How to interpret water quality document.

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

#1: Post by Beansy »

Hello collective Hive.

New user here, picked up an ECM Synchronika and live in metro Vancouver. I'm starting to research how to feed my new baby and as you can imagine, only want the best for her.

I asked my local water supplier for a breakdown of their water quality and they sent me this (mammoth document): ... Report.pdf

Trouble is, I don't know how to interpret it for my needs and I was hoping some of you kind people could help?


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Team HB

#2: Post by homeburrero »

If you skip to the Appendix 1 tables on pg 35-40 you have the numbers of interest for coffee water. There are three different water districts and you don't say which one you live in, but all three are really soft low mineral, low alkalinity water with the Coquitlam being the softest.

Summarizing ranges over all three districts you have:

Alkalinity: 6 - 31 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
Total hardness: 2 - 13 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent
Calcium hardness: 0 - 12 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent (calculated from total calcium)
TDS: 12 - 28 mg/L
pH: 6.7 - 8.3

That report has numbers for the difficult undesirables - chloride, sulfate, silica and they are all nice and low - no worries there. The calcium hardness and alkalinity are below anything that might cause limescale, even in the hottest steam boiler. The alkalinity is lower than the usually recommended "at or near 40 mg/L" but that may not be much of a problem since chlorides are low and pH is reasonable.

If plumbed in, you just need a charcoal/particulates filter. This water *might* be improved a little by a remineralization cartridge, but I'm not sure that's worth the trouble. Other HBers from Vancouver may want to weigh in about that.

If you have a reservoir you can use a jug filter (Brita, Pur, etc) or your refrigerator filter to remove the chlorine disinfection products. If it were me and if I was on Coquitlam district water I might go to the trouble of bumping up the alkalinity a little by adding a trace (appx 0.3 gram per gallon) of sodium or potassium bicarbonate.
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Beansy (original poster)

#3: Post by Beansy (original poster) » replying to homeburrero »

Thank you Homeburrero, for taking the time to write such a detailed response. I've checked and I live in Coquitlam so would envisage my supply originating here.

I don't really have the option of plumbing in as I'm in a rented apartment with quartz countertops, so I'm thinking of going for a filtered jug but am not sure which one to go for as I gather they differ on what they achieve. Out of interest, where can I source the sodium or potassium bicarbonate you eluded to?

Kind regards,

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#4: Post by homeburrero »

Sodium bicarbonate is just common grocery store baking soda. (baking soda - not baking powder which is different.) Potassium bicarbonate is often preferred because it has no sodium, but you need to buy it online or get it from a brewer/winemaker supply store.

By adding bicarbonate you are essentially making that extremely soft water into something close to 'R Pavlis' water which is frequently discussed and recommended on this site.
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#5: Post by luckydragon »

Hey Beansy, you're basically me! Also moving to Coquitlam in a month with a Synchronika in tow.

I agree with Homeburrero that if running off the tank reservoir, then all you should do to start is de-chlorinate your water, either letting the chlorine evaporate overnight, or pass it through some kind of activated carbon/charcoal filter.

I was wondering about remineralization myself, and was thinking of either modifying a Barista Hustle water recipe or just splurge for Third Wave Water packets.

I, too, am curious about other Vancouverites' experiences!