FAQS

Water, water, everywhere, and all of it in need of filtration! Those filtration needs vary from one house to the next (literally next door neighbors may have very different filtration needs!) and there are a lot of considerations to factor when deciding what will suite your family's needs best. We offer this information to you as you research wide range of water qualities issues and the equipment that you may be considering to correct those issues. We hope you find this area helpful, and of course please call if we can provide further insights! 919-644-6465

Q? What can water testing and analysis tell me about my water?

A. There are all sorts of tests for water quality, depending on what you want to know. A basic water analysis will give you information about iron, pH, hardness, and total dissolved solids. It is important to know these statistics about your water, as unhealthy levels can damage your plumbing and interfere with the effectiveness of the cleaners you use. Comprehensive water testing can be done through kits that we sell, by one of our service technicians, or by a company with a laboratory. A comprehensive analysis will tell you whether or not your water contains potentially harmful contaminants such as bacteria or pesticides.

Q? Who can test my water?

A. Mechanical Solutions, Inc., will conduct a FREE water test. This test is for hardness, pH, iron and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). We can also test for bacteria (call for cost). County Environmental Health Services will test for bacteria and other contaminants for a nominal fee. For your convenience, these phone numbers are listed below:

Orange County:
Durham County: 
Alamance County: 
Wake County: 

919-245-2360
919-560-7800
336-570-6367
919-856-7400

You can order a comprehensive water analysis kit from us HERE, or contact the office if you would prefer a technician to draw the sample.

Q? There are stains in my sinks, bathtub and commodes; can these be eliminated by treating the water?

A. sink1ORANGE STAINING generally indicates iron. Low concentrations can be removed by a water softener. Higher concentrations would require the use of an iron filter, such as a Greensand Filter.

BLUE/GREEN STAINING generally indicates copper leaching caused by low pH water and can be adjusted with an acid neutralizer.

BLACK STAINING generally indicates manganese. Lower concentrations can be resolved by installing a water softener. Higher concentrations require a special filter.

Q? What can I do about WHITE SCALING around my faucets?

A. White scaling is usually the result of hard water (too much calcium) or high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). Installing a water softener can fix the hardness problem. If your TDS is too high, a whole house RO (Reverse Osmosis System) will eliminate this problem.

Q? Should I chlorinate my well if it tests positive for bacteria?

A. Chlorination is an efficient way to eliminate well bacteria one time. It should be performed by a qualified water treatment specialist. Once treated, the well should be tested again after 72 hours. If it tests positive again, that indicates an ongoing problem, and equipment such as a UV light or a Chlorinator should be installed for ongoing elimination of the bacteria.

Q? How does a water softener work?

A. howws3The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium. At this point, they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite. Regeneration involves soaking the beads or zeolite in a stream of sodium ions. Salt is sodium chloride, so the water softener mixes up a very strong brine solution and flushes it through the zeolite or beads (this is why you load up a water softener with salt). The strong brine displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the zeolite or beads and replaces it again with sodium. The remaining brine, plus all of the calcium and magnesium, is flushed out through a drain pipe.

Q? How much sodium is left in my water from a water softener?

A. North Carolina water seldom contains more than five grains of hardness. To remove one grain of hardness, a softener would add 1.15mg/l of sodium per liter of water. Three grains would add 3.45mg/l of sodium per liter of water, and five grains of hardness would add 5.75mg/l of sodium per liter of water.

Q? Should I be concerned about sodium in my water?

A. If sodium intake is a problem for you or your family, please check with your doctor about the content of sodium present in softened water. A Reverse Osmosis unit can be installed under your kitchen sink and plumbed to your ice-maker. This will provide sodium-free water for drinking and cooking.

Q? How do I remove iron from my water?

A. Manganese greensand, birm, pyrolox, airation and oxidation are some of the applications used to move iron from your water.

Q? My water is acidic and corroding my pipes. What can I do about it?

A. blue pipesLow pH or acid water can be remedied with the use of calcium carbonate. This media will adjust the pH so that the water is neutral with a pH value of 7.4. It does this by slowly dissolving in your water, increasing the water hardness. This media must be replaced periodically.

Q? I am concerned about possible contamination of my water supply. Can water treatment equipment eliminate this problem?

A. For whole house continuous disinfecting, an ultraviolet light or a chlorinator may be used for ongoing removal of bacteria.

Q? How does ultraviolet disinfection work?

A. Ultraviolet disinfection systems channel water past submerged lamps that irradiate bacteria. These lethal doses destroy the pathogens in your water. This method is safe and highly effective, and it will not change the taste, color or odor of your water. It simply removes the risk of illness caused by microbial contamination, making your water safe to drink.

Q? How does a chlorinator work to destroy bacteria?

A. An automatic feed pump will provide precise dispensing of free chlorine solution to your water system based on the amount of water used. Free chlorine (.2 to 2ppm) attacks and kills any bacteria in your water system. Use of a chlorinator requires higher maintenance.

Q? How does bacteria get into my water?

A. e-coli20Often, it is not known how bacteria is introduced into your well water. Sometimes, when the house is empty for a period of time, it is present due to stagnation of the water in your well. In other cases, ground water contamination is the culprit. If this is the case, contamination will occur even after chlorination.

Q? What types of bacteria are generally found in well water?

A. Total coliform bacteria is a measurement of the sanitary conditions of a water supply. This includes bacteria that comes from soil, human waste and surface water. E. coli is an abbreviation for Escherichia coli, a strain of bacteria responsible for infant diarrhea and gastroenteritis.

Q? My water smells and tastes funny. How do I get rid of the funny taste and odor?

A. There are numerous contaminants which can cause your water to taste and smell unpleasant. Carbon is generally used to remove taste and odor.

Q? What does ozone generation do, and what is it?

A. Ozone (O3) is one of the strongest oxidizing agents that is readily available. It is used to reduce color, reduce odor and reduce total organic carbon in water.

Ozone is created in a number of different ways, including ultra violet (UV) light, corona discharge of electricity through an oxygen stream (including air), and several others. In treating small quantities of water, the UV ozonators are the most common, while large-scale systems use either corona discharge or other bulk ozone-producing methods.

Ozone is a form of oxygen (O2) that is struck by a source of energy. The bonds that hold the O2 together are broken and three O2 molecules are combined to form two O3 molecules. The ozone begins to break down fairly quickly, and as it does so, it reverts back into O2. The bonds that hold the oxygen atoms together are very weak, which is why ozone acts as a strong oxidant as readily as it does.

Ozone generation systems are available to treat any number of groundwater contaminants. Iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide are the most common of these contaminants. The typical system involves an ozone injection / contacting step, followed by mechanical filtration to remove the precipitated solids. Common complaints, such as undesirable tastes and odors, are readily treated by ozone generation. Ozone is also used for disinfection.

Q? Can I get pure water at home?

A. Reverse osmosis can provide up to 96% pure water. This system uses osmotic pressure through a series of membranes and filters to produce two types of water, waste and product. Product water is typically stored in a 1.6 gallon vessel. Generally, most systems produce up to 50 GPD of pure water and have their own faucet or are connected to the refrigerator.