residential water treatment

DEP Lead Copper Rules for Water

The Pennsylvania DEP Lead & Copper Rules for Water

The Lead and Copper Rule was created to protect public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (Cu) levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity. Pb and Cu enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of Pb and Cu containing plumbing materials. The rule establishes an action level (AL) of 0.015 mg/L for lead and 1.3 mg/L for copper based on the 90th percentile level of tap water samples.

natural water substances

Naturally Occurring Substances in Drinking Water

The quality of drinking water has improved in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas over the years as better water systems are put in place.  However, there are still chemicals and microorganisms that occur naturally that pose a health risk.

Arsenic – Arsenic occurs naturally in the earth's crust. Arsenic in drinking water comes from water traveling through natural rock formations. The water can dissolve arsenic and carry it into underground aquifers, streams, or rivers that may become drinking water supplies.

Long-term exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic in drinking water is known to cause health problems including:

  • Cancer
  • Thickening and discoloration of the skin
  • Issues with blood vessels, high blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Nerve issues including numbness and/or pain.

Nitrate – Nitrate is a form of nitrogen that occurs naturally in the environment as well as introduced from human and animal sources. This is the nutrient most often used for lawn and garden care and crop production to increase productivity. Sources including feedlots, animal enclosures, septic systems, and waste treatment systems are additional sources of nitrogen that are carried in waste. It occurs naturally in the soil in organic matter from decaying plant and animal residues.  It is highly soluble and easily moves with water through layers of soil. Unless tested for, nitrate in water is undetectable as it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  

While research has been limited, due to the complexity and cost of this type of research, studies have shown a relationship with long-term ingestion of elevated nitrate.

  • Increased incidence of certain cancers
  • Increased birth defects.
  • Private drinking water should be tested annually to monitor changes in nitrate concentration as pregnant women, children, the elderly are found to be the populations most susceptible to nitrate health effects.

Microorganisms – Many bacteria can be found in drinking water; coliform bacteria are one of the most common water contamination problems in private water systems in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. Coliform, E. Coli is found in about 15% of private wells.

Either because of poor construction or poor maintenance for septic systems, homeowners can be the cause of contamination of their own wells. When a well is placed too close to a septic system or a septic system is placed where it can drain into a waterway or groundwater, problems can arise.

There is no maximum acceptable concentration of Coliform or E. Coli in drinking water.  If any is detected, you cannot drink the water. This is another contaminate with has no taste and must be tested for.

While most coliform bacteria are not harmful, E coli can make you sick with the following symptoms: (Those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe effects)

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

The professionals at Spring Rain can help and advise you on the best filtration systems to reduce and remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water.

Chemicals in water

5 Chemicals Commonly Found in Drinking Water

Everyone loves cold water pouring out of their faucets on a hot summer day, as well as hot water flowing out of the showerhead.  What is coming out of that faucet, though can be concerning?  There is any number of less than healthy man-made chemicals that can reduce the pleasure of freshwater.

Pharmaceuticals: Prescription drugs can get into the water supply when people choose to flush unused medications down the toilet or sink.   

Vinyl chloride: This is a cancer-causing material used in making PVC plastic products, as some pipes.  It can leach from older PVC piping and it has been found in the drinking water of some communities.

Chemical additives to water: Not all chemicals in water are monitored or regulated, like the common perchlorate and PFOA/PFOS which are chemical cousins of Teflon. These chemicals are found in many of Americans’ tapwater supplies. There has been a push to get PFOA/PFOS regulated in New Jersey.

Lead: Lead is a heavy metal that leaches from lead pipes and plumbing fixtures, as when the water flowing through them is corrosive; water with a pH value below 7.0 is considered acidic.  Lead can cause neurological and behavioral problems in children and adverse health effects in adults.  While more often an issue in towns and cities with older systems, what is often forgotten is that new brass features and faucets can still have a high amount of lead.

Nitrates: These are a widespread contaminant also known as fertilizer. Runoff from farms or factory farms can go into both surface and groundwater and wind up in drinking water.  The EPA (EPA.GOV) set a limit of 10 parts per million for nitrates, which can be harmful to pregnant women and infants.

Getting your water tested yearly can keep you on top of the quality of your water.  From historic Jim Thorpe to Stroudsburg keeping your water fresh, refreshing, and free of additives, Spring Rain can help you decide which filtrations system is best for you! Call them today!

