So you just moved into your new home. Congrats! The boxes are slowly getting unpacked, and the furniture and tchotchkes are getting moved around (and around, and around) into their final position. Your family is trying to get used to a new location, a new bed, a new neighborhood. It’s an adventure, one that everybody is excited to undergo.
After all the cases of bottled water purchased for the move are gone, you go to the sink to pour yourself a glass to quench your thirst after your initial jog through the neighborhood. You raise the glass to your lips, wet beads running down the sides of the cup, and take a nice, long gulp.
Uh oh. Something doesn't taste right. At all.
What is that? Metal? Paint? Rotten eggs? An unholy mix of all that and something even more sinister?
Terrified, you throw the glass against the wall and it shatters, sending a deadly shard into the treasured painting over the couch. Ruined forever. Just like your mood.
Soon afterwards, as you’re out spending $76.31 on enough bottled water to get you through the week, you notice that you keep scratching your arms and neck. You ponder the reason for this insistent itch and come to the slow realization that your dry skin problem started when you moved in. Come to think of it, those red bumps on your body did as well. You glance down at your shopping cart, loaded down with high-end body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotions, and begin to freak out.
This is never going to end. This is only the start of a long nightmare.
You leave the cart right where it is and go screaming into the night, Googling “hard water” as you run.
Far-fetched? Maybe, but not by much. If you were to Google “effects of hard water” or “why does my water taste awful” you would start to make the connection that while you can control most of the things coming into your house, you can’t control the water. Or your daughter’s boyfriend, to a degree.
Well, let’s rephrase that a bit. You can condition the water that comes into the house. But that costs money. Money that you need for the bottled water, lotions, soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and other things you left in that shopping cart. It would be absolutely asinine to drop a bunch of money on a whole home filtration system all at once. Why, that would be like spending a pile of money on car insurance, instead of just fixing things that go wrong on cars as they happen. Who would do that? I mean, that guy’s bumper can’t be that much, right?
Here’s the facts: Chances are, no matter where you live you have hard water coming into your house. Only 15% of the country has what is considered soft water, primarily because the source water for the municipal water district comes from rivers. Just so we’re clear, anything with less than 3 grains per gallon of hardness minerals is deemed soft. That’s pretty good.
However, 85% of our great country is over that, and a lot are WAY over that. The six “hardest” cities are, in no particular order:
• Las Vegas
• Minneapolis/St. Paul
• San Antonio
I would put Detroit on that list, too. Nobody would argue that town isn't hard.
So what, you say. What does hard water really do, anyway? Boiled down, four things you’ll care about:
Eats away at your plumbing and appliances.
Anything that the hard minerals in your water are running through, at, or into is simply getting pounded day after day. Water heater, pipes, washer, dishwasher, bathtub, toilet, and more are getting calcified, stained, clogged, and basically destroyed. But most choose to just get it go on and hope for the best.
Irritates the heck out of your skin.
Remember that constant itching and scratching? The dryness and flaking? The bumps and clogged pores? Blame those pesky minerals again… Dermatologists have some great names for it – “cradle cap” “seborrheic dermatitis” “pompholyx” (that one sounds like a Batman villain) “rosacea” – but they all point to the high pH of hard water as the root cause. But some people love it…Hey, is that Avon calling?
You’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em. Everywhere! Glassware, dishware, reading glasses, countertops, around the sink… if hard water touches it, it’ll spot it. And so will you. Unless that’s part of your décor, you won’t want to keep running into them.
Rough, dry and tangled hair.
Let’s face it – grunge died in the 90s, and now people enjoy hair they can run fingers through (unless you’re bald…but that’s another blog for another day). What happens is the hard water makes the scales in hair stand up, hence the roughness and tanglenation™. Oh, and this means more shampoo and conditioner, because you can’t rinse it all out. One of the cities with the softest water is Amsterdam, where Frederique van der Wal is from. Coincidence? Who knows? But do you really want to have hair that feels like something livestock would think twice about eating?
So, with all this talk about hard water, if you’re still with us then you want to at least look into what your shiny brand new house can do to protect itself. We know, because your house called us while you were at work. Why not schedule a free water analysis and let us show you the correct system for you and your family. Your pipes will thank you, while the toiletry aisle manager probably won’t – he works on commission.
The 2016 Water Quality Report for San Antonio was recently released , and it contains a few interesting observations. First, the SAWS (San Antonio Water System) admits that “…all drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.” It then goes on to describe how to “minimize the potential for lead exposure” by running your tap for a couple of minutes before filling your glass or cooking utensil.
Nice. That sounds wasteful and unsafe.
The report lists a bunch of contaminants that may be present in source water, including microbial (“such as viruses and bacteria which may come from sewage treatment plants”), inorganic (“such as salts and metals … from oil and gas production”), pesticides, herbicides, organic chemicals (“including synthetic and volatile chemicals … from gas station runoff”), and radioactive contaminants.
This thing reads like a Stephen King best seller. Sewage treatment plants? Gas station runoff? Radioactive contaminants? [deep shudder]
Here’s a paragraph that stands out: “You may be more vulnerable than the general population to certain microbial contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, in your drinking water.” The CDC has this to say about that little guy:
"Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as 'Crypto.' There are many species of Cryptosporidium that infect animals, some of which also infect humans. The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very tolerant to chlorine disinfection.
While this parasite can be spread in several different ways, water (drinking water and recreational water) is the most common way to spread the parasite. Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of waterborne disease among humans in the United States."
So, the SAWS admits that the water is more vulnerable to Cryptosporidium, which is "very tolerant to chlorine disinfection". That’s wonderful. It's a superbug, and San Antonio's water sources are lousy with it.
Let’s take a peek at the actual report. The first thing that jumps out is the chlorine level. Chlorine, of course, is used to try to kill off all the gas station runoff, sewage, and radioactive material, in the city of San Antonio’s water. So it’s no real surprise to see that the average concentration found is 1.14 ppm. But look at the minimum (0.11) and especially the maximum (4.5 ppm). Wow, that’s a lot of chlorine running through the tap! The EPA allows up to 4 ppm, so the SAWS is within those parameters, but the EPA also admits that drinking water filters and reverse osmosis systems are a better solution.
What else shows up in San Antonio’s water? Copper, lead, barium, fluoride, nitrate, radium 226 and radium 228 (honestly, that can’t be good, right?), and a cute little chemical named Tetrachloroethylene. This guy is manufactured for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. I’m sure it tastes wonderful, also…
One last thing. The report doesn’t mention this, but the SAWS was fined by the TCEQ last year for too much coliform bacteria in the water. You probably received a letter about this.
Of course, San Antonio doesn’t have to take this laying down. Dupure has been working with quality homebuilders around the area for many years now, and plenty of your neighbors are reading this report with total confidence. Why not join them and enjoy clean and clear water today? Dupure offers a single-stage activated carbon filter system, a dual-stage pre- and post-filter system, and a reverse osmosis drinking water purification system. Any one of these filters out Chlorine, Chloramines, heavy metals (such as that lead we mentioned above), pharmaceuticals, chemicals, organics, and many more. Check out each page for more information.
Dupure and San Antonio, Texas – eliminating sewage and superbugs in your water, one family at a time.
Spend any amount of time researching a clean drinking water solution for your home and you'll inevitably run into the term reverse osmosis (or RO for short). If you're a normal individual and not a scientist or a water engineer, the phrase should give you pause. Sure, you could google "Reverse Osmosis" and get temporarily lost in jargon, or you could read on and get a fuller understanding of the best system for your home's drinking water.
Reverse osmosis is simply the process by which the water is purified. Inorganic materials such as ions, molecules, particles, bacteria and other things that you really don't want to consume are flushed out through a semi-permeable membrane, leaving only pure, filtered drinking water. The membrane is filled with tiny pores that allow the hydrogen and oxygen molecules to pass through, as long as they aren't attached to anything else. In other words, while H2O is small enough to pass through the pores, C8H14ClN5 (Atrazine, an herbicide commonly found in tap water) isn't coming through because it's too big for the membrane's pore. C6H4(CH3)2 (Xylene, a solvent also found in your water) isn't making it out either. And there are many, many more.
The one thing you don't want to forget is this: H7O57 is too big to make it...that's E. coli.
How does the system work? There are three (and an optional fourth) components involved: A pre-filter, which takes in the tap water andfilters out heavy metals such as rust and mercury and large sediments like calcium carbonate, up to 5 microns.
The remaining fluid is shot through the membrane at high pressure. Constructed of several layers of polypropylene mesh, the membrane's tiny pores stop virtually all elements other than H2O, leaving purified water. The list of contaminants the RO sends to waste is quite long, but here's a sampling:
Then the water passes through the last carbon filter, called a post-filter, which filters out anything the other filters somehow missed. The purified water then goes into a 2.2 gallon (or an optional 3.2 gallon) tank, where it is stored until the spigot is activated.
The result is pure, clean, healthy water in your glass or pan.