Water Softener Maintenance

How often does your water softener need maintenance?

The IESWTR applies to filtered water systems using surface water or groundwater under the direct influence of surface water. The rule only applies to systems serving at least 10,000 people. The compliance requirements of the rule are effective January 1, 2002. In Pennsylvania, this rule will provide additional drinking water protection to about 7.3 million people that are served by these large systems.

Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (4)

The Pennsylvania DEP Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT1 ESWTR)

LT1ESWTR was the first small system regulation that provides protection against the disease-causing organism Cryptosporidium. In Pennsylvania, the LT1ESWTR is expected to provide additional protection to over 600,000 customers. This rule will applies to about 265 public water systems using surface water or ground water under the direct influence of surface water that each serve less than 10,000 people. Early provisions of this rule took affect in the summer of 2002, but the main provisions becameeffective in 2005.

PA DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water (1)

The Pennsylvania DEP Radionuclide Rule for Public Water

Regulations for radionuclides in drinking water first became effective in 1976. The revised Radionuclides Rule required implementation for some systems starting in 2005. The rule was revised to improve public health protection by requiring monitoring at all entry points to a drinking water distribution system, to create a new standard for uranium, to change monitoring frequencies, and to create new monitoring requirements for radium-226 and radium-228.

Scale Removal

What is Scale and How to Remove It?

In several areas in the Lehigh Valley and more importantly in areas of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton that have very hard water. And that often cause scale and scale buildup. The problem with the buildup of scale in your pipes, is that it means your water heater is working harder to heat and pump water through your home. Not only that, but if there is scale in your pipes, there is more than likely scale within your water heater, which can build up between the heating elements and the water. This makes the heater work harder to heat to an expected temperature which over time will increase energy bills. Scaling occurs when water has high levels of minerals like calcium carbonate, which will build-up on surfaces, like pipes or showerhead.

Scale buildup can ruin your shower's water pressure, and your pipes. Instead of a steady flow of water, it often will come out in spurts and dribbles. It is important to maintain your home pipe systems and appliances like the washing machine, and dishwasher as well as the boiler or hot water heater.  The reality is saving your pipe system turns expensive when scale buildup affects all your pipes.  This isn’t covered under the home’s warranty as the extensive scale is evidence of not doing proper maintenance on the home’s plumbing systems.  

That costs you, as a homeowner, money as more energy is needed to get appliances to the right temperature.

Hard water is a quality of water that contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other metallic elements.

Evidence of scale:

  • Decreased pressure as water has less room to flow in pipes.
  • Yellowing of clothes.
  • Rings in the bathtubs or sink.
  • Spots on your glasses when taken from the dishwasher.
  • White, chalky buildup in your showerhead or faucets.

Water hardness means that soap is harder to lather because of the development of an insoluble curd-like soap precipitate in the water.  It makes for more work to be done to remove soap curd on bathtubs, sinks, and shower stalls.  Evaporated water leaves behind calcium and magnesium salts which are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry, kitchen, and bath. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon as calcium carbonate equivalent. The harder the water, the more scale backs up the home’s water systems from heating, showering, and cleaning.

The experts at Spring Rain have products and systems, including water softners, that can help reduce or eliminate scale from your pipes!  Calling them is the first step in improving the care of your pipes and water systems, which will also help with your energy bills.

LV Water Concerns

Lehigh Valley Water Concerns

Turning on the water faucet in your home and having tasty, beneficial water come out ought to be a given. However, due to the nature of water in the Lehigh Valley, which stretches from Easton to Bethlehem, the water is not always as good as it could be for you and your family. Water comes to homes from a variety of sources via the water authorities 5 water sources and privately dug wells.

Sometimes through no fault of the Lehigh Water Authority, contaminants get into the water supply through the pipes in the home. One of these contaminants is lead. Lead in your pipes can mean lead in your water supply. Having a variety of items, including a lead service line, copper plumbing or brass fixtures can all be conduits for lead in your water. According to the EPA, the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels (epa.gov 2020).

Other water contaminants:

  • High iron content - In the Lehigh Valley iron in the water is noted as orange-brown stains in sinks, toilets, and appliances.
  • Manganese - can affect water systems as water has been in contact with rock for an extended period.
  • These two minerals often occur together in privately dug wells, as they both leach from the rock.
  • Water tainted with high levels of iron can cause skin problems and have negative impacts on your health.
  • There have been cases of small bacteria which feed off the iron that can be harmful if digested.

