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Common Water Issues

If you own a home or building on Long Island, chances are you have encountered acidic, hard, and/or contaminated water. These problems are commonly found in well water systems, but certain issues are still seen even in treated public water supplies. Representing over 25 years of experience, Mermaid Water Systems is prepared to help solve any of your water issues.

Click on a Common Water Issue below to jump down and learn:

ACIDIC WATER

HARD WATER

STAINING WATER

WELL WATER

TASTE & ODOR

CONTAMINANTS

DRINKING WATER

CITY WATER

ACIDIC WATER

Most ground water on Long Island has a pH well below 7.0 (neutral). While acidic water is not harmful to the body, it is very corrosive to metals, including copper plumbing and fixtures. If you’ve ever seen green or blue staining on your sinks and bathtubs, this is due to the greenish color that copper turns when it is oxidized (ever seen the Statue of Liberty?) This corrosion will eventually cause premature failure of plumbing systems, hot water heaters, and other water fixtures; all of which call for costly repairs.

pinhole elbow

See our Whole-House Filter page to learn more about Acid Neutralizers.

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HARD WATER

According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, 85% of the United States has hard water, and much of Long Island is not in the remainder. Hard water is caused by excessive amounts of calcium and/or magnesium. Hard water, like acidic water, is not harmful to the body but it presents a slew of other problems. The most common problem caused by hard water is hard water scale. In time the minerals in hard water will settle, forming a hard scale surface which will collect and eventually clog pipes, faucets, toilets, and other water fixtures. This scale frequently forms on the heating elements and heat transfer surfaces in hot water heaters, greatly reducing their efficiency. Laundering and cleaning are made difficult as a result of “soap curd,” which is a sticky film formed when soap is used in hard water. Fabrics also wear out and fade more quickly when washed in hard water, and the soap curd can leave cloudy blotches and spots on glassware.

hardpipe

See our Whole-House Filter page to learn more about Automatic Water Softeners.

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STAINING WATER

Got stains? Pick a color, any color…

GREEN/BLUE stains on porcelain sinks and a similarly colored cast to the water itself is a result of the corrosion of your copper plumbing. This corrosion is caused by acidic water; see the section for more info.

RED/BROWN stains on sinks, toilets, and clothes? These stains are due to iron, which enters our water supply naturally as it dissolves from the earth’s crust. Iron is not necessarily harmful to the body but the U.S. EPA does set a potable water standard level for iron which may be exceeded if you are noticing stains. “Iron bacteria,” which use iron to survive, form jelly-like growths that can clog pips and cause bad tastes and odors. Properly diagnosing and treating your iron problems would require a FREE On-Site Evaluation, click to set one up today!

BLACK stains on fixtures and laundry are due to manganese. Manganese, like iron, naturally dissolves from the earth’s crust and enters the water table. In fact manganese is found in conjunction with iron in most cases. Much like iron, the EPA sets a potable standard on manganese, and yes there are “Manganese bacteria” as well. Click here to set up a FREE On-Site Evaluation to assess your manganese problem!

YELLOW staining on fabrics, fixtures, china, or a yellowish cast to the water is a result of tannins. Tannins are harmless organic compounds which are normally found in surface water supplies and shallow wells. Click here to set up a FREE On-Site Evaluation to assess your tannin problem!

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WATER CONTAMINANTS

If you live in an agricultural or industrial area, there is a chance your ground water could contain some chemical contaminants. In many cases these contaminants cannot be detected by staining, taste, or odor. Some impurities occur naturally but some common contaminants in agricultural areas are nitrates and/or Temik (aldicarb). Nitrates enter the aquifer as organic matter, such as leaves, is decomposed. Temik is a potato pesticide that is no longer used as its negative effects have been assessed, some areas near farms still contain trace amounts of Temik in the groundwater. MTBE is a gasoline additive which has been found in the groundwater in areas surrounding former fuel station sites. These contaminants can only be detected through a laboratory test. If you suspect your water contains any contaminants you may want to contact our water testing division, Harry Goldman Water Testing, to discuss your concerns.

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WATER TASTE & ODOR

Does your water smell like rotten eggs? We can help! That odor is a result of a sulfur presence in your groundwater and is actually a very common occurrence. Have you noticed that the odor is only present when you first run the water? It is because sulfur is known as a volatile substance, which means it wants to be a gas, rather than trapped as a liquid in water. So, when you open your faucet, the sulfur immediately escapes from the water in gaseous form, causing the offensive odor.

See our Whole-House Filter page to learn more about our Air Pump Systems!

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DRINKING WATER ISSUES

When it comes to the water we drink, it makes sense to be concerned with its purity. The purity of water is measured in terms of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which accounts for the total amount of dissolved substances in the water. This basically means everything in the water that isn’t water. The TDS of groundwater and bottled water varies significantly. For example, a mineral water such as Evian has a TDS of about 309ppm, whereas spring-drawn water like Deer Park has a TDS of 90ppm. With Reverse Osmosis filtration, we can bring your water down below 15ppm. So stop wasting money and filling landfills with bottled water, and starting enjoying better-than-bottled™ water!

dirty landfill

See our Drinking Water Systems page to learn more about Reverse Osmosis filtration!

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WELL WATER ISSUES

Groundwater differs drastically throughout the water table. You could drill your well into an iron pocket and experience tremendous staining, then re-drill and move the well 50 feet away and find no traces of iron. The only issue that is fairly consistent across Long Island is the pH level; almost all of Long Island’s groundwater is acidic. Other problems may arise in agricultural or industrial areas, where traces of chemical contaminants may be present in the groundwater.

To learn about options for comprehensive water tests, see our sister company, Harry Goldman Water Testing.

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MUNICIPAL WATER ISSUES

Although city water has reached its way across much of Long Island, many people are still concerned with the quality of its town’s water supply. An important thing to remember is that Long Island’s municipal water supplies are still drawn from wells. This groundwater is then neutralized and treated using chlorine to sanitize and distribute. Thus many people find city water to resemble pool water in odor and taste. This chlorine can be removed easily through whole-house Carbon Filtration. Although town water is also routinely tested, trace levels of nitrates are frequently present and thus the drinking of town water is not recommended for infants. The only approved method of removing nitrates is through Reverse Osmosis filtration.

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MORE INFORMATION

Some of this information has been provided by the Water Quality Association, see their site to learn even more.