Water Quality Facts
If you start noticing discoloration on surfaces and appliances, it can be a sign of hard water or water impurities. Look for white scale in sinks, showers, bathtubs, and the dishwasher and spotty dishes and cutlery, as well as discolored fabrics that still seem dirty even after coming out of the wash. It’s also harder to lather with hard water, so you might find yourself using a lot more dish soap, laundry detergent, body wash, shampoo, etc. than it seems should be needed.
Almost all water contains tiny traces of minerals, contaminants, impurities, and even microorganisms – but they don’t all necessarily have negative health impacts. That said, regular household water that has been locally treated to meet health and safety standards may still pick up contaminants that you don’t want in your water as the water makes its way from the treatment plant to your home.
Common contaminants in water include, but are not limited to: silt, sediment, minerals, water main buildup, metal particles from corroded pipes, and sediment buildup from your own hot water tank.
It’s sometimes as easy as using your senses – you can often see, taste, smell, and feel contaminated water.
Quality water should be clear and colorless. Any sign of color can indicate contaminants or other impurities. A telling sign of contamination from water mains is previously clear water that has become discolored and/or hot water appearing clear but cold water appearing discolored. You may be having issues with your household plumbing if you find discoloration after not running water for a few hours, or if water appears discolored at first but runs clear after a few minutes.
Safe water should be odorless and taste good! Watch out for rotten-egg, metallic, chemical, and musty or earthy smells and tastes – if it smells or tastes bad, it’s likely contaminated. However, not all contaminants can be detected by our senses alone – contaminates like lead, nitrates and organic compounds are odorless and colorless.
Lastly, if you can smell and taste chlorine, remember that it’s there for safety and disinfection as it travels to your home – though you might want to get rid of it in order to enjoy the taste of your water.
Softened water can save your appliances, keep money in your wallet, and benefit the environment.
Studies show that hard water can lower the efficiency of appliances and shorten their lifespan, meaning you’ll have to replace them sooner. Not only that, but when your appliances don’t run efficiently, you’ll ultimately use more water to get the job done – think running the dishwasher twice or doing another load of laundry because things didn’t come out clean the first time!With softened water, you can lower your water temperatures from hot to cold when doing laundry without having to worry about performance – your garments will come out just as clean, if not cleaner, saving you money on your energy bill while lowering your carbon footprint! This will also extend the life of your clothing.
Additionally, you’ll be able to reduce dish soap and laundry detergent use by half or more with softened water. You’ll also use less shampoo and soap in the shower, and notice smoother, softer skin and hair.
Improving the quality of your drinking and cooking water can benefit your health, encourage you and your family to drink more water, and save you from buying expensive bottled water – a family of four can save up to 3,000 bottles of water a year!
The main difference is that a water softener turns hard water soft, while a water refiner will not only soften hard water, but also filter out other contaminants that affect the taste and odor of drinking water.
A water softener like Pura Soft removes hard minerals like calcium and magnesium from local water by forcing the hard water that comes into your household through a tank full of food grade resin beads where the hard water minerals are removed. The result is softened water that leaves you with smooth skin and soft hair, and prevents scale from building up in your plumbing fixtures and home appliances.
A water refining system like Pura Refine or Pura Refine Max uses ion exchange to remove minerals and high-quality catalytic carbon to remove other contaminants from the water. Similar to a water softener, this system removes magnesium and calcium, while also effectively removing a wider range of contaminants such as chlorine, and sediment. Consider it an all-purpose, clean water system for the entire home that provides you with both softened and great-tasting water.
Point-of-entry (POE) devices are water treatment systems designed to reduce hardness and/or contaminants throughout your entire home for daily use, such as showering or doing laundry and dishes. Examples include water softeners like Pura Soft and water refining and filtration systems like Pura Refine and Pura Refine Max.
Point-of-use (POU) products treat water right before you consume it. This includes gravity devices such as countertop pitchers, inline filters, and reverse osmosis units installed in, on, or underneath sinks, as well as UV technology and distillation systems. Pura Fresh is an example of a POU product.
A carbon filter uses activated carbon to physically block out contaminants, on top of reducing harmful chemicals through absorption. Water is pressure-forced through activated carbon filters to effectively remove contaminants such as chlorine, sediment, rust, heavy metals, and more. Through the carbon filtration process, unpleasant odors and tastes are also removed, leaving your water tasting fresh and pure. Carbon filter systems can be used as a point-of-entry device for your whole home, like Pura Clean, or as a point-of-use device for specific taps.
Reverse osmosis systems (RO systems) act as a final barrier by treating water right before consumption. They are usually installed on, in, or underneath a sink. RO systems work by forcing water through a multi-process filtration component designed to grab particles and contaminants, effectively reducing lead, copper, arsenic, fluoride, and many other chemicals in your water by removing impurities as small as an atom! Pura Fresh uses this technology to provide your home with pure, great-tasting water.
Although both options create fresh-tasting drinking water, the main difference between the two is that reverse osmosis uses many more filtration steps including a reverse osmosis membrane, thus removing a wider range of contaminants (and smaller particles) for purer water.