Sulfur, on the other hand, is noticeable from its signature rotten egg smell. This can happen in some deeply dug wells.  This foul-smelling gas is created via oil deposits and decaying plants beneath the earth’s surface. While hydrogen sulfide does not harm you directly, it can cause diarrhea, dehydration, or nausea.  This should be tested by a professional and resolved.

Whether from a private well or a municipal water facility, contaminants can enter your water supply.  Testing your water on a yearly basis is recommended.

The professionals at Spring Rain Ultra Pure Water can assist and advise you on different filtration systems which can filter out lead, iron, and manganese from your water supply as these can be harmful to your family and your home appliances. Leaving you to enjoy contaminant-free refreshing water.

Water Softener Advantages

Advantages of a Water Softener

Whether you live in the middle of the Poconos, Tannersville or Scotrun, water quality and the benefits you can achieve through good water are another part of taking advantage of where you live. With all the advantages and outdoor activities, the Poconos have to offer, having water that provides benefits through healthypipes and softer clothes is a worthwhile consideration

The advantages of a water softener whether it is salt- or salt-free
are many-fold:

  • Healthier, softer skin - Skin washed in hard water can feel scratchy and dry because of the soap scum.
  • Shiny hair - Hair washed in hard water is often dull-looking and sticky.
  • Clothes are softer and look cleaner without looking dingy - It is hard for soap and detergent to dissolve, leaving behind water spots on dishes.
  • Drinking water - Tastes better with the removal of much of the calcium and magnesium.
  • Hard water is known to clog pipes and appliances due to build-up - It creates a scale buildup inside your pipes and water appliances reducing the efficiency of your water heater.

Soft water is just easier on your pipes and appliances, both large, washing machines and small, coffee pots. Softer water will save you money in the long run as appliances and pipes will last longer.  Hard water is generally considered to be ‘hard water’ due to increased amounts of calcium and magnesium. This means more energy is used to heat water which will result in increased energy expenses.  

A water softener is a unit that is used to soften water by removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard. Water softeners are specific ion exchanges that are designed to remove ions that are positively charged. Anti-scale systems transform calcium ions into calcium crystals that are stable and cannot attach to pipes, hardware, or other fixtures. The crystals are so small they are easily rinsed away by the water flow. They are harmless, neutral, heat resistant, and completely stable, and will not attach to any surfaces like your pipes and heaters to cause lime deposits.

Traditional salt-based systems add salt to the water.

  • Salt-based systems require the salt to be replenished monthly.
  • It is recommended for homes with high hardness levels.

 Salt-free systems are maintenance-free.

  • It uses no wastewater, no electricity, and no salt or chemicals.
  • This system is low maintenance because it can last years without maintenance.
  • It is a healthy alternative for infants, children, and the elderly.

Knowing there are solutions to an issue is the first step in resolving it. The professionals at Spring Rain can help you make the best decision on a water softener for you and your family.

Drinking Water Quality

Drinking Water Quality in the Poconos

Turning on your tap and knowing the water coming out of it is free of contaminants and harmful chemicals shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it often is. The likelihood of your tap water containing arsenic and lead is higher than you might realize. While a certain amount of arsenic is due to the rocks it runs through, higher levels can be a cause for concern. Lead is often caused by either the very old pipes and infrastructure of the area in which you receive your water, or simply lead in the pipes in your home, particularly if it an older home. There are, however, other additives to the public drinking water that are of concern as well, and these are man-made.

According to the Pennsylvania DEP, emerging contaminants are often referred to by a myriad of titles including microconstituents, trace organic compounds, pharmaceuticals in the environment, or pharmaceuticals and personal care products. The titles refer to a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances that range from prescription, veterinary, and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs to cosmetics, sunscreens, and fragrances.

Endocrine disruptors are a subset of this collection of compounds and are agents that affect the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a complex network of organs that secrete hormones into the bloodstream to target cell receptors in other organs or tissues to regulate many of the body’s functions. Endocrine-disrupting compounds are suspected to cause negative reproductive and developmental health effects in humans, animals, and the aquatic environment by mimicking or blocking hormones and therefore disrupting the body’s normal functions. Some examples of endocrine-disrupting compounds include pesticides, plasticizers, and flame retardants.

