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Earth Day 2016

Earth Day clean water

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Smart technology has been a growing segment for consumers for some time. Sure, you may have had that smart phone in your pocket for several years now, however there is so much more out there!

From smart cars and solar panels to home security systems and thermostats, smart technology can make life simpler, conserve resources and save you money.

There is one aspect of home technology that has remained virtually unchanged for years and it has to do with a resource we use daily: water. But a new system, W.E.T. will change how you think about your water consumption.

To borrow the words of the Jedi Master Yoda from “Empire Strikes Back”: “You must unlearn what you have learned.” That water softener systems will be nothing more than what they currently are: water-guzzling and salt-using machines that sit in the dark corners of basements.

With W.E.T., Water-Right has developed a smarter, more economical, and environmentally-friendly way for water softeners to work.

The U.S. Geological Survey says 85 percent of homes have hard water (dissolved calcium, metals, or other minerals), according to a 2012 story in the Chicago Tribune.

For those of you who have water softeners, many of those systems are inefficient when it comes to their water use during regeneration. However, Water-Right’s patented W.E.T. (Water Efficient Technology)reduces the amount of water and salt that its softener systems need to clean themselves, compared to others on the market. The long and short of it: W.E.T. learns when homeowners are going to need more water – or less water during a week’s use.

So what does this mean?

When the softener industry touts ‘salt savings’ through ‘high efficient’ systems, all that’s being W.E.T.-Logo-189x300expressed is the amount of salt being saved. However, W.E.T. learns your water usage and tells when to regenerate.

Let’s say, for example, your water softener system uses 1,175 gallons between regeneration. After four days, the household has used 960 gallons and regeneration will begin because there is only 215 gallons (18 percent) of capacity remaining – not enough water to get through the next day’s average water usage.

Our W.E.T. system automatically calculates the amount of salt and water the system needs to complete regeneration, based on the remaining capacity. Therefore, using the W.E.T. system can save an average consumer 18 percent on water and salt per regeneration. That’s on the low end; in some instances, uses can see up to a 50 percent savings in salt alone.

In turn, you conserve energy and keep water, salt (and money) from needlessly going down the drain!

W.E.T. Application

This system can be applied to both well and municipal water sources. However, applying W.E.T. to city water systems has shown the most savings on salt, backwash and rinse waters.

So, on this Earth Day, while your mind might venture towards more traditional ways to do your part in protecting the environment, don’t limit your efforts to environmental clean up or more traditional home efficiency upgrades. Remember that old water softener sitting in your basement and give the experts at Atlantic Blue Water Services a call to find out how you too can get your water W.E.T.!

 

 

Article Originally Written and Published April 7th by WaterCare

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IS HARD WATER RUINING YOUR LAUNDRY?

Hard water ruins laundry

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Water is water and laundry is laundry, right? Put your clothes in the washing machine, dump in some detergent, press a few buttons and everything gets nice and clean.

If only it were that simple. The truth is, the type of water you have in your home can have a huge impact on laundry.

You may be blaming your appliances or the detergent you use, but the problem likely starts outside your home.

Hard water is everywhere. It’s not just something people living in rural areas deal with, municipal water can have hardness as well. It’s an established fact that 85% of the water in the United States is considered hard. That means it contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.

Those dissolved minerals can cause a laundry list (see what we did there?) of problems for your clothes, sheets, and towels. People with hard water may find many of these issues to be quite familiar.

Clothes Aren’t Getting Clean

Soap and detergent simply don’t work as well in hard water. Those dissolved minerals hamper the effectiveness of many cleaning products.

That’s because minerals like calcium and magnesium prevent water from mixing with detergent to form a solution. As a result, soap scum gets left behind. The same white, chalky substance in your sink and shower gets on your laundry. Sometimes, the stuff that sticks to the fabric is referred to as “detergent curd,” which sounds even more disgusting.

The result is dingy looking clothes that don’t feel completely clean after they come out of your dryer. The residue on your clothes will even attract and hold more dirt as you wear them.

Clothes Become Dull or Discolored

The soap scum and mineral residue on your clothes can also negatively affect their appearance. Your favorite outfit could wear out before its time and get ruined because of hard water.

Hard water can cause your dark clothes to fade faster than they should. Blogger Heather Solos, of the site Home-Ec101.com, explained the idea of hard water and fading clothes to one of her readers who’d moved to a new home and suddenly saw a change in her laundry.

Do you find mysterious yellow or reddish brown stains on your clothes after they come out of the wash? That could be hard water’s fault too. You get those stains for the same reason you get similar-looking stains inside porcelain sinks and toilets – iron in the water.

