In North Florida 95% of the time there is iron or minerals in your water whether it be your private well or city water. When they are present this is called “hard” water. City water is from deep wells and the water is aerated to remove the sulfur gas (rotten egg smell). City water is also chlorinated to remove any and all bacteria from wells or transmission lines. Besides “hard” water some private drinking water wells produce sulfur, iron stain (water that stains sinks orange or brown) and iron bacteria (IB). Iron bacteria is a growth in the water which will not harm you to drink, but can cause major problems with water conditioners or house plumbing.
The water treatments used to remove sulfur, minerals, iron and bacteria vary widely. Having been in business since 1948, we have come up with treatment solutions that we recommend that are “simple, efficient and in most cases are a lot less expensive” than other water treatment companies. Most all the $900 plus installed units below come in an automatic or manual version. An overview of the different units and systems is below.
Sulfur Water: The sulfur gases in the water always have to be removed before any other treatment equipment can be installed. If not it can damage that equipment. Sulfur can be removed in only one of two man made ways – either aerate or chlorinate. Aerating is much less costly to install and maintain than chlorination systems. A standard 250 gallon fiberglass aerator installed outside is simple. In most all cases it requires an additional pump and tank. Average installation (with a pump & tank) runs $1,600 to $2,200. There are new inside aerator systems on the market that inject air in the water and require no additional pump and tank. They work in about 60% to 70% of the cases depending on sulfur content and usage. The average cost installed is $1,200. The average cost of operation and maintenance for either unit per year is $130.
Iron Bacteria: This is a non-harmful organisms found in 10% of old or new wells. Left untreated it will damage water conditioners, filters and plumbing pipes. If you want to know if you have Iron Bacteria take the lid off one of your toilet tanks. If the inside walls are slimy – you’ve got it. Iron Bacteria has to be removed before any other water treatment equipment is installed. The only way to remove Iron Bacteria is to install a CIRS. This is a chlorine injection removal system. It is composed of a pump, contact tank, chlorine tank and cartridge filter. The average cost of an installed system is $1,600. The average cost of operation and maintenance is $20 per month.
Water Softener: This unit removes all the minerals from the water. It also takes out iron stain up to “3” parts per million. These units are recommended on all water systems whether it be a private well or city water. By removing all the minerals it keeps plumbing fixtures, piping and water heaters free of destructive corrosion. These units will reduce cleaning costs and the cost of detergents. As an added value it removes “iron stain” in 85% of the cases. In most all cases they pay for themselves over a “3 to 5” year period. The average cost installed is $1,100 to $1,600. The average cost of operation and maintenance is $20 per month. Most of the operation costs are in the purchase of salt. The unit does not inject salt into the water, but utilizes it in an “ion exchange” process that “re-magnetizes” the softener media bed after it has been flushed of collected minerals.
Iron Filter: When “iron stain” levels reach above “3” parts per million an iron filter must be used. If a water softener is used, iron filters are installed immediately before. An iron filter can be installed without a water softener, however, it’s not recommended. The unit uses potassium permanganate as a recharging agent to recoat the media bed after it has been flushed of collected iron. The average cost of installation is $1,100 to $1,600. The average cost of operation and maintenance per month is $20.
Chlorine Sanitizing System: This is the same system as the CIRS above (used in the removal of Iron Bacteria). These systems are used in public facilities where the State government requires a private business to sanitize their well drinking water for public consumption. Cartridge Filter: These are small filters that use a 12” cartridge. There are two types of cartridges – one for sediment removal and one for taste & odor removal. The sediment cartridges are used in conjunction with a CIRS. They remove some small scale and debris caused by pipes flaking off scale. They tend to clog up rapidly and reduce incoming water pressure. The taste & odor filters basically disguise the taste of the water. They work slightly on city water, but clog up rapidly on well water when used in lieu of proper treatment equipment. We only recommend the sediment cartridge filter when used with a CIRS.
Carbon Filters: These units are used when all the chlorine tastes are desired to be removed from the water before entering the house. These units installed run between $900 and $1,300. The carbon needs to be replaced once every “3 to 5” years at a cost of $400.
Clear View Sand Filters: If you have a shallow well, these filters are excellent in removing fine sand that can be produced by the well. They also can be used temporarily on a drinking water well that is going bad and producing sand. We say temporarily because a new well is needed. These filters are easy to clean and maintain. They come in several sizes depending of the volume of water that is being used. The average cost installed is $140 to $280. The average monthly maintenance costs are little or nothing.
Everpure Drinking Water System (EDWS): These units are mounted under a sink and have a spout on the kitchen sink above. Unlike most inexpensive filters that say they give you safe water to drink, these units actually do. They remove up to 99% of all dangerous matter in the water. They are the least expensive way of providing clean drinking water to your home. If used on a well system the sulfur and iron bacteria must be removed before an EDWS can be installed. Major companies such as Pepsi, McDonalds and Coca Cola use these type systems in their water processing. The average cost installed is $375. These units use a $95 cartridge that has to be replaced every “12 to 24” months. We highly recommend these units to save you the cost and aggravation of bottled water.
Reverse Osmosis System (ROS): These units are mounted the same as the EDWS units above. They provide 99.9% safe water to drink. The problem with these units are that they (1) strip the water of all taste (2) are expensive to install – $700 to $1,200 and (3) have a high cost of maintenance and operation – $200 to $400 per year. We do not recommend these units.
Green Sand Filter: This is a tank system that sulfur water is run through to disguise the smell and taste of the water. By not removing the sulfur, the sulfur gases can still damage treatment equipment. Not recommended.
NOTE: This information, while possibly available in your area, is intended for our customers in the northeast Florida area.