Why Water Treatment Makes Sense in Washington and Oregon

I’m combining Washington and Oregon because our experience shows water problems and treatment are very similar between the two. These two states are really special, not only because of the challenging water quality problems they have but also because this is where we started building water treatment systems more than 25 years ago, it’s where we are based.

West or East, Surface or Well

Water quality in Washington and Oregon is as diverse as the geology. The majority of the population lives west of the Cascade mountain range and they get their water from surface reservoirs. Having said that, there is a large number of people who get their water from private or municipal wells. I make this distinction because water quality and need for treatment is quite different based upon where your water comes from. 

Water from surface reservoirs

The majority of people live in the west where it rains quite a lot and there are large surface reservoirs to collect the rain and snow melt. Many who live here get their municipally supplied water from surface reservoirs. They really are some of the luckiest in the country because their water is naturally soft and really quite clean compared to most. Still, water treatment makes sense for these lucky folks for two primary reasons.

Reason 1; The water has low TDS. Low TDS water is aggressive, what do I mean by aggressive? Well, did you know water is commonly described as nature’s solvent? The lower the TDS the more aggressive it is and it will dissolve plumbing pipes, fittings, fixtures and appliances and the distribution system on the way to the home. Tell tale signs you have a problem with aggressive water is seeing blue/green stains in sinks, tubs and showers or the water has a metallic taste.

Reason 2; The second reason is because the added chlorine makes the water taste and smell bad. Did you know that chlorine goes directly through your skin into your body?

Water from wells

While a lot of people in Washington and Oregon get their water from surface water sources there are a lot of private and municipal wells on both the east and west sides of the Cascade mountains. There are a lot of private and municipal wells on both the east and west sides of the Cascade mountains. Well water may be absolutely perfect but it is often very complex from a water treatment standpoint. Well waters can be hard, have lots of iron, be acidic (low pH), be inundated with organics, have copper, have bacterial issues, be ripe with rotten egg odor, have a soda taste, have problematic silica and even be salty.

It is common for well water to have combinations of several of these problems. If the variety of water problems doesn’t blow your mind add in the fact that for many wells the water quality and volume available changes throughout the year making everything more complex.

If your water comes from a private well the only way to know what needs fixing for sure is to have your water tested. Click Here for help getting your water tested

What to do?

If you’re researching water treatment in Washington or Oregon you know what it’s like to live with poor water quality. You are, like most, tired of wasting so much time and money cleaning, you want to feel and look good when you bath, you want your clothes to be bright and white and you want to protect your family, home and appliances. Investing in a good treatment system from a reputable company solves your water related problems, saves you time and money and makes life more enjoyable. 

If you need treatment for aggressive water and/or chlorine taste and odor

Removing chlorine is as simple as filtering through a carbon filter. To correct aggressive water is much more involved and costly unless you use a treatment system with PolyHalt®. To treat both aggressive water and chlorine in one system look into the very popular Cascadian® ICS-TP.

If you need treatment for hard water 

If your water is hard it most likely comes from a well and has some iron and/or manganese. Silica and low pH may also be a problem but it tastes great. The most popular treatment for well water is the Cascadian® ICS-SP.

If your well water smells like rotten eggs

We recommend the Cascadian® ICS-H.

Salt free or salt-based softener?

Search the term “salt free water softener” and you will find many different choices using different chemical and physical processes. Chemical processes have been used in municipal water treatment for decades but recently have been adapted to the residential market. 

Salt-based Ion exchange softeners have also been around for decades and are the most common. They are large, require power and need a waste drain. Compared to salt free softeners they are complicated, expensive, larger, noisy, are high maintenance and even outlawed in entire jurisdictions. 

Softening with PolyHalt® ion bond technology

After building salt-based softeners for over 25 years and salt free PolyHalt® Ion bond softeners for over 9 years the evidence is clear, the advantage goes to softening with PolyHalt®. 

PolyHalt® Ion bond softeners work differently. They do not exchange hard water minerals for salt during the softening process. PolyHalt® bonds to hardness minerals to form a new and stable complex changing potential behaviors. Simply stated, ion bond softening prevents hard water minerals from behaving hard, the result is soft water. It’s really that simple. Click Here to learn more about PolyHalt softeners.

This table compares features and benefits of ion bond and ion exchange softeners.

Tips for finding a salt free water softener

 

  1. Buy your softener from a reputable manufacturer.
  2. Look for independent 3rd party certifications to back up claims being made.
  3. Verify there are clear operating conditions that spell out water quality and flow rate limits. Verify your water quality is within the operating conditions.
  4. Check the manufacturer’s satisfaction policy.
  5. Don’t buy anything before you get clarity on questions. Call the manufacturer if their website doesn’t answer all questions.

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