Water, a molecule made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, is essential to life on earth. It is found in lakes, rivers, aquifers, and oceans. Earth’s surface is covered in 71% water. Of all the water found on earth, 97% of it is in oceans leaving only 3% of fresh water. With such a precious resource being in limited supply, improving water quality not only saves this valuable resource, but also provides healthy water for consumption. Let us explore how to improve water quality that we use every day.
Fresh water is what we use in our home for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Of the 3% of earth’s fresh water, 2% is locked up in ice or glaciers. This leaves just 1% of water left for consumption.
Water is considered high quality when it is free of sediment, chemicals, contaminants and provides constant flow and pressure throughout the house. There are many methods of improving water quality that you can utilize to improve the water in your home. Water treatment equipment, energy efficient appliances, and even water saving faucets can be installed to improve the quality.
How to Improve Water Quality at Home?
Install a Water Treatment System
Water Treatment Systems are used to improving water quality in your home. Hardness, which is present in most supplies, causes scale build-up on appliances, clogs showerheads and faucets, makes linens scratchy, clouds glassware, and restricts flow through piping.
Hardness can be removed by adding a softener. Softeners work by using a special media to remove the calcium and magnesium ions that cause scaling in water. The softener can be connected to the whole house supply and is a low-cost way to get soft water. The softener uses salt to keep the media operational.
Whole House Water Softening Systems are a great way to improving water quality at home. Reducing hardness minerals increases the life of your appliances and reduces the amount of detergent needed for cleaning. Even less energy is used because there is no scale preventing the appliances from operating at their full capacity. You can save on your utility bills and limit the frequency of big household purchases.
Reducing hardness minerals also provides consistent flow and pressure through faucets in the house. Showerheads are no longer blocked, and water is delivered quickly through the pipes and through the faucets. Antunes offers whole house certified softeners that operate on-demand rather than on a time basis.
Besides softening, treatment equipment can also be used to rid water of sediment, chemicals, and contaminants. Antunes’ Whole House Ultrafiltration Systems, are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for chlorine, taste, odor, turbidity, and cyst reduction. Examples of cysts are cryptosporidium and giardia. Both are parasites that cause illness. The Antunes Whole House Ultrafiltration System provides clean access to water from any faucet in your home and improves water quality throughout your entire home.
Along with softeners and ultrafiltration systems, reverse osmosis systems can be placed under the kitchen sink to clean the water for drinking and cooking. Reverse osmosis systems remove dissolved solids. Dissolved solids are invisible and exist at the molecular level. Reverse osmosis provides the highest home water quality available for drinking, cooking, and can even be connected to the refrigerator supply line to deliver clean dispensed water on demand.
Antunes has a 5-stage Reverse Osmosis System that is certified through the Water Quality Association for barium, cadmium, copper, cyst, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, lead, nitrate, nitrite, radium 226/228, selenium, total dissolved solids and trivalent chromium reduction. 5-stage reverse osmosis systems have also shown success in reducing perfluorinated compounds, also referred to as the forever chemical. With a reverse osmosis system, there is no longer a need to ask, ‘whats my water quality?’ before drinking your water.
Repair and Eliminate Water Leaks
Leaks in your home not only contribute to waste but can also cause fungus growth and damage to your house. Set a reminder in your calendar to look underneath sinks to inspect if there are any damp spots, smells, or corroded pipe connections to catch a leak before or as it starts. Pipes age, connections get loose, and even debris in the pipes can clog and encourage build-up and leaks.
Repair dripping faucets inside and outside of the house. Dripping faucets can waste 1 gallon of usable water a day, to greater than 10 gallons per day depending on the drip amount. Fixing dripping faucets is an easy way to control waste.
Along with checking underneath sinks and fixing dripping faucets, also keep an eye on the ceiling and floors for damp spots. A wet spot on the floor or ceiling indicates that there is a leak somewhere in the house. These leaks should be fixed immediately to prevent permanent damage to the home, and to avoid mold growth.
While monitoring pipes and the structure of the house, also review your utility bill on a regular basis. An unexpected spike in the water volume used, could indicate that there is a leak in the house that you cannot see or easily detect.
Install High Efficiency Appliances and Water Faucets
Newer home appliances are made with conservation in mind. Energy efficient dishwashers and laundry machines are designed to save water while they are in operation. On average, these appliances can save >20% in electricity and >30% water than older appliances.
Whether you are using an older appliance or newer appliance, a good energy and water saving practice, is to only run the dishwasher when it is full of dishes and the laundry machine when it has a full load. This reduces the amount of energy, waste, detergent, and can help you save money.
Water saving faucets, shower heads, and toilets can also be installed in the home to reduce usage. Gaskets such as an aerator, can be added to faucets to lessen the volume while not losing pressure. Dual or low flush toilets can be installed to save several gallons from every flush.
With or without water saving fixtures, methods can still be taken to decrease usage. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, take showers instead of baths, and soak dishes in the sink as compared to running water over them when washing. Sending unused water to the drain can be easily avoided.
Replace any Old Water Pipes in your Home
Older homes were built using galvanized steel or iron pipes. These materials degrade over time. A softener and filtration system will help to keep the pipes free of scale and sediment, but these pipes can pit, corrode, and leak.
When leaks arise, replace the piping with newer pipe material. Copper piping can be purchased at major hardware stores. It can be connected using ProPress fittings, or by soldering. If copper is unavailable or unwanted, PEX, PVC, or CPVC piping can be used to replace old piping. Plumbing and hardware stores can guide on the best materials available to get your desired result.
Another good practice is to check piping connected to appliances. Make sure that the material used for the connection, holds up against high pressure. If a hose is installed, you will want a material that is burst resistant. This will safeguard your home and appliances from unwanted breakdowns.
Shut-off valves and bypass valves can also be installed on piping. This allows for an easy way to close off the water to the house when appliances or other equipment needs to be repaired, maintained, or even replaced.
Review the Water in your Yard
Yard water is another area to pay attention to when determining how to improve water quality at home. Ensuring proper drainage from gutters and downspouts will prevent flooding in the yard and loss of yard soil. Minimizing yard flooding helps to keep water from entering the home structure.
Pooling encourages microbiological growth. Sump pumps should be maintained, and all animal droppings should be picked up from the lawn to avoid biological contaminations of natural water supplies. Limiting the amount of fertilizers used on the lawn will also reduce pollutants going to ground water supplies.
Try new ways to conserve water in your yard. Add a rain barrel for collection to be later used for plants and gardens. Use mulch or compost for landscaping to retain moisture. Create drip irrigation systems to decrease evaporation. And if you must water your lawn, reduce the amount of days watering while only utilizing early in the morning.
These 5 ways to improve water quality in your home can help you protect our precious 1% of consumable water resource.
Test the water quality in your home with the Antunes Home Water Test Kit.