage earlier than they should. Soft water doesn’t cause this problem.

Your Skin Is Dry and Itchy

With more magnesium and calcium in the water, your skin will suffer. Soap and shampoo try to help, but they can’t stop the deposits soaking into your pores. The deposits also don’t dissolve in hard water, meaning they’re not easily removed. That residue on your skin will dry and become rough. You skin is itchy and dull because of it.

Your Glassware Breaks Easily

You’ll first start seeing water stains on your glasses, but if you don’t get a new water softener you can end up with a more serious problem. The residue will weaken the glass material, causing it to become brittle. It’s easier to break. Even just a slight knock with another glass could see the material shattering.

If you do have a problem with staining, use a vinegar solution in your dishwasher or your sink water. The vinegar will help to break down the residue and protect your glassware. However, it’s only temporary and you will need to invest in water softening eventually.

Your Plumbing Always Needs Repairing

Do you constantly find you need to call a plumber out to your home? It is possible that the hard water is causing the problem. When the chalky substance builds up in your pipes, the piping becomes blocked. You will need to get a plumber out to fix the issue so you don’t have a flooding properly. There may also be a problem with the water coming into your home. The water pressure may be low, due to blockages before it reaches the taps.

However, there can also be a problem around the valves in your dishwasher and washing machine. The minerals build up around them, preventing them from closing. The water in the appliances overflows and floods your home.

Your Water Bills Are Increasing

The amount you spend on your water could be a clue to needing a new water softener. If you’ve changed nothing in the way you use your water, but the costs are increasing considerably, you may find that a mineral buildup is causing a problem. The pipes have to work harder to make the same amount of water flow into your home.

To help determine if you need water softener installed have it tested for chemicals in your water and to determine the level of hardness in the water.  Maybe you have a water softener installed already but are seeing the above symptoms?  It could be time to have the softener serviced or replaced. Consider the above five signs and whether they’re occurring in your home to determine if you need an updated water anaylsis.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website https://reynoldswater.com.

 

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Over $10 million expected to be spent on lead removal

Kalamazoo wants all lead water pipes gone within two decades
A lead service line is removed in Flint on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 717 E Alma Ave. in Flint, Mich. (Jake May | MLive.com)

A lead service line is removed in Flint on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 717 E Alma Ave. in Flint, Mich. (Jake May | MLive.com)(Jake May | MLive.com)

KALAMAZOO, MI – An aggressive strategy to remove all lead pipes in Kalamazoo’s municipal water system within 20 years took a great leap forward in 2017.

Almost three times the number of water service lines containing lead were replaced in 2017 compared to its previous schedule. A total of 472 were disconnected as of Dec. 18, compared to 120 in 2016.

At least 2,835 still remain. Meanwhile, 7,195 lines connecting customers to city water mains are unidentified, meaning the city doesn’t know what they are made out of.

Replacement of lead water pipes accelerated in Kalamazoo

Replacement of lead water pipes accelerated in Kalamazoo

Water in Kalamazoo is relatively lead-free.

Proposed changes to the lead and copper rule in Michigan would lower the action level for lead in drinking water and require the removal of all lead service lines over the next 20 years. Public Services Director James Baker was one step ahead of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, setting the goal regardless of its decision.

Click the map to see lead service lines replaced in 2016 and 2017

The aggressive removal work this year earned Kalamazoo recognition from the Southwest Michigan chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Kalamazoo’s water system is the second-largest in Michigan, providing 17 million gallons each day to 123,000 customers within 10 jurisdictions.

Though there is no detectable lead in the city’s water supply system when it leaves 16 pumping stations, small amounts of lead can dissolve into drinking water if it sits for several hours in plumbing fixtures containing the toxic element.

According to tests of city drinking conducted in 2016, 90 percent of samples contained less than 4 parts per billion of lead. Copper was found to be at 900 ppb.

If the 90th percentile of concentrations are at or exceed 15 ppb, or 1300 ppb for copper, the EPA requires several actions to be taken to control corrosion. Elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.

Are your water pipes made of lead? Check a map and database for Kalamazoo

Are your water pipes made of lead? Check a map and database for Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo’s municipal water system has about 4,300 known lead service lines at about 2,800 addresses out of a total of more than 46,000 service lines in the system.

A total of around $10.5 million is expected to be spent on lead service removals in the next five years.

