How to Fix Drinking Water Treatment Problems

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  • 01 of 07

    Water Treatment Problems

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    Problems with water quality in your home can range from some stinky issues such as high hydrogen sulfide content which creates a rotten egg smell to rust stains on your plumbing fixtures from high iron content.

    In the end, you may need a water softener or a water filtration/treatment system to solve your water problems. But the good news is most any water problem is solvable with the right technology.

    In this tutorial, let's take a look at some common problems with water quality in the home and how to recognize and treat those problems. We will look at the following:

    • Hard Water
    • Hydrogen Sulfide (corrosive)
    • High Iron (rust stains)
    • High Manganese
    • High Sodium
    • Tannins
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Hard Water

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    Hard water problems are the most common of all water treatment problems in the home. It will likely take some type of special treatment such as a water softener to solve this problem. Hard water is a generic term that means groundwater has picked up minerals from the earth such as magnesium and chalky calcium. Water with high levels of calcium can clog pipes with mineral build up left behind as the water flows through the pipes.

    Warning Signs

    • Hard water reduces the ability of soap to lather
    • Minerals form a sticky scum with the soap and prevent easy rinsing of anything being washed
    • Water spots on your dishes and glasses with water spots
    • White chalky scale or residue left behind with hard water

    Possible Solutions

    • Choosing a correct laundry detergent
    • Reducing your boiler temperature
    • Use white vinegar to remove scale
    • Chemical water softener
    • Water filter
    • Mechanical water softener
    • Magnetic water conditioner
    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Hydrogen Sulfide (Rotten Eggs)

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    “Rotten egg” smelling water is caused by highly corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas. This problems and more can be filtered out of your water with special water treatment softening systems, but a standard water softener will not take care of these problems by itself. You must have a water treatment system designed for eliminating these additional minerals.

    Warning Signs

    • Rotten egg smell
    • You have no friends coming over for dinner

    Possible Solutions

    • Water softener with chlorine treatment
    • Neutralizing filter
    • Water purifier with activated carbon element
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    High Iron Content

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    Ferrous iron is a common mineral often found in well water and it can create some nasty rust stains in sinks, tubs, and toilets.

    Warning Signs

    • Rust colored (reddish/orange) stains from water in toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks
    • Bad tasting (metallic) drinking water
    • Rust colored stains on laundry
    • Rusty colored water

    Possible Solutions

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    High Manganese

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    High levels of Manganese may also be found with iron, another mineral commonly found in well water and some tap water. Manganese can produce dark brown or black staining in concentrations as low as 0.05 part per million. Laundry washed in this water will likely become stained.

    Warning Signs

    • Water that is unclear or hazy looking
    • Tap water may also contain a black sediment
    • Black stains from water in toilets, tubs, showers and sinks and counters
    • Stained laundry

    Possible Solutions​

    • Chemical water softener with an oxidizing iron filter
    • Water filtration system like the Raindance Iron Eater Series which works great for iron and manganese.
    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    High Sodium Content

    Dirty water with old used water filter on table
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    Most water supplies have sodium content and a lower concentration is not a problem. However, in higher concentrations sodium will increase water's corrosive effect.

    Warning Signs

    • A nasty salty taste is noticeable if the sodium concentration is over 500 parts per million
    • Dark or blackish colored water

    Possible Solutions

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07


    Yellow laundry stains on white shirt
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    Tannins are found in water that has flowed through large quantities of decaying vegetation. In concentrations higher than 0.5 part per million, the tannins may cause staining or actually conflict with different water treatment processes.

    Warning Signs

    • Yellow water
    • Yellow staining on toilet fixtures
    • Yellow staining on laundry

    Possible Solutions