Many items can wind up in the water used for public use.  Nearly anything tossed into a waterway can be in your tap water.

  • Pills often are simply flushed in the toilet.
  • Empty bottles are thrown in the river after rafting.
  • Dirty diapers or personnel products are not disposed of properly in the trash and instead flushed down a drain.

Methods/Processes of cleaning water:

  • Reverse Osmosis Membranes
  • Nanofiltration membranes

The professionals at Spring Rain can help you decide on which filtration system or reverse osmosis system will be most beneficial at filtering out these types of contaminants.


What to do About Iron in Your Well Water in the Poconos


Town or municipal water is checked regularly for contaminants including levels of bacteria as well as arsenic, iron, and manganese, copper, and among others .However, the vast majority of water systems in the Poconos are not town or municipal water, rather most people have well water, with either wells that they have paid to be dug or have inherited as a result of buying a property. These private wells are not tested on a regular basis. Nor are they required to be by law.

From the Pocono Record in 2012: Pocono record (2012):

Most aesthetic problems in water are not hazardous, they’re mostly a nuisance or can cause damage to pipes. A majority of aesthetic problems include corrosive and hard water, or water that contains iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfate.

For water that has aesthetic problems, such as discoloration from piping, or odors from certain minerals, Sulstock adds that the most popular and easiest way to treat water is filtration systems.

Also from the Pocono Record (2016): The federal Environmental Protection Agency and a local geologist noted that well water can pose problems simply because the EPA does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells and thus they are not subject to EPA standards. “For private wells, there is virtually no oversight, and it is up to the private well owner to ensure the drinking water is safe. In general, the well water in the Poconos is rather pristine, but this means that the water is more likely corrosive to metal plumbing and fixtures,” Oram said. The most common problems for private wells include the presence of coliform bacteria, low pH, corrosive water and elevated levels of iron and manganese, Oram said.

High iron is another common water problem that afflicts many Pennsylvania homeowners. A 2016 report found excessive iron concentrations in 17 percent of Pennsylvania’s private water supplies.

Iron and manganese both infiltrate water systems - especially deeper wells - because water has been in contact with rock for an extended period. These two minerals often occur together in groundwater, although iron concentrations tend to be higher than their corresponding manganese levels. High iron content in water is colorless and may not be apparent at first.

Water should not contain more than 0.3 parts per million of iron. Water tainted with high levels of iron can cause skin problems and have negative impacts on your health. In rare cases, small bacteria that feed off iron can be harmful if digested.

Too much iron in the water:

  • Cause yellow, red, or brown stains on dishes, laundry, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Turn tea, coffee, and potatoes black.
  • Iron can lead to a metallic taste in food and drink.

A bad taste from drinking and cooking water is never a good sign. While normal levels of iron in drinking water will not have a negative impact on human health or well-being, excessive amounts can certainly do harm

Having your well water tested on a yearly basis is a first step to making sure your water is within healthy parameters. Spring Rain are the experts that can help you with high levels of Iron or other chemicals in your water with water filtration systems.


Chalky Residue on Your Faucets

It is limescale. Call it water scale, calcium scale or limescale, it is all the same thing. It is the crusty, chalky residue from hard water that clings to faucets, creates lines in bathtubs and streaks in toilets.

There are two types of water hardness, temporary and permanent. Temporary hardness is caused by dissolved calcium hydrogencarbonate, which is removed by boiling. Temporary hardness is the white line inside a tea pot, which can be removed by boiling a half cup of water with a half cup of vinegar and then rinsing thoroughly. Permanent hardness is caused by dissolved calcium sulfate and is not removed by boiling.

Q: How many counties on either side of the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border have hard water?

All of them.

Signs of hard water:

  • Drier skin and a feeling of soap scum on your hands.
  • Pipes clog up more.
  • Spots on glasses.
  • Iron stains in your toilet.
  • Chalky residue around faucets.

Hot-water heaters are the most common place for scale formation in a home water system. This can reduce the life of the product. Other appliances are affected as well including washing machines and dishwashers as they all use hot water which produces scale faster.

Spring Rain can help with hard water issues and solutions. A water softener or scale prep system helps to eliminate the buildup of hard water scale. What you want is a way to have your appliances last as long as possible and enjoy your showers more, as well as enjoying softer skin and healthier hair. All these things can be achieved by talking to the professionals at Spring Rain.

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