Lab results back on water -- any advice?

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

#1: Post by walleye »

After several tests of my own using both strips and drips, I decided to send in a water sample for lab testing. Here are the results:

Alkalinity (CaCO3): 179 mg/L
Hardness (as CaCO3): 97.9 mg/L
TDS: 208 mg/L
Chloride(Cl): 17.4 mg/L
pH: 8.79

I have more numbers if the would add anything, but the Langelier index calculator indicates moderate scaling, which I do see. Based on this I have a couple of questions:
1) Any recommendations on a filter setup for these levels?
2) How do you interpret the chloride level in this case? And should anything be done?

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

Your simplest approach is to use a brita or pur filter to remove the chlorine, and either use 50% distilled water or an in-tank softener.
Jim Schulman

Aida Battle: Indigo Reserve from world renowned Finca Kilimanjaro in El Salvador
Sponsored by Aida Battle
walleye (original poster)

#3: Post by walleye (original poster) »

Well the chlorine is around 2.4 mg/L. This may still need some carbon filtering I guess.

My concern was more about the chloride, which I understand may lead to corrosion if it's high, but I'm not sure how high.

I'm looking to plumb this, too (sorry, should have added that).

lessthanjoey
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by lessthanjoey »

If you definitely want to plumb it to this water supply then you are well within the La Marzocco specs on chloride (although I prefer close to zero) and just need to soften it somewhat. A water softener should be sufficient.

https://techcenter.lamarzocco.com/jsp/T ... ulator.jsp

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#5: Post by homeburrero »

walleye wrote:My concern was more about the chloride, which I understand may lead to corrosion if it's high, but I'm not sure how high.
That ~17 mg/L chloride is not ideal -- the most conservative vendor about chloride is Synesso, and they recommend going to RO if it's over 15 mg/L. Others are more forgiving. (see Chloride in Water - Recommended Acceptable Ranges .) Your high alkalinity helps make that chloride number less of a concern.


walleye wrote:I'm looking to plumb this, too
Even if you don't go to the extreme of using RO to eliminate that chloride, you do want to remove the chlorine, either with granular activated charcoal or carbon block, and you also do want to soften if you want to avoid scale issues. One straightforward and inexpensive option would be a carbon block paired with a conventional softener in two standard 10" housings.

You can get single cartridge filters for softening as well as chlorine, taste and odor that contain activated charcoal as well as a softening resin, and there are two types:One is a conventional strong acid cation (SAC) exchange softener that replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium or potassium ions. It typically does not use an adjustable bypass, and it lowers the hardness dramatically without reducing the alkalinity at all.

The other one is a decarbonizing filter that exchanges calcium and magnesium for hydrogen (H+) ions, which are then buffered by carbonate. These are also called weak acid cation (WAC) filters. They typically use an adjustable bypass filter head, and they reduce both hardness and alkalinity, and tend to acidify the water. (Scale reduction here is accomplished by virtue of having lower pH, lower alkalinity, and lower calcium hardness.) Examples of these include the BWT bestmax, Everpure Claris/Ultra, Mavea C Quell. Beware that WAC resin filters are inadvisable when chloride is high and alkalinity is below ~80 mg/L. I think you could use a WAC filter with your water, but if you wanted to be super cautious about chloride and corrosion you're probably better off with conventional softening.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

walleye (original poster)

#6: Post by walleye (original poster) »

homeburrero wrote: It typically does not use an adjustable bypass, and it lowers the hardness dramatically without reducing the alkalinity at all.
Thanks. Super helpful explanation of options.

One thing I'm confused by is the high alkalinity in comparison to hardness. You walk through some similar steps here:
Water Filter for Kitchen Renovation w/ Plumbed Espresso Machine?
but in this case, the hardness > alkalinity. Do I need to consider this? It makes me think I should go with a WAC (to my understanding) in order to reduce the alkalinity, but there are many things at play here.

footnote: I have Ca and Mg numbers too (14.3 mg/L and 15.1 mg/L)...and Silica (SiO2) at 9.6 mg/L.

User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#7: Post by homeburrero »

It's true that natural unsoftened water will almost always have higher total hardness than total alkalinity. In your case I was thinking possibly a typo or error in the lab numbers, but your Ca and Mg numbers in that last post do agree perfectly with your total hardness number.

So I did a little searching about water utilities in Illinois that might do ion exchange softening at the plant (something that's very rarely done) and noticed that Dekalb IL, for example, does use cation exchange softening. So that may be the explanation in your case.

Your water is relatively low in calcium hardness ( 14.3 mg/L Ca++ ion is equivalent to 36 mg/L calcium hardness as CaCO3) which will help reduce the limescale risk, but still with that high alkalinity it likely is a little scale prone.
walleye wrote:Do I need to consider this? It makes me think I should go with a WAC (to my understanding) in order to reduce the alkalinity, but there are many things at play here.
That might be an option, although given your low hardness and high alkalinity it may not do as much carbonate hardness reduction as it would with typical water. (BTW, your carbonate hardness here, properly defined, is roughly equal to your total hardness and not your alkalinity as with typical waters -- about 100 mg/L CaCO3 equivalent or 5-6 German degrees. If you go with a WAC softener you might be best to use that to set your bypass.)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

BPlus: turning your coffee spirit
Sponsored by BPlus
User avatar
Willinak
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by Willinak »

So, would this be a non-machine friendly analysis, 3rd column is the Ozarka Spring water which I reference?


User avatar
homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

Willinak wrote:So, would this be a non-machine friendly analysis, 3rd column is the Ozarka Spring water which I reference?
I would call it not machine friendly. It has less than 15 mg/L alkalinity and almost all advice is that you need at least 40. It also has 3 - 24 mg/L chloride, which isn't very high but any chloride may be corrosive, especially at that low pH and low alkalinity.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

User avatar
Willinak
Supporter ♡

#10: Post by Willinak »

Thanks burerro, still in the search for decent water at a convenient location (pandemic safe too)! :)