Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, gas that smells like rotten eggs. It is formed naturally by decaying organic matter and is the smelly component of intestinal gas. It is also emitted by volcanoes and fumaroles. Hydrogen sulfide is used in the petroleum, rubber, and mining industries, and in making sulfur. Chemical formula: H2S. It often results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and some well waters.
Hydrogen sulfide can be removed. Oxygen in the air will react with hydrogen sulfide to form an odorless, dissolved form of sulfur called sulfate.
Hard water contains dissolved calcium, magnesium and in many cases, iron. Most homes have hard water, whether it is supplied by a private well or a municipality. In many cases, homeowners don’t realize they have hard water or the constant and expensive harm it causes.
Dry skin and hair, bathtub ring, spots on glass, silverware and fixtures, dull, dingy clothing, disappointing performance and a shortened life expectancy of water-using appliances are all problems frequently caused by hard water.
Hard water can be managed with the use of a water softner.
IRON AND MANGANESE STAINING
Water is a natural solvent and given the needed time and conditions, it will dissolve anything it comes in contact with. That’s why, depending on where you live, your water can contain iron or manganese which can cause rusty-orange or black staining. You’ll see the stains on clothes, fixtures, sinks, tubs, water-using appliances and toilets.
Iron and manganese can be removed. Dissolved iron and manganese are easily oxidized to a solid form by mixing with air. A pressure aerator mixes air with the water, the air is vented, and then the solid particles are filtered from the water. The most common way to remove iron and manganese is through the use of an Iron Guardian.
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. It ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than a pH of 6. The same holds true for pH values above 7, each of which is ten times more alkaline—another way to say basic—than the next lower whole value. For example, a pH of 10 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 9.
Pure water is neutral, with a pH of 7.0. When chemicals are mixed with water, the mixture can become either acidic or basic. Vinegar and lemon juice are acidic substances, while laundry detergents and ammonia are basic.
Tannins are a natural organic material that can be the byproducts of nature’s fermentation process, be created as water passes through peaty soil and decaying vegetation. This can cause water to have a faint yellow to tea-like color, and can cause yellow staining on fabrics, fixtures, china and laundry.
Tannins may give a tangy or tart aftertaste to water. They may also cause water to have a musty or earthy odor.
Tannins are more common in surface water supplies and shallow wells than in deep wells. Water in marshy, low-lying, or coastal areas is also more susceptible to tannins.
Tannins can be removed through the use of a chlorination system.