Q: How does a water softener work?
A: A water softener device uses ion exchange to reduce the hardness by replacing magnesium and calcium (Mg2+ and Ca2+) with sodium or potassium ions (Na+ and K+). Ion exchange resins are organic polymers containing anionic functional groups to which the di-cations (Ca++). Regeneration of ion exchange resins takes place when most of the Na+ (or K ) ions have been replaced by calcium or magnesium ions, the resin must be refreshed by purging the Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions using a solution of sodium chloride or potassium chloride.

Q: What about water testing?
A: Every month your local health department receives hundreds of requests for advice about drinking water safety. Many people want to do the right thing and make sure that their water is safe. Testing is the first and most important step for any home or business owner concerned about water quality- Especially for those using well water.

Q: What water tests are available?
A: A water specialist will be happy to come to your home or business to conduct a basic water test and plumbing audit FREE of charge. If more advanced testing is required many additional tests can be obtained for a nominal charge. These include, but are not limited to: coliform bacteria, arsenic, lead, fluoride, nitrates, radon, and uranium.

Q: What drinking water problems can occur?
A: As development in our society increases, there are growing numbers of threats that could contaminate drinking water. Suburban growth encroaches upon once pristine watersheds, bringing with it all of the by-products of our modern life style. Actual events of drinking water contamination occur infrequently, and typically not at levels posing near-term health concern. Nonetheless, with the threats of such events increasing, we cannot take drinking water safety for granted. Greater vigilance by you, your water supplier, and your government is vital to ensure that such events do not occur in your water supply.

Q: Where does my water come from?
A: Drinking water comes from surface water and ground water. Large-scale water supply systems tend to rely on surface water resources, and smaller water systems tend to use ground water. Including the approximately 23 million Americans who use ground water as a private drinking water source, slightly more than half of the population receives its drinking water from ground water sources. Surface water includes rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Ground water is pumped from wells that are drilled into aquifers which are geologic formations that contain water. The quantity of water in an aquifer and the water produced by a well depend on the nature of the rock, sand, or soil in the aquifer where the well withdraws water. Drinking water wells may be shallow (50 feet or less) or deep (more than 1,000 feet). Your water utility or your public works department can tell you the source of your public
drinking water supply.

Q: How does the city treat my water to make it safe?
A: Water suppliers use a variety of treatment processes to remove contaminants from drinking water. These individual processes may be arranged into a “treatment train” to remove undesirable contaminants from the water. The most commonly used processes include filtration, flocculation and sedimentation, and disinfection. Some treatment trains also include ion exchange and adsorption. A typical water treatment plant would have only the combination of processes needed to treat the contaminants in the source water used by the facility.

Q: How do I sanitize my well that has been impacted by flood waters?
A: Since the recent floods in Colorado the biological safety of those with wells were in question. One of the first step to consider after the flood levels have receded is to disinfect the well with a step by step chlorination if your well is suspect.

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