Funds for lead service removals are budgeted within the Water Capital Improvement Program. In 2016, $390,000 was budgeted, which more than doubled the amount spent in 2015.

This year, the city spent $2.6 million on lead service removal.

200+ lead water pipes to be removed in Kalamazoo Township

200+ lead water pipes to be removed in Kalamazoo Township

Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Services is tackling the problem head on.

Half a million dollars from the city’s Foundation for Excellence was allocated to lead service replacements.

Overall, the city plans to spend $2 million next year, and hopes to remove 500 pipes. Another $500,000 allocation from the foundation is anticipated in 2018.

An administrative coordinator of the lead program is a new position created last year, but remains unfilled.

117 lead water pipes to be replaced in city of Kalamazoo

117 lead water pipes to be replaced in city of Kalamazoo

A majority of lead pipes are located in Kalamazoo’s Vine and Edison neighborhoods.

It’s difficult to determine how many of unidentified lines are lead with any amount of accuracy, Baker said. The city does know that lead was used from approximately 1890 to 1950 and heavily — almost exclusively, he said — from about 1910 to 1940.

It’s possible that nearly 70 percent of the undefined services could be lead pipes. In terms of planning and future replacements, Baker his department is prepared to upgrade 10,000 non-copper services from the water main in the street all the way to the meter.

It costs approximately $2,800 to $3,200 to replace each line including street, sidewalk and yard restoration when the work is completed by city of Kalamazoo crews. Due to the amount of work this year, more costly bids were granted to contractors also performing the work.

Prices for outside contractual work exceeded $9,000 per service. The total program is averaging about $5,500 per lead service replacement.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at epa.gov/safewater/lead.

Original Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2017/12/kalamazoo_wants_all_lead_pipes.html

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Hard Water May Contribute To Development Of Eczema

Hard water damages our protective skin barrier and could contribute to the development of eczema, a new study has shown.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield and King’s College London have discovered that exposing the skin to hard water damages the skin barrier – which is our defense against outside threats such as bacteria or sun burn – and increases the sensitivity of the skin to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder.

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions that bind to surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) – which act as detergents or wetting agents – making them insoluble, so they precipitate onto the skin.

Skin pH is normally acidic but hard water has high alkalinity which means it can raise the skin surface pH.  A shift towards alkaline pH disturbs the skin’s natural function as a physical barrier and leaves it prone to colonization by potentially pathogenic bacteria which can cause infection.

Lead author of the study, Dr Simon Danby from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, said:

By damaging the skin barrier, washing with hard water may contribute to the development of eczema – a chronic skin condition characterized by an intensely itchy red rash.

Patients with eczema are much more sensitive to the effects of hard water than people with healthy skin. This increase in sensitivity is associated with a genetic predisposition to a skin barrier defect brought about by mutations in the gene encoding filaggrin. Filaggrin is a structural protein important for the formation of our skin’s barrier to the outside environment. Up to half of all people with eczema carry a filaggrin gene.

This new study reveals the mechanism by which calcium and magnesium ions in hard water, surfactants, and filaggrin interact to damage the skin barrier unlocking new information about how exposure to hard water could potentially contribute to the development of eczema.

This week (16-24 September 2017) marks National Eczema Week.

Symptoms of eczema (also called ‘atopic eczema’ or ‘atopic dermatitis’) include inflamed, dry skin and often secondary skin infections, which can affect any part of the body and every aspect of a person’s life – both physically and emotionally.

The new study, which Harvey Water Softeners was asked to fund, was published this week (16 September 2017) in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The team of researchers examined whether removing the calcium and magnesium ions using an ion-exchange water softener could mitigate the negative effects of hard water on the skin. They found that using a water softener reduces the harmful effects of surfactants, potentially decreasing the risk of developing eczema.

Managing director of Harvey Water Softeners, Martin Hurworth, said:

The link between hard water and eczema has been reported anecdotally for years – now for the first time there’s academic proof. We were pleased to provide industry support to this study in the form of hard water samples and the twin-cylinder water softeners that provided the softened water that was needed.

Co-senior author of the study, Dr Carsten Flohr from the St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, said:

One in five children and one in 12 adults in the UK suffer from eczema, costing the NHS well over £500 million annually.

It is during the first few days and months of life that our skin is most susceptible to damage and most at risk of developing eczema.