Household water containing a lot of iron may leave those stains on your clothes. It’s even more likely to happen if you use chlorine bleach to wash your whites. That’s because when iron particles combine with bleach, it creates iron-oxide, also known as rust.

Towels and Sheets Feel Hard and Scratchy

Hard water not only ruins the appearance of laundry; it also makes a difference in how it feels against your skin.

We all want those fluffy soft towels and comfy sheets, but you may need to soften the water in your home first. Thanks to hard water, your favorite flannel shirt may not feel as soft as it should either.

Mineral buildup leaves your bath towels feeling stiff. The hard water literally makes them hard.  Not only that – the residue that collects on your towels will make them less absorbent over time.

Skin Irritation

Washing clothes in hard water may lead to irritated skin – especially if you already have sensitive skin or a dermatological condition like eczema.

Carrying around a residue of detergent curd on clothes and bed-sheets that contact your skin could lead to an increase in redness, chafing, and dryness.

That’s why some people with irritated skin try all sorts of lotions, creams, and special soaps, but still can’t find relief. Their skin is constantly in contact with irritating residue!

More Detergent is Needed

When you have hard water, much of the detergent you put in ends up being used to soften the water. That means you’ll need to use more laundry detergent and hotter water to get your clothes clean. But more detergent means more residue, so it’s a vicious cycle.

Detergent usually contains synthetic chemicals that aren’t environmentally friendly. Adding more detergent means you’re contributing more to water pollution.

Using extra laundry detergent also means you’ll need to buy it more often. Plus, using more hot water will affect your utility bills. True, the impact may seem relatively small, but it all adds up over time.

There are special detergents you can buy and water conditioning products you can add to soften water for washing clothes. However, if you do have hard water, your problems extend beyond laundry. That’s why you should consider investing in a water softener for your home.

How a Water Softener Can Help You Have Amazing Laundry

Soft water is ideal for cleaning. And installing a water softener is the most permanent solution to laundry problems from hard water in your home.

Water softeners remove or deactivate the minerals that lead to those annoying, and potentially costly issues. During the water-conditioning process, calcium and magnesium ions are replaced with soft minerals (such as sodium or potassium ions).

Laundry, your home, your skin – everything gets cleaner when you have a water softener.

Interested in finding out more? We offers a variety of water solutions for homeowners like you.

Water Softeners

Originally written and posted by Water-Care on January 21st, 2016water-care

SHOWERING IN HARD WATER – ARE YOU REALLY GETTING CLEAN?

Showering with hard water

showering-in-hard-waterFor many of us, taking a shower is priceless personal time. You’re alone with your thoughts getting ready for the day, winding down from a workout or hectic daily schedule.

You are supposed to get out feeling clean and refreshed. But if you’re showering in hard water, your showering experience could definitely be better.

In fact, when you bathe or shower in hard water, you may not be getting as clean as you should. Here’s why…

How Minerals in Hard Water Keep You from Getting Clean

Dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium are what make the water in your home hard. Those minerals also create an undesirable chemical reaction with your soap, shampoo, and body wash as well as shaving cream.

What happens is the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water react with fatty acids in soap to form insoluble lime soaps, which are ineffective at cleaning.

If you were paying attention during Chemistry class, here’s the chemical equation:

2 C17H35COO−Na+ + Ca2+ → (C17H35COO)2Ca + 2 Na+

In this chemical reaction, positively-charged calcium ions replace sodium ions in your shampoo or soap leaving scum and lime scale deposits on your skin and in your hair.

That’s right.  If you have hard water, the same disgusting soap scum you’re always scrubbing in the tub is on your body too.

The best way to know if you’re dealing with hard water problems in the shower is to look at how well you’re lathering up. Hard water prevents you from getting a nice soapy lather in the shower. When you have soft water, it’s much easier to produce a foamy lather from your soap and shampoo.

After installing a water softener in their home, some people notice their skin feels slick and even slippery after bathing.

Part of this may be due to the fact you aren’t accustomed to how truly-clean skin feels. What you feel might simply be the real you. But you may also be in the habit of using too much soap. You won’t need to use as much with soft water.

How Hard Water Affects Your Hair

Have you ever noticed how your hair can look and feel different when you shower in different places?

Your hair behaves one way after showering at the gym, turns out another way when you’re vacationing or staying in a hotel, and looks completely different when you wash your hair at home.

That’s most likely because the hardness of the water varies from location to location. hard-water-hair

If you have hard water at home, your hair may feel dry all the time and become frizzy m
aking it tangled and difficult to manage. It may also have a dull, lifeless appearance. That’s because those minerals and deposits build up in your hair.

