whidbeywaterfilters

Additions and Exceptions

Additions and Exceptions

Custom-Designed

A custom-designed system starts with the basic ECOsmarte system, which usually is sufficient for most applications. However, if the water is tested unusually high (above acceptable standards) for certain contaminants, additional components may be required in addition to the basic system.

For example, if the water tests high in tannin, then a chlorine injector would be included with the system; the injector would be installed between the titanium chamber and the contact tank. If the water tests high in arsenic, then an arsenic tank and media will follow the GAC tank. For extremely acidic water, which is rare, a pH stabilizer might be necessary. If the hardness level is higher than 450 parts, a water softener may be necessary. Other water treatment companies charge extra for additional systems; with ECOsmarte, extra systems are provided at minimal or no additional charge because the ECOsmarte system is customized and guaranteed to remove all contaminants.

The following is a list of issues that may require additional options.
- Arsenic
- Iron Bacteria
- Tannin
- Extreme hardness
- Sulfur in hot water

Arsenic
  • Arsenic naturally occurs in the ground as Arsenic 3. In order to be filtered out, it must be converted to Arsenic 5 by oxidizing it with ozone or oxygen. Arsenic 5 can then be substantially removed with filtration.
  • An ECOsmarte system will reduce the arsenic level, but will not remove it all. If the arsenic level is borderline, the ECOsmarte system alone might be sufficient to keep the level within the approved safe range without the need to add an arsenic system.
  • A dedicated arsenic system will remove about 80% of the arsenic.
  • A reverse osmosis system will remove 100%.
  • If your water test results show the arsenic level to be 10 parts (0.01) or above, which is the approved EPA tolerance level for safety,  ECOsmarte will include an additional tank with a special arsenic-removing media as a part of your complete system for an additional cost of about $700.
  • Arsenic treatment is expensive. A full system normally costs around $1600. Once every one to fifteen years, depending on the amount of arsenic and the volume of water used, the arsenic media must be replaced, at a cost of about $1200 each time. The media itself is nearly $800, plus gravel, a new basket and riser, shipping, and labor. If water usage is high and the arsenic level is high, it might be necessary to re-bed the tank every year or two; if the levels are low, then less often.
Iron Bacteria
  • If iron bacteria is detected, then an extra step must be taken. Iron bacteria usually shows up on the report as mild, moderate, or aggressive. This bacteria grows in the well and actually eats iron. Oxidizing it will aggravate it. This means that when the iron bacteria comes in contact with oxygen or ozone, this slimy yellow/orange/brown residue gets even worse: it coats the pipes and is not good to consume.
  • For mild to moderate iron bacteria, a chlorine injector will treat it.
  • The most effective way to treat aggressive iron bacteria is to shock the well once every six months by pouring into the well head one gallon of chlorine for every 100′ of well depth. Well Chlorination Procedure:
    1. Slowly add 12% chlorine at 1 gallon per 100 feet of well depth.
    2. You should smell the chlorine coming out of the hose fairly strongly.
    3. Place a hose down the well casing to circulate water while bypassing all filters.
    4. Then turn water off and open up every faucet inside the house until you smell the chlorine at the sink.
    5. Let it sit in the lines for 24 hours like that.
    6. Then open up several faucets and let it run for a couple of hours until the chlorine smell gets faint.
    7. At that point open up the filters so you let a little of the chlorine go through them.
    8. Repeat every 6 months
Tannin
  • What is tannin? Tea is tannic acid. It causes water to yellow. In wooded areas, when it rains the water steeps in the leaves on the ground and creates tannic acid, which seeps into the ground and enters the well water. Tannin is harmless; it simply colors the water. If iron is also present in the water, tannin will combine with the iron, creating another element that prevents oxidized iron from being totally removed during filtration, so that some iron will exit the filter along with the tannin. For this reason, it is helpful to remove the tannin.
  • How to detect if tannin is present. A quick and simple way to determine if there is tannin present in the water is to fill a clean white five-gallon bucket with water and to examine the water in the daylight. The water should look crystal-0clear. If the water has a slight yellow or green hue, most likely tannin is present. A fancier way to tell is to request a water test from a professional lab.
  • Ways to eliminate tannin. There are three ways to remove tannin.
    • Bleach it out with an injector, using either chlorine or hydrogen peroxide.
    • Filter it out with a very expensive special media that must be replaced annually.
    • Add a special tannin resin to a water softener. The formula is 10 pounds of resin for every one part of tannin. Softening resin does not need to be present; there could be simply tannin resin in the tank, but generally if the water is hard anyway, including both resins in the same tank is an efficient combination. Salt must be replenished in the brine tank every week or two in order to sustain the ionization process. Although tannin resin is quite expensive, as long as the salt level is maintained, it will last many years.
    • A fourth option is simply to live with the tannin and not remove it at all.
  • Tannin removal ECOsmarte opts for installing an injector pump. Hydrogen peroxide is generally more effective than chlorine. The injection point is installed after the titanium chamber and before the retention tank. If tannin is indeed present, ECOsmarte will include a injector pump and tank at no additional charge.
      • To prevent the injector pump from running constantly, a flow switch is necessary; it activates the injector pump only when water is flowing.  This switch must be purchased separately and can be ordered on-line.
      • Note also that tannin is not included in the water test, so a tannin test must be requested when the original test samples are sent to the lab.

