It’s easy for homeowners to confuse water treatment and water filtration. Water treatment really just means that we are changing what’s in the water. Water softening is one kind of water treatment, which is used when you’re trying to remove the calcium in your water (hard water). Typically, if you remove something from the water, you have to put something back into it. (That’s just how the chemistry of water works.) Water softeners remove the calcium from the water and put back a very minute amount of sodium. Then the unit performs a backwash cycle where it cleans itself and gets rid of the calcium.
In general, water treatment involves removing something that you cannot see in the water. You might instead be able to smell it, taste it, or see the filmy residue or stain it leaves behind. On the exact opposite side of the spectrum is water filtration, which simply involves taking out the things that you can usually see. It uses a filter to remove visible particles like sand or grit from the water. Filtration can also remove particles that you may not be able to see because they are too small.
Water treatment can remove calcium (hard water), iron which causes staining, or low pH where we will add calcium to the water to balance the pH. We may use a UV light to remove bacteria or any type of ozone or chlorine. All those different water treatment products are either adding or taking away things from the water, whereas filtration is just removing particles with a filter or cartridge.
The kind of water your home has will determine if you need water treatment and/or water filtration. Some homes with very problematic well water will need both. Most of the time, community or municipal systems will only need treatment (not filtration). It’s best to have your water tested to find out for sure.
Contact us online or give us a call at 540-483-9382 for a free in-home water test to see if there is hardness, iron, magnesium, low pH, or high pH. We can also test for other things like nitrates, chloroform, or E. coli by sending a water sample off to a lab for third-party testing. We do that for a very nominal fee of $21.95.