With a water softener in your home, those hard water issues are eliminated. You will find that your hair has a more-attractive shine when you shower in softened water. And soft water will make your hair more manageable, so it’s easier for you to style it the way you want.

Sometimes people with finer hair complain that soft water can make their hair feel flat or even greasy. This is probably because you’re using too much soap and not rinsing it out of the hair completely. Rinsing your hair in the shower for a little longer may solve that problem.

Of all the hard water hair issues, the scariest has to be hair loss. Calcium build up can form around the base of hair follicles causing hair to break off and potentially hindering growth of new hair.

How Hard Water Affects Your Skin

Hard water can give you skin troubles too. Let’s start with the scalp.

The calcium salts that build up in your scalp can cause dryness and flaking, AKA dandruff. hard-water-skin

You might assume it’s the shampoo you buy causing dandruff. But hard water may be the real culprit.

Hard water can make the rest of your skin feel dry and itchy as well. That’s thanks to the soapy residue left on your body, which clogs pores. Plus, the minerals in hard water can suck moisture right out of your skin leaving it even more dry and irritated.

In fact, certain studies indicate hard water may cause additional aggravation in people with skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. According to the dermatology site DermaHarmony.com:

“While hard water itself doesn’t cause dermatitis, it can irritate the condition or even initiate a flare-up. The combination of hard water with a co-existing dermatitis condition can lead to more frequent and severe outbreaks.”

Even washing clothes in hard water can be problematic to those with sensitive skin. Hard water leaves soap residue on your laundry too, and that residue is in contact with your skin all day long. If you have sensitive skin, the soft water a high-quality water softener provides could help you avoid much of the dehydration that occurs.

As the American Cleaning Institute explains, soap’s “effectiveness is reduced when used in hard water.” That means not only will you fail to get clean in the shower, it will be tougher to keep your house clean as well.

With hard water, you’ll end up using more soap to keep your body clean and more product to clean your home too. Softer water could mean you save significant money and time in the long run.

What Can You Do?

If you have a private well, you’re definitely dealing with hard water. But the majority of municipal water sources have levels of hardness as well. According to the USGS, in the United States, 85% of the water is considered hard.

There are certainly little tips and tricks you can use to try and improve your showering experience. However, there’s really only one permanent solution…that’s a water softener.

Water softeners remove those dissolved minerals from the water in your home. They are an investment that will make life for you and your family more convenient and more enjoyable.

Want to learn more about water conditioning options and what kind of water softener would be ideal for your home? Click the link to find out about our products!

Water Softeners

Originally posted and written by Water Care on January 18th, 2016

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HARD WATER – 8 MAJOR SIGNS YOU HAVE PROBLEMS IN YOUR HOME

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You just moved into a new place and you notice something is not quite right. There’s something going on, and you have a sneaking suspicion it might have to do with the tap water.

Hard water problems can be a real hassle, especially for new homeowners who may be unfamiliar with the issues it causes. Solving those problems can vastly improve your family’s quality of life and get things back to normal again.

So What is Hard Water?

We all learned in school that water is H2O – two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom make up a water molecule, right? What many of us don’t realize is that extra stuff can get into the water we drink. Some of it is perfectly safe to consume, while other water contaminants could negatively impact your family’s health. But tap water is certainly not 100% pure H20.

Hard water is basically water containing a high mineral count. Groundwater often percolates through limestone where it picks up calcium and magnesium deposits.

Drinking water can also contain trace minerals like iron, which gets picked up from the soil, lakes and rivers – even older, corroded plumbing. In some regions, hard water may also contain manganese or aluminum.

Of course, things like calcium, magnesium and iron aren’t necessarily bad for you. In fact, they’re actually beneficial nutrients. However, hard water sediments can also carry potentially harmful bacteria along with them. A 2014 study found hard water scaling is directly responsible for bacterial growth in residential drinking water.

If your home gets water from a well, you most likely have hard water. But it’s not just a rural issue. The U.S. Geological Survey says 85% of homes in the nation have hard water.

Here are eight potential problems hard water causes. Do any of them sound familiar?

1. Your Water Tastes or Smells Funnywater-taste-smell

A strange odor or taste to drinking water is often one of the first clues you have a water conditioning problem. It’s a sure-sign there is hard water or some sort of bacterial contaminant.

For instance, if your water has an unpleasant metallic taste. That’s probably too much iron.

If your water smells like rotten eggs, that could be naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas or certain bacteria reacting with magnesium to form sulfates.

Some people say their water tastes like dirt.

That could be sediment (actual dirt), old pipes or algae. Algal blooms can also give tap water a moldy aftertaste.

No one likes to drink water with a funky smell or flavor. But that’s just the beginning of your problems.

