Why is my water worse after treatment?

So you’ve done your homework;

  • You’ve identified your water quality problem(s)
  • You’ve researched and found the perfect treatment. It is designed to address all your water problems, fits your budget and is not restricted by any governmental authority
  • You’ve identified the perfect location and a trusted, experienced installer


Finally, the day comes and the system is installed. With great anticipation you turn on the tap and just as imagined, your water is perfect, it looks, tastes and smells great. All your homework and hard work has paid off, you’re happy as can be, in fact; life is good! This would be a perfect scenario and is often indicative of how things actually go. Unfortunately, under the right circumstances even the best scenario takes a temporary deviation.

More to consider;

As it happens there is more to consider. Let me explain; when you started looking for treatment it was because your water was of poor quality. Over time, poor quality water can and does do all kinds of things within your plumbing system. It leaves deposits that build up within your plumbing, including hot water tanks and these deposits include any and all the contaminants it carries. The more untreated water that has gone through your plumbing the more there will be deposited and left inside and that’s just the way it is.

When you have a properly chosen water treatment system installed the treated water has different properties than the raw water, and this is what we expect. Given the right circumstances your treated water will go from fantastic after installing new treatment to worse than before the treatment was installed. This problem is more common than one might think. Though every customer should be made aware of this fact, often they are not.  If this is not explained to you and you aren’t made aware this happens and is quite normal you might question why treatment can work immediately and then seemingly stop working, making your water worse than before treatment and that is a good question.

Why does water get worse after treatment?

Let me explain: Keeping in mind water is nature’s solvent, simply stated here is what you are witnessing: With its new properties the treated water is dissolving contaminants deposited by the untreated water. It’s these newly dissolved contaminants that are causing your water to be as bad or even worse than before your new treatment system was installed. This situation is a fact of water treatment; it has nothing to do with a particular type or brand of water treatment.

You can verify the problem is a result of the treatment cleaning the plumbing by testing the water at three points and comparing the results.

Test the water;

  1. Before treatment
  2. Immediately after treatment and
  3. At a tap downstream where you are seeing the problem
  4. You should see the water after treatment is better than both the untreated water and the water at the tap.


A few bits of relevant information;

  • The problem is better or worse depending upon;
    • the nature of the deposits within the plumbing and
    • the amount of water that has passed through the plumbing.
  • If you have a new home you will not experience this potential problem because not enough time or volume of water has passed through the plumbing to deposit a substantial amount of contaminants
  • The problem may show up right away but, usually not until there has been enough time and volume of new treated water through the plumbing to soften, dissolve and remove contaminants from the plumbing.
  • The problem will go away as the plumbing is cleaned with time and water use.
  • Hot water tanks can have lots of contaminants in them. They may need to be drained and flushed one or more times to speed up the cleaning process.

If you find yourself in this situation perhaps the greatest advice I can give you is to be patient. Drain your hot water tank if needed and let the process happen. Your water will get better and you will be glad you made the investment.

“Life’s Short – Enjoy Your Water”

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