Although city water (or water from a community water system) is usually treated to some degree before it reaches your home, most city water is still hard and contains some levels of contaminants. Water treatment plants are required to provide water to regulated standards, but it’s becoming harder for them to meet these standards, and are they good enough for you? Regardless of the water quality when it leaves the plant, water must travel through an aging distribution system or old pipes and can change along the way to your faucet.
How water is used in the home often determines how the water is treated.
Working water is used for washing, bathing and cleaning and is frequently treated with a water softener, filtration and/or dechlorination system. It makes up 99 percent of the water used in the home and it is best when all of your home's working water is treated with a Kinetico water softener and a Kinetico dechlorinator.
Drinking water is used for drinking and cooking, and is normally treated with a Kinetico reverse osmosis system or water filter. Drinking water makes up one percent of the water used in the home.
Although treated, city water can still cause problems around your home. Common city water contaminants and issues include:
- Chlorine and Chloramines are necessary for disinfecting water, but they create an unpleasant taste and smell. Chlorine and Chloramines can also be drying to skin, hair, rubber seals and parts in water-using appliances.
- Staining can still occur in city water, ruining clothing, sinks, tubs and toilets, water-using appliances, even tableware. It’s difficult to clean and may require early replacement of stained items.
- Tastes and odours from chlorine are a main complaint, but city water often develops an algae smell and taste during hot weather months.
- Limescale buildup, caused by hard water, is the white chalky, hard buildup on fixtures and water-using appliances. It’s unsightly, reduces the life and efficiency of fixtures, appliances and other items around your home. Water treatment plants sometimes reduce the hardness of city water, but they don’t soften it completely.
An in-home water test is needed to recommend the proper water treatment equipment and the right drinking water system filter cartridges if necessary.