Filtration to plumb in, Denver

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.

#1: Post by Arafel »

Looking to plumb my future machine in. I live in Denver. Using a TDS meter, my hardness is in the 150s, usually around 152-154. Wondering about the Bestmax system and the system Clive uses and whether either will be adequate for what I have.

Anyone here live in Denver who plumbed their machine in? If so, what are you using for water treatment?

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#2: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Get the water report for where you live. Pay attention to chloride (not chlorine) and then start to consider what to do.
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#3: Post by homeburrero »

Good advice from Michael above.

When reading reports from Denver area folks on HB, be aware that there are neighborhoods like Highlands Ranch /Mirabelle (Centennial water) and Parker (Parker Water) that get water from very different sources.

Denver Water covers a large area with three different treatment plants, and in the past provided very detailed annual reports like this one: ... 2015_0.pdf
Nowadays their annual reports are the usual consumer confidence reports that lack most of what we are interested in. But if you go to their Treated Water Quality Summary page, then click on the 'beer brewers' link or expand the 'Water Quality Monitoring' you will see a lot of the information you want.

For convenience here's a snipshot from their beer brewers info:

For hardness you can convert the Ca and Mg numbers to get
So Platte calcium hardness = 52 - 88 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
Moffat calcium hardness = 22 - 63 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
So Platte total harness = 73 - 137 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
Moffat total hardness = 31 - 79 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
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#4: Post by homeburrero »

(clicked submit before I was finished on my reply above, continuing . . . )

I understand that the Moffat source has been offline for months, so everyone has been getting water from the two South Platte plants. In May they expect the Moffat plant back online so you might expect to see your tap water get a little softer after that happens. If you are watching your tapwater with a TDS meter, you expect around 80-120 µS/cm from the Moffat system and 300-400 µS/cm from the South Platte systems. When the Moffat comes online you will get a mix of both at your tap. With the water sample at 25 ℃, 300 µS/cm would read about 150 ppm on a typical inexpensive (NaCl calibrated) TDS meter. *

Besides being much softer, the Moffat water has much lower chloride. Average chloride over the year for the So Platte sources would be in the 20 - 30 mg/L ballpark, so unless you are especially cautious about chloride I don't think this water calls for RO treatment.

A good carbon block or GAC filter to remove the chloramine, plus a particulates filter would do the job here but you would want to watch for scale. For scale-free water you'd want to soften, and if it were me I'd use a conventional softener (SAC resin, sodium ion exchange) rather than a decarbonizer (WAC resin, H+ ion exchange). The latter might be OK, and can be adjusted, but it would lower the alkalinity and I think I'd prefer keeping good alkalinity in the face of that chloride ion. For reservoir machines, An Oscar/Bilt/Rocket softener pouch (which is a conventional softener) may be sufficient here for scale prevention.

* [ Edit addition] Denver water can deliver a mix from all or any of the three plants, but I've been told that when Moffat comes back on line the neighborhoods in the North can expect mostly Moffat water, and neighborhoods in the South can expect mostly Platte water. TDS measurements might help in guessing which sort of mix you might be getting at your tap.
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Arafel (original poster)

#5: Post by Arafel (original poster) »

I decided to get the Optipure test kit so I could find out more. Thanks much.