Contaminated Water

Contaminants in Your Drinking Water

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Water is a moving target, depending on the water's intended or designated uses. For a water quality problem to exist, the water must be impaired for one or more uses, such as the fresh drinking water supply, fishing, recreation, wildlife habitat, livestock, or irrigation. Whether you live in towns like Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg, or Tannersville there is a concern for your drinking water. Living in the Poconos, the water is used for many purposes, including fishing, irrigation for fields, livestock, recreational pursuits, and of course the water that flows from your faucets.

Fertilizers and pesticides can impinge (negatively affect) drinking water as a result of either being use too close to private wells as well as affecting the groundwater.

Pesticides can get into groundwater by:

  • Running off into surface water
  • Leaching through the soil
  • Falling into improperly built wells.

If you have a farm or large garden, make sure that no fertilizer or pesticides are released near any body of water including lakes as pesticides in bodies of water can kill fish. Fertilizers that seep into the groundwater which moves downhill just like surface water can contaminate a well in its path.  At issue is that while you know what is occurring on your property, do you know what the surrounding neighbors do on theirs.

It isn’t that fertilizer will reach down into your well to seep into the water, the bigger concern is if the good casings are compromised, and it would allow fertilizer to seep in. Fertilizer that gets into the water can contaminate water with an overabundance of phosphates and nitrates, which make it unsafe for consumption. Fertilizers can seep into waterways or groundwater and can then affect the water used by towns.

The great part about living in the Poconos is the same thing that risks its water supply, most people want to make it a better experience and so explore more.

Ideally, sprayed pesticides will fall directly on the plant, but the soil is the second-best landing place. When pesticides land on the soil, microbes and chemical reactions can break them down.  The best place for both pesticides and fertilizer is where it was meant to be placed, on plants.  For owners of private wells, there is no oversight, and it is up to the private well owner to ensure the well water is safe.

While public drinking water systems use often specific pesticides like chlorine to kill bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, there are point-of-use devices like charcoal filters and reverse-osmosis treatments that are used to remove or minimize pesticides in drinking water.

Let the experts at Spring Rain help you with the best options at filtering your drinking water to protect it and your family.

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 ( 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.

hard water times

Hard (Water) Times in Quakertown, PA

On a warm summer day, the idea of getting a refreshing glass of water from the faucet is amazing! If that faucet happens to be in Quakertown water supply system, you may want to think twice. In addition to having some of the hardest water in the region, Quakertown’s public water reports have shown some concerning contaminants throughout the years.

Quakertown’s Water System

In Quakertown is delivered from a network of eleven operating wells. These wells are in and around town and are part of a geologic formation known as the Brunswick formation. In the last few years news reports have emerged that some chemicals like arsenic and Pefluorononanoic acid, or PFNA, are present in uncomfortable levels, but at levels considered acceptable by local government. In fact, many concertning contaminants are unregulated altogether.

However, what the Quakertown Borough Water Department considers ‘acceptable’ and what is acceptable for your family may differ.


Water Hardness in Quakertown

Having served the Quakertown area for many years, we have observed some of the hardest water we have ever seen. If you buy property in Quakertown and don’t immediately implement a water softening or filtering system, you will find etches on your water glasses and problems with your pipes and water-utilizing appliances – especially hot water appliances such as water heaters, boilers, washing machines, dishwashers and even coffee pots. These appliances will fail and struggle often.

While water softeners are a good idea in 85% of all American homes, we believe that water softeners are 100% essential for residents of the Quakertown area. However, water softeners are not filtration systems. They use ionization to soften the water, but do not take contaminants out of the water. If you are concerned about contaminants, you will want to look at a Reverse Osmosis System.


Contaminants in Quakertown

Perfluorononanoic acid, or PFNA

This contaminant is a cousin to fluorine-based chemicals that have led to major drinking water contamination near Bucks and Montgomery County. A few of the wells in Quakertown have been found to have PFNA, which is considered an unregulated substance in Pennsylvania.

Last year New Jersey became the first state in the country to regulate the chemical, setting a limit of 13 ppt because animal studies suggest this chemical, while not carcinogenic, may lead to potential liver damage, increased liver weight, developmental delays, immunotoxicity issues, and male reproductive complications.

PFNA builds up in the blood from small concentrations in drinking water and is difficult for the body to excrete, and can remain in a person’s body for many years after exposure, increasing the risk of developing one of the harmful health effects.

