Water quality is a major concern when building or buying a new home. Poor quality water in your home can affect every aspect of your family's life. Stories like those coming from Flint ,MI have eroded public trust in the ability for water authorities and government regulations to protect us. With such an important resource it makes good sense to account for it yourself when building your new home.
There are 60,000 chemicals used in uncontrolled environments. Any of them could potentially get in to our drinking water. The EPA only enforces limits on fewer than 100 contaminants. The rest go completely unregulated and unknown to the EPA. Of the 100 impurities that are regulated the regulations allow for minimum contaminant levels but no one knows what is the effect when chemicals are combined at different quantities and combinations. How can we be confident the water we drink is safe for our families?
“No level of exposure to a chemical carcinogen should be considered toxicologically insignificant to humans"
- Surgeon General, National Cancer Institute.
In many rural communities home owners get their water directly from a well on their property. While this avoids some concerns it raises others. Water in the ground, even from a deep aquifer can be contaminated with a variety of different chemicals. Everything from locally used fertilizers to organic compounds used miles away can leach in to the water table. When it comes to well water a detailed water test should be done and a quality system should be customized for the home as each well may be different.
Urban areas are served with water purified in large processing plants and delivered through miles of underground pipes. Unfortunately, water authorities have been overwhelmed with costs and there are numerous reports of inadequate testing and facility breakdowns. The water delivery systems are old and contain harmful pollutants that then reach the homes after they have left the facilities. Chlorine is the main chemical urban water systems use to control bacteria and other biological contaminants. The effects of chlorine on humans over time are unknown and under studied.
“Up to 2/3 of the harmful effects of chlorine is due to inhalation and skin absorption while showering.” – American Journal of Public Health
Water described as "hard" is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not a health risk, but a nuisance and costly expense.
Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard." The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases. The minerals in hard water will build up and appear on surfaces, which is referred to limescale. The majority of the country is hard water areas and is a natural phenomenon.
Often the extent of the problems, are not observed as they are in the interior and are not exposed. The presence of overall limescale damage is evidenced by reduced water pressure, spotting on dishes, traces in the showers and fixtures, coffee makers, frequent repairs and early replacement of equipment. This is an indication of a serious ongoing problem not readily observed- as limescale that builds up inside the pipes and appliances.
Limescale will build up on heating elements and act as insulator reducing the heat transference and energy efficiencies. The Batelle Study had shown a loss of 25% in energy. Thermostatic controls will read false temperature and call for more hot water that is not necessary. Limescale will cause corrosion of appliances, fixtures, pipes and valves; requiring more expensive costly repairs. It also voids manufacturer warranties and shortens the life of appliances.
A new class of smart water filtration
A whole home water purification system is now being recommended in many areas of the country. Filtering all the water in the house ensures that both the water used for drinking and the water used for bathing will be filtered. This is important as many chemicals can actually be absorbed through the skin. In fact, more chlorine enters our body in showers and bathing by skin absorption and inhalation than from drinking. A whole house water purification system should be mandatory in every home, not an option. The home needs to have safeguards that allow for healthy fresh water in very faucet.
The common solution to these problems is water softeners. While popular these are largely ineffective, costly and unreliable. Companies and technology are getting smarter about tackling the problems of water quality. Smart, new electronic scale removers and filters have recently been showing up in the market. Companies are moving away from the one size fits all approach and offering customized solutions to address specific locations. For example, Wave Home Solutions provides customized filtration equipment for well, and city water. Wether you have impurities, scale or hard water they will craft a custom solution for you.
Learn more about a smart computerized technology at www.wavehomesolutions.com.