2. You’re Getting Strange Stains

Ugly brown or reddish stains on the porcelain are a big embarrassment.

You can blame hard water for that too – specifically iron.stained-toilet

It’s no coincidence those stains look a lot like rust spots. The iron in your water could be coming from rusty pipes.

You’ll have to use a lot of elbow grease to get rid of those stains.

Some people suggest using vinegar to help clean and remove them. Unfortunately, the stains will keep reappearing until you fix your hard water problem.

3. You’re Constantly Cleaning Up Soap Scum

Another unsightly issue is the appearance of those white, hard water spots.soap-scum

That’s what you get when water evaporates and leaves calcium deposits behind.

When you have hard water, you’ll notice nasty soap scum seems to accumulate all over the place. That’s because soap and the minerals in hard water just don’t play nicely together.

If your dishes are always spotty, it may not be your dishwasher, it’s probably your water. What’s worse – soap scum left on shower curtains can lead to the development of a microbial biofilm that might contain disease-spreading bacteria.

With hard water, you may find yourself cleaning the bathroom and kitchen more often and using more cleaning product to get the job done. Who wants to do that?

4. Your Showering Experience SuffersShowerhead

Showering is your time to escape the world for ten minutes to wash the dirt and worries away. But when you have hard water, shower time can be ruined.

As we’ve mentioned, minerals cause hard water to react ineffectively with soap.

This makes it harder to get a good lather when you bathe. It also makes it more difficult to wash all the soap off your body, leaving a film of soapy residue on your skin.

Deposits from hard water can clog up your shower head too. That means weaker water pressure.

With hard water, you may not be getting as clean and you may notice your hair is hard to manage. Yes, hard water could even be responsible for your bad hair days.

5. Your Pipes Keep Getting Clogged

Showerheads aren’t the only things that can get clogged up thanks to hard water.clogged-pipe

It can cause major plumbing issues as well.

Scale deposits build up inside your pipes, like plaque inside an artery, constricting the flow of water, eventually leading to backups and the need to call a plumber for help.

If you have PVC or copper pipes, this probably is not an issue. It’s most-common with older, steel pipes.

6. Your Clothes Aren’t Getting Clean

Hard water can have a negative impact on laundry – and once again – it’s all due to the rocky laundryrelationship minerals like calcium and magnesium have with soap and detergent.

Soap is used to wash away dirt and grime, but when soap doesn’t get rinsed off, it can actually increase soil build up on your clothes.

Clothes washed in hard water often appear dingy and wear out faster. It can even make your towels scratchy and rough.

When you have hard water, you may have to buy detergent formulated to soften the water for you.  However, you’ll likely have to use more laundry detergent (and hotter water) to get your clothes clean. It’s even advised that people with hard water use four times as much detergent.

Plus, just as iron stains your bathroom fixtures, it can stain your clothes. Premature yellowing of your whites could be caused by iron content in the water. When combined with bleach, iron oxidizes, and iron oxide is just another name for rust.

7. Your Family Has Skin Irritation Issues

Because washing in hard water will leave soap behind, it causes people’s skin to get dried out and baby-bathingitchy.

Mineral deposits left on the body can also suck moisture right out of your skin.

The skin condition eczema is fairly common, especially among younger children.

There is research indicating that bathing in hard water could cause eczema symptoms to worsen.

Another study concluded exposure to hard water could increase the risk of developing eczema in elementary-school-age children.

8. Your Appliances Are Wearing Out Quickly

This might be the most expensive hard water problem of all. Those scale deposits can wreak havoc dishwasheron many appliances in your home, from the dishwasher to the hot water heater.

A build up of sediment in your water heater can make it far less efficient. The same goes for other appliances. Poor efficiency means bigger utility bills.

The icemaker in your fridge can stop working as scale deposits clog up valves. The American Water Works Association says hard water can cause a washing machine to wear out 30% faster than normal.

It’s not difficult to see how hard water can cost you money in the long run. In fact, it’s estimated hard water expenses could cost you $800 or more every year.

How Water Conditioning Could Help

There are different solutions to different problems, but there’s only one perfect answer to all your hard water issues. That would be installing a water softener in your home.

Water softeners remove things like calcium, magnesium and iron from your water as it comes in from the source. It’s an investment that could save you headaches as well as money.

There are also other types of water conditioning products, like a reverse osmosis system, which can help eliminate potentially harmful contaminants.

If you’re ready to look into the possibility of a water softener in your home, or if you simply have questions about the options available, we offer free water testing in your home or at our store giving you instant results and an honest recommendation for treatment.

https://www.atlanticbluewaterservices.com/water-treatment/water-softeners/

 

 

Originally posted and written by Water-Care on December 7th, 2015

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