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- By James Wisler
- Water Treatment
One of the things that immediately comes to mind when people think of water softeners is salt usage. There are many different products out there that claim to be saltless conditioners, but no such thing currently exists. We like to use something called proportional brining, and our brand of choice is Evolve. Proportional brining measures the amount of water being used in a home and determines the ideal amount of salt needed to clean the unit. While you won’t be able to completely eliminate salt use, it can definitely be minimized to be as efficient as possible. Some units that use proportional brining use as few as six bags of salt per year. This adds up to large savings over the lifetime of the unit.
Another cutting edge technology involves air systems. Air is an oxidizer, so older technology involved air injectors installed in lines to suck air into the piping. The air would pass by the iron, causing oxidation. The iron would become very sticky and clingy as a result, stopping up the piping from the point air entered the pipe all the way to where the iron was being removed. With new oxidizing air systems, air is held right above the actual media that removes the iron. The water falls like rain through the air, oxidizing it, and it then immediately hits the media. This newer system eliminates stopped up pipes or fittings. They are way easier to maintain than the older systems, which were often a nightmare.
Municipal Water Units
With municipal water, the two things that are being treated for are hardness and chlorine. With older technology, we had to install two separate units to accomplish each of these jobs. Hardness would be treated through a resin-type system while chlorine would be done through carbon filters (similar to Brita pitchers or refrigerator water filters). Newer technology allows a single unit with resin at the bottom and carbon at the top, separated by something called a mid-plate (which is patented technology from Evolve). Combining two units into one ultimately reduces the amount of water and salt being used. The result is a very environmentally friendly, efficient unit that requires less maintenance.
Well Water Units
We have a unit that is primarily used with well water. There are often nuisance bacteria in well water that aren’t harmful, but merely odorous. That bacteria can accumulate in a filtration system over time, causing water that passes through it to pick up the smell. The unit that is intended for well water has a built-in sanitizer. It takes the brine (salt water) and applies current to it to produce chlorine gas that sanitizes the unit. This gets rid of any nuisance bacteria along with accompanying odor. Because chlorine is a chemical that breaks down resin such as plastic, any plastic materials in the system would eventually be broken down into mush. That’s why this unit uses Crystal-Right Media (patented media from Evolve), which is a mineral that doesn’t break down when exposed to chlorine. This technology allows the unit to work reliably for many years.