For that reason we are now embarking on a pilot trial to investigate whether installation of a domestic water softener around the time of birth can prevent skin barrier breakdown and eczema in those living in hard water areas.

The Softened Water for Eczema Prevention (SOFTER) trial will be undertaken by Dr Flohr and his team from King’s College London and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with the University of Sheffield team and colleagues from the University of Dundee, the Center of Evidence-Based Dermatology at Nottingham University, Imperial College London, the National Institute for Health (Bethesda, USA), and Amsterdam Medical Center.

Original Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20170922/Hard-water-may-contribute-to-development-of-eczema-by-damaging-skin-barrier.aspx

Original Date:  Sept 22 2017

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Water Softeners Compared to Water Filtering System

Water is truly an elemental part of our lives. We need it to survive. We need it to stay healthy. The need for daily consumption of water means that we have to make sure that we have access to non-contaminated water. Drinking water that contains any kind of organic or metallic contaminants could end up becoming a health issue.

The search for the best possible way to get rid of contaminants in water has been long. We have been able to come up with several solutions that could prove to be efficient, but some are more common and useful than others without a doubt.

Softeners vs Filter Systems

There are many people out there who wonder about the difference between water softeners. The truth is that water softeners are best for taking out bad smells, and iron build-up while water filtering systems are often used to remove foreign containments within the water. Water softeners are more likely to end up removing a larger number of contaminants and this makes them ideal for consumption.

Choosing Water Filtering

Water softeners could be used for this too, but they will out on anything that is not hardness causing. This means that it will remove calcium and magnesium, but not other contaminants or even industrial chemicals. The best way to do this is to use water filtering if you want to ensure the removal of as many contaminants as possible.

Water softeners are perfect when you have issues such as lime buildup. If the water has a strange taste to it, the filter is going to be the most reliable option. The key thing to consider is that water softeners and water filtering systems are both useful. You just need to know when to use each one. There are several scenarios with water contamination and each one needs its own treatment process.

Both Products Have Advantages

Both water filtering and water softeners are pretty good at purifying water, but they both have different uses without a doubt. Just learn which situation fits each of those solutions better and you are going to get very good results in the process. Filtering systems are the most common in households and they get the job done efficiently. Just make sure that you can find quality filtration systems or softeners. This is essential if you want to be able to get results that are ideal for your needs.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website https://reynoldswater.com.

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5 Things To Consider Before Buying A Water Softener

A lot of homeowners are asking the Internet ‘what is the best water softener for my home’. However, it is not the type of water softener that matters here as much as your needs. Also, it is important to know the purpose of every water softener before actually purchasing it for your home.

Basically, hard water that comes from your tap contains minerals, iron and other impurities. These can cause many water appliances in your home (water heaters, washing machines etc.) to become clogged up and not last as long as you would expect them to. Hard water can also affect your laundry and work surface, as well as the bathroom, building up over time.

Tips For Buying A Water Softener

However, you have to be cautious when buying a water softener – and always refer to the following tips before making your decision.

1)            Make sure you have hard water that needs softening – First and foremost, you should make sure that your home has hard water to begin with. Hard water is defined as one that has more hardness minerals than one grain per gallon – which can be tested easily.

2)            Determine how much softened water you need daily – Buying a water softener is not an easy decision, especially with all those different models out there. So, make sure to determine whether it should be fully manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic – all based on the needs of your household daily and the output of all the equipment you are reviewing.

3)            Is it necessary to remove iron and manganese – If your water softener is salt-based, make sure to see if the salt may cause health problems for you, mostly because of the sodium salts and the possibility of overloading your septic system.

4)            Review the cost of installation – The price of a water softener is not the same when you see it – and when you add the installation cost to it. So, make sure to not be ripped off by the company that does the installation and negotiate the price accordingly.

5)            See if you are willing to maintain it – Water softeners need maintenance. Even if you get a fully automatic one, maintenance is still necessary – and it basically includes restocking the salt supply for the brine solution and cleaning the brine tank periodically.

Final Thoughts on Buying A Water Softener

As you can see from what’s mentioned above, there are numerous considerations when it comes to choosing a water softener for your needs. The most popular water softeners are salt-based but the reality is that there are four different processes for softening water, all in need of proper maintenance and cleaning.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website https://reynoldswater.com.

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