Rust from Irrigation Systems: Causes, Treatments, & Prevention

If you have an irrigation system, you probably have rust spots appearing on the side of your home, on patio furniture, paved ways, landscaping, and other areas. The iron within your water causes these reddish-brown spots, particularly for those who have well water. Rust can also form in a standard municipal water system but in considerably fewer amounts. In this article, we discuss how you can treat and prevent rust from forming around your property. 

Removing Rust & Iron Stains  

Before tackling the main problem – removing the rust from your water supply – you should remove the stains that have built up over time that have formed around your property. You can do this with many cleaners, but Magica is a renowned product for removing spotty rust stains and is safe for any surface, including concrete, wood, fabric, and metal. Even after you remove these stains, they will come back, and you will need to find a more permanent solution to tackle the root of the issue by fixing the iron levels in your water supply.

Your water must be oxidized and then filtered out to remove the iron, and you can only do this with a filter that uses manganese dioxide or a form of catalytic media that will react with the iron. Depending on your water’s characteristics, you may need to use an oxidizer like chlorine, oxygen, or hydrogen peroxide. Removing rust is important as it is aesthetically unpleasant and does damage to your plants and surfaces, sometimes killing vegetation entirely.

The Reynolds Irrigation Stain Control System

The Reynolds Irrigation Stain Control System is a preventative maintenance process that prevents rust from forming on all surfaces of your home, including your white linens and the bathtub. This system has an RC solution; a clear blue concentrated non-toxic neutral phosphate that will prevent mineral and iron stains. The solution is 100% bio-degradable and is injected into the irrigation stream as it enters your water supply. 

The feed system includes a solution tank, industrial-grade flow switch, and a high-performance solid-state injection pump, which is adjustable so solutions can be appropriately proportioned for any water quality. This product is one of the best treatments for preventing rust formation occurring with your irrigation system. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, Reynolds Water Conditioning takes pride in offering the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. https://www.reynoldswater.com | 1-800-572-9575

5 Trends That Will Affect the Water Industry in the Next Decade

The water industry is posed to have several new changes that happen within the next decade due to rapid urbanization, climate change, consumer demands, and emerging digital technologies. Complex business challenges will arise, and companies can turn these changes into opportunities that could benefit both businesses and consumers and the environment. Below, are five trends that will have an impact on the water industry within the next decade:

1. Extreme Weather

It is anticipated that we will have more extreme weather in the next decade than ever recorded before. Most of the climate change is attributed to water, and these changes will influence agricultural production, rises in sea levels, and wildfires leading to droughts and floods. 

Hard engineering structures such as dikes, seawalls, and levees can be built to protect coastal communities against severe flooding. The use of intricate water modeling technologies can help determine current vulnerabilities and offer better solutions to address these coastal challenges.

2. Agricultural Changes

The UN has projected that the world’s population will reach more than nine billion by 2050 and making sure that there is enough food for everyone will be essential. It is estimated that global food production needs to be increased by at least 70% to maintain enough food. To keep up with these demands, there needs to be enough arable land for crop production and more efficient irrigation technology to handle the requests. Precision farming systems, coupled with emerging technologies to improve agricultural production, will help in using less water for more crops. 

3. Reusing Wastewater

Wastewater is made up of many valuable elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and other resources that can be used for energy and be reused instead of letting them be discarded back into the environment. The current water consumption model is liner in nature, meaning that water is extracted from a source, checked for quality, consumed, treated, and discharged in a receiving body of water. In the next decade, we will see the emergence of a more circular model, one of which focuses on reusing wastewater and utilizing its properties we are currently discarding. To do this, we will need to rethink and redesign the current infrastructure. 

4. Customer-Led Revolution

Digital technologies are used by consumers nearly every moment of the day, empowering them more than ever. People expect more personalized products and services to improve every aspect of their life, which will only increase as time goes on. Businesses must accept that the new paradigm of the empowered customer adapts their mindsets to service this expectation. Technologies for smart water softeners, filtration systems, and other consumer products will give homeowners more control over bills, utilization, and overall maintenance. The water industry will be challenged to examine how to work with businesses, consumers, and technologies to achieve the desired goals for all. 