As part of a regular program that searched for unregulated substances, from 2013 to 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency tested thousands of water supplies across the country for PFNA and other chemicals. The program included a sampling of the 11 groundwater wells the Quakertown Borough Water Department uses to provide drinking water for 12,800 residents.

PFNA was found in the borough’s Well 13, located near Krupp Park on the former land of the Krupp Foundry. Two tests there found PFNA at 35 and 32 parts per trillion (ppt). Again, PFNA is not regulated in drinking water by the EPA or its state equivalent, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.


Arsenic Levels in Quakertown, PA

The most recent Arsenic levels tests place Arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb) at 11ppb, they would be in violation. Be sure to keep an eye on your local water quality reports, as it is not unheard of for that level to exceed the allowable level, and for the well to remain open when in violation. The last time Arsenic levels exceeded allowable levels was in 2006 in Quakertown at the public water well near S. Main. Officials at the time said that this violation did not pose an immediate public health threat. However, it is important to note that arsenic is believed to cause certain types of cancer and other ailments after prolonged exposure. 

Arsenic is an odorless, tasteless element that is a naturally occurring. It is found in water, air, food, and soil. It is linked to several types of cancer including bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, and prostate. Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form. Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water can cause skin lesions as well as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Overcoming Water Contamination

Reverse Osmosis Whole-House, or Location Specific Water Filtration Systems

Spring Rain Inc, can take your worries over water quality away, leaving you and your family with healthy, refreshing water through the system of reverse osmosis. RO systems use a series of filters that pre-treat your water and then filter that water through a permeable membrane. The pore size of a reverse osmosis filter is 1000 times smaller than the standard filter size of the leading competition, which is 1 micron. These units can be installed in a variety of locations. Many choose to filter just their sink/drinking water while others prefer a whole-home solution. Learn where you can place an RO system here.


Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System

• Clear and fresh water with no odors.

• Absorption of toxic substances inside the filter system, including sulfates, arsenic, aluminum, parasites, and viruses.

• Chemical-free water that contains very few dissolved solids and is a cut above many filters.

• Elimination of hard water stains or mineral deposits on showers, tubs, and sinks. 

reverse osmosis

DID YOU KNOW? While RO systems used to require 4 gallons to create 1 gallon of clean water, we now offer a 1:1 system!

where to put a reverse osmosis system

Where to Put a Reverse Osmosis System

You're ready for clean water, but let’s talk about where a reverse osmosis system (ROS) should be installed to get the biggest benefit for you and your family for fresh clean water.

Under the sink:

  • This is the most common place for a Reverse Osmosis System (ROS)
  • Either the kitchen sink or bathroom sink
  • Connecting an under the kitchen sink ROS to your refrigerator will allow ice cubes to be clear

Whole House Reverse Osmosis for Homes with a Well

  • If you get your drinking water from a private well, then a ROS is an excellent way to ensure that the water flowing to your tap is safe
  • A reverse osmosis system is a perfect way to remove difficult contaminants often found in well water, like nitrates

For the Main Water Supply for Homes With City Water

  • City Water is treated before it reaches your home - but some cities do better than others, and many contaminants are completely unregulated, despite being linked to a variety of health concerns. All towns are required to post their water quality reports online. Peruse your town or city's water reports to decide if a whole house reverse osmosis system would be best for your family.
  • A reverse osmosis system is a perfect way to remove difficult contaminants often found in well water, like nitrates
ros main water

For a Saltwater Aquarium:

  • Reverse osmosis allows you to strip all minerals from the water and add the amount of salt you need back in with a remineralizing filter
  • Most aquarists rely on a combination of reverse osmosis and deionization (known as RO/DI water) to ensure their fish are immersed in highly pure water to match the fish’s natural environment

For your greenhouse:

  • Where plants are misted or in small gardens, depending on the types of plants
  • When doing hydroponic farming which eliminates soil, and instead nurtures fruits and flowers with only nutrient-rich water, high-quality water is of utmost importance to hydroponic success.

In RVs:

RO systems require draining which makes it a bit tricky as drain hookups aren’t located at campsites. A ROS can though be very helpful when your RV adventuring takes you out into the wilderness. Think of times you have gone camping or RVing and had to get water from a stream or river. The ROS can remove harmful bacteria among other things.


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