EXCEPTIONS

Additional components are included for free with the ECOsmarte system, with two exceptions. ECOsmarte will not pay for a water softener or a reverse osmosis system. Why not?

Water Softener:
    • Disadvantages of a water softener: Water softeners require the addition of salt, which ionizes the calcium and magnesium.
      • The results are the feeling of “soft” water, so that it feels what some people call slimy, as if soap cannot rinse off the skin.
      • The salt remains in the water, so that end users actually drink the salt, even though the flavor is subtle.
      • After backwashing the spent salt onto the same place on the ground for over twenty years, the ground becomes sterile in that area such that plants cannot grow there.
      • Salt must be purchased and added every week or two. If there is no salt, the system will not operate properly.
    • Advantages of a water softener: Calcium deposits from untreated hard water leave a hard crust that is difficult to scrape off. The only way to remove hardness completely is by ionizing it with salt in a water softener.
      • The ECOsmarte system is a salt-free system up to a certain point. With low levels of hardness, the powder is unnoticeable. However, if the hardness level is over 250 parts, with an ECOsmarte system the powder will begin to show. Extremely high hardness levels may produce an excessive amount of powder, which could be unsightly, annoying, or might clog orifices, justifying the addition of a water softener. Some people would rather live with the white powder than to live with salt in the water, but there is a point at which the hardness becomes intolerable, and a water softener must be purchased and installed at an additional expense. An initial water test will define the hardness level.
      • If the temperature of the water is above 150 degrees F, the powder will dissolve and the water will become hard again. There are two options: (1) turn the water temperature down below 150 degrees, or (2) add a water softener
    • Advantages of conditioning with ECOsmarte
      •  The ECOsmarte titanium electrodes condition the hardness. As the water passes through this chamber, the calcium, magnesium, and the other fourteen hardness elements transform into a powder that will not scale on the pipes or leave white stains on the house fixtures. Because these healthy minerals are not removed from the water, powder deposits will appear on the surfaces where the water comes out of the faucet. This powder is safe, hardly noticeable, does not stain, and is easy to wipe away. The harder the water, the more noticeable the powder residue will be. (See above: “Advantages of a water softener.”)
      • There is no scaling in the pipes.
      • There will be no white hard crust deposits on the fixtures.
      • There is no need to purchase or add salt.
      • Salt will not be present in the drinking and cooking water.
      • Calcium and magnesium are desirable and healthy minerals. The ECOsmarte conditioning process makes them more absorbable through the skin & drinking.
  • Reverse Osmosis
    • The ECOsmarte system will produce water as safe and clean as a reverse osmosis system. Consequently, the installation of a reverse osmosis system is redundant.
    • However, if a water softener is installed and no one wants to drink salt, then a reverse osmosis system at the kitchen sink would remove that salt from the water. (For more information, refer to the page on “Other Systems” and click on Multipure. You can order a reverse osmosis system at https://www.MultipureUSA.com/Dean.)
Sulfur:

Sulfur smell from cold water:
The ECOsmarte titanium electrodes convert sulfur gas to a solid that will be filtered out, resulting in no smell.
If there is sulfur odor in the cold water, check that the titanium chamber is clean and operating properly.

Sulfur smell from hot water, but not cold water:
If the hot water smells, but the cold water is fine, then bacteria is building up in the hot water tank. The best way to fix this is to replace the standard sacrificial anode rod in the hot water tank with a Corroprotec Powered Anode Rod. To learn how this works, go to https://www.corroprotec.com

 

Salt Intrusion and High TDS

The ECOsmarte system can remove up to 800 parts of Total Dissolved Solids. If the TDS reading is higher, then a reverse osmosis system is the only solution. There are a lot of kinds of solids, but the two key solids to test for — especially with saltwater intrusion — are sodium and chloride. 

A Reverse Osmosis system requires pre-filtration, post-filtration, often a pH stabilizer, a holding tank, and sometimes a post filter after the holding tank. Pure water molecules are pushed through a membrane, producing a discharge of the contaminants that have been removed. Various RO systems discharge anywhere from three to ten parts of water for every one part of pure water produced. 

The cleaner the incoming water, the longer the RO membrane will last before needing to be replaced. The ECOsmarte system does such an excellent job of removing everything but the salt that the pre-filters that come with most RO systems are not necessary, which saves time and money on filter replacement costs. 

The diagram below is an industrial application, but it gives a visual layout of the order for treatment. Assuming that the initial flow rate is 10 gpm or more, for a residential application the water would flow in this order:

  1. ECOsmarte system
  2. Reverse Osmosis System
  3. pH stabilizer (if necessary) 
  4. Holding tank
  5. Booster pump
  6. Optional compressed carbon block filter at the kitchen sink