5. Smart Network and Technologies

As we progress into a more tech-driven world, smart water network solutions will increase in use and improve the reliability of physical water operations by gathering and analyzing data more effectively. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term coined to describe all devices connected to the internet and speak with each other, sending data, automatic process, and analytics. IoT will help better manage the water industry infrastructure and reduce non-revenue water losses; it will also support essential changes to how utility companies operate and function. This will allow the opportunity to improve productivity and ROI, all while enhancing customer experience and expectations. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Reynolds Water is delighted to provide the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. www.reynoldswater.com

The Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

Most homeowners choose a reverse osmosis system for their water filtration needs. Reverse osmosis works by forcing water across several layers of a semi-permeable membrane to catch contaminants. Particles that are caught are then flushed out of the system. This is a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water).

Key Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System:

  • Improves Taste. When water is filtered with reverse osmosis (RO), it removes contaminants that could alter the taste and odor. Another benefit is texture and softness. Your water should look, taste, and feel refreshing. 
  • Saves Money. With a RO system, you can stop purchasing cases of bottled water and discontinue water delivery. This will save you a lot of money and cost you only pennies per gallon for better tasting water.
  • Helps the Environment. Drinking water from your own kitchen facet cuts down on plastic bottles that can end up in landfills. For every six bottles of water purchased, Americans on average, only recycle one of them.   
  • Easy Maintenance. The simplicity of RO systems cannot be underestimated. Surprisingly, these systems are straightforward to clean, fix, and service. There are very few moving parts; thus, identifying and replacing parts is relativity easy.
  • Removes Impurities. Reverse osmosis removes a plethora of pollutants from water. The common contaminants that a RO can eliminate are nitrates, pesticides, sulfates, fluoride, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, arsenic, and much more. The carbon filter within the RO system will also remove chlorine and chloramines. 

Reverse osmosis is an effective and affordable way to improve the health, taste, odor, and overall quality of your water. Read more about reverse osmosis here

Tips on Keeping Your Water Softener Running Efficiently

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with your water softener over time, and regular maintenance is a must if you want to ensure that your unit works consistently. Below are a few common issues with water softeners and some tips that will help you make your softener work more efficiently and last longer.

Avoid Salt Bridges and Salt Mushing: 

A salt bridge occurs when a hard crust forms in the brine tank and creates a space between the water and the salt. This prevents the salt from dissolving into the water to make the brine. You may notice an issue if your salt tank appears full, but your water seems hard. The best way to tell if you have a salt bridge is to take the end of a broom handle and press against the top of the salt wall. If the top of the salt collapses inwards, then you have a salt bridge.

Salt Mushing:

This is the more serious of the two issues and happens when dissolved salt recrystallizes to form sludge at the bottom of the tank. The thick layer of salt at the bottom keeps the water softener from properly cycling through the regeneration process and leaves the water hard and blocking the rest of the tank filtration. Salt mushing is probably the cause of hard water if you already tested for bridging. 

Be Selective with Your Salt Choice:

There are three basic types of water softener salts available for softeners: rock, solar, and evaporated. Rock salt, the least expensive of the three, contains higher levels of insoluble minerals or impurities and can muddy your tank over time, decreasing the softening elements. The second option is solar salt, which is more soluble than rock salt, is obtained by the evaporation of seawater, and is found in both pellet and crystal form. The last option is evaporated salt and is obtained through a combination of mining and evaporation and is the purest form of salt at 99.99% sodium chloride. 

By periodically checking your water softener, you can keep it running smoothly with little to no hard water occurring. Read more on other tips to ensure you have a fully functional water softener system here

Water Quality Association Executive Lists Life-Sustaining Businesses Essential for Covid-19 Pandemic

Paul Undesser, WAQ Executive Director, announced Shelter-in-Place Directives for the COVID-19 pandemic on March 20, 2020. Undesser announced that certain water treatment businesses are deemed “essential” for sustaining life per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The types of companies listed are; water treatment professionals, manufacturers, deliveries, and service providers point-of-use and point-of-entry (POU/POE) water treatment products and services. Due to the critical products and services these companies provide within the water drinking and purification industries, they provide crucial roles in life-sustaining activities.

The DHS issued advisory guidance to state, local, and tribal officials on March 19 regarding the assigning of essential workers who are critical to maintaining important operations and public works. The DHS labeled those within the plumbing, electrical, extermination, and other service providers “essential” who provide services that are necessary to maintaining safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. More on this announcement can be found here.

The Use of Water Softeners Continue Rising Worldwide

According to this article, a global survey was conducted showing an increase in the use of water softeners to create safe drinking water worldwide. Additionally, there has been a rise in awareness for utilizing water softeners for balancing the proper amounts of magnesium and calcium safe for drinking levels.

If a person drinks soft water with higher levels of magnesium or calcium, it can lead to increased health problems. Experts are also advising people to stay clear of water softener systems that use sodium instead of magnesium and calcium. 

Water softener systems that use magnesium and calcium can not only offer health advantages but also save you money when compared to other softener systems.

Protecting Against Lead in Water

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in the Earth’s crust in small amounts. It can be beneficial in specific uses, but it is a harmful metal to a person’s health and there is no safe level for lead exposure to humans. People are exposed to lead products that range from lead-based paint, air, soil, dust inside homes, food, pottery, and even drinking water. Consuming high levels of this metal can cause health issues once it enters the blood, especially for younger children.

Effects of Lead

The EPA is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water that is considered safe with minimum health effects. The standard allowed for lead is set to zero, and even at low levels, lead can be very harmful and can accumulate in the body over time. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain disorders and severe kidney damage. The effects of lead do not equally impact individuals. The risks will vary depending on the person, the chemical properties of the water, and the amount of lead consumed. Specific issues found in people:

  • Pregnant Women – As discussed above, lead can accumulate in the body over time and can be found in a person’s bones along with calcium. Lead is released from the mother’s bones when maternal calcium transfers to the fetus to help develop bones for the baby. The lead can also cross the placental barrier that can expose the fetus, possibly causing reduced growth and premature birth.
  • Infants and Children – Infants who consume water with lead content may be at a higher risk of exposure since the large volume of water they consume is relative to the proportion of their smaller body size. Children are often vulnerable to lead poisoning due to the fact they drink more water and have developing bodies. High levels of lead exposure can cause convulsions, significant neurological damage, organ failure, coma, and even death. Lower exposure of lead can cause hearing loss, reduced growth, and an increased chance of learning and behavior disabilities.
  • Adults – Adults who are exposed to lead can suffer from health issues such as cardiovascular effects with increased blood pressure and hypertension. In addition, older persons can develop kidney damage and complications with reproductive organs.

How Does Lead Get in Tap Water?

Lead is in all areas of our environment and can be found in the air, soil, and water. Lead can even be found within our homes in certain places. Most lead contaminates come from human activities such as the use of fossil fuels and gasoline, factories, or lead-based paints. When lead is released into the air, it can travel long distances before it settles in soil or water supplies. Lead can merge into drinking water, causing corrosion to take place, and eating away at the piping within homes. In older houses, before 1930, lead was used for soldering pipes. It wasn’t until the early 1980s when we saw a decrease of lead being used for pipes in homes.

Lead Removal

If you suspect that lead may be in your water, we advise that you get your water analyzed by a certified laboratory, or at minimum, purchase a DIY self-test kit to determine for sure. The good news is, lead can be removed from your drinking water. The simplest way to solve this issue is by using the correct water filter after the contamination source is identified. The three basic water filtration methods to remove lead are:

  • Reverse Osmosis – The most popular and inexpensive option, and it can eliminate 95% of lead in water.
  • Activated Carbon Filtration – This option allows the activated carbon in filters to absorb minerals such as lead and magnesium from the water, decreasing the amount of lead supply significantly. However, the disadvantage is that the filter cartridges may fill up quickly and need replacement often. The lead removing capabilities also decrease after a certain amount of water has been passed through the system.  
  • Distillation – This method produces the purest water, but it comes with an expensive price tag and requires a lot of electricity and processing time as well.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your home’s unique water quality needs, including arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more. More information on water treatment solutions, including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal, can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.



Coronavirus Sparks Concern on Bottled Water Shortage

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of reassuring residents that water from their tap is safe to consume. However, hundreds of people are crowding local grocery stores throughout the country to stock up on bottled water supplies due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Government officials have stated that conventional water treatment and disinfection removes any viruses, including the COVID-19, and no extra measures like boiling water will be necessary. In this article, the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities offers information on their website to advise customers and answer questions that the public may have regarding this matter. It is always a best practice to have a four-day supply of water for emergency precautions; however, the department has downplayed the need to stockpile water for the coronavirus outbreak.

EPA Announces Regulation for PFAS

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they would begin to regulate a category of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS’s are linked to cancer and other health issues that can be found in the environment and the human body.  

Environmentalists have voiced their concerns that Trump’s EPA administration have procrastinated with environmental regulations rather than steadfast on issues. Currently, the EPA recommends water should contain 70 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFAS or less; however, this amount is not mandatory. Many health officials argue this number is still too high. 

The next step will be a lengthy process entailing two long years with agency debates to determine a consensus on new contamination level standards. Once a consensus has been reached, the agency will have another 18 months to finalize the drinking water requirements. The EPA will create two drinