As Canadians, some of us might not take our water resources as seriously as we should. After all, water seems to be everywhere in the great white north, (there are over 250,000 lakes in Ontario, alone).
We have learned, however, that accessible water fit for consumption is a precious commodity and maintaining proper residential and commercial water quality as our population grows is critical.
Fortunately, water quality technology is expanding and there is a strong base of professionals qualified to handle its complexities and keep this precious fluid at its best both in terms of quality and most importantly, supply.
Companies specializing in water accessibility and quality provide solutions to problems such as low water pressure, hard water or bacteriological contaminants.
One of those companies, Caledon-based Flow Water Solutions, is also a licensed well contractor; which means it can service all aspects from the pump in the well, through the treatment system and to the point of distribution.
Let’s concentrate on water treatment and quality. To measure how important this is, one needs only to remember Walkerton in 2000, where a combination of bacteria in the municipal water system caused six deaths and thousands to be ill.
Flow Water sends water samples to an accredited lab to be tested for coliform and e-coli. In addition, the company thoroughly tests the water to determine hardness, iron content, pH and total dissolved solid. The company provides, and strongly recommends, ultraviolet water purification systems. Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate harmful pathogens in your home’s water and destroy illness-causing microorganisms by attacking their genetic core.
“We recommend that every well should have a UV system installed and maintained for the customers’ peace of mind and protection,” says Flow Water’s Hugh Scholz.
Further peace of mind can be had by having an RO, or Reverse Osmosis, system. Reverse osmosis is a relatively simple filtration process, wherein water pressure pushes tap water through a semi permeable membrane to remove impurities from the water. A reverse osmosis system can be installed to remove high levels of total dissolved solids, (TDS) in the water. Flow Water’s systems can be designed to remove up to 3,000 TDS.
Hard water is an issue for much of our area. It is the result of high amounts of TDS. TDS are minerals, salts, metals, cations or anions dissolved in water. They include inorganic salts (primarily calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates) and some small amounts of organic matter that are dissolved in water.
High TDS levels in water can be very corrosive and cause serious damage to plumbing fixtures and household appliances.
A basic water softener typically used in the home consists of resin beads that capture TDS, as well as the periodical use of salt to cleanse the beads. If you have such a basic system, it is advised that you check salt levels at least once a month. This is easily done by lifting the tank lid and looking inside. If the tank is less than half full, add more salt; or find a water professional to handle the maintenance.
While some people may worry about the presence of chemicals in their water, there are chemicals that are vital to ensuring water reaches its optimal potability.
The three chemicals most commonly used as primary disinfectants are chlorine, chlorine dioxide and ozone. Monochloramine, usually referred to as chloramine, is used as a residual disinfectant for distribution. The chemical injection systems provided by companies such as Flow Water are deployed to pulse these necessary components into the water at a controlled and proper rate.
There is also a clear threat of methane permeating the water system. Methane is a gas created by decaying organic vegetation and must be removed from the water supply. Hugh points out that it can be explosive at certain concentrations. “It must be treated with respect and we recommend using a licensed well contractor to handle the job.”
In conclusion, water is, next to air, an essential of life. Don’t forget that our bodies are 60 percent water. It just makes sense that we treat it with respect.
Written By: Dan Pelton