Water Treatment

Two factors define water treatment options: the water source and personal preferences. The water source determines the types of water quality issues that can arise, and that is largely out of your control. However, the decision to have high-quality, treated water from every tap is entirely up to you.

Urban Centre Water Issues

Municipal WaterIn major population centers of the developed world, the most familiar piece of water treatment equipment is usually a water softener, which works by employing the principle of ion exchange (exchange of calcium and magnesium dissolved ions with sodium or potassium ions).

The removal of dissolved calcium and magnesium is not an economically viable proposition for municipalities. So, the all too familiar “hardness,” which results in clogged shower heads, excessive detergent use, and damaged water heaters, becomes the homeowner’s problem.

Rural Area Water Issues

For those living where the water source is typically a drilled well or a lake, there are a number of other issues that require the application of various point-of-entry options. Some of the issues (in addition to hardness) affecting these water supplies are:

  • Turbidity: cloudy, visually unappealing water
  • Iron and iron bacteria: bad taste, staining, and possible gelatinous growth
  • Sulphur: “rotten egg” odor associated with sulphur-reducing bacteria
  • Microbial contamination: including fecal coliforms, E.coli and parasitic cysts


Water Treatment Systems

Point-of-entry (POE) is the term commonly used to define any water treatment system or combination of systems designed to address water quality issues at the point where water enters a building, prior to distribution to the water heater, kitchen, and washrooms. In contrast, point-of-use (POU) systems are designed to be installed under the sink or directly on a faucet to treat the water at that specific location.

The best system for any application is usually determined by a combination of a comprehensive water test and an understanding of consumer expectations. Equipment used in a complete POE system can range from a simple hardware store-purchased sediment filter to a suite of products that perform complementary tasks designed to provide aesthetically pleasing, palatable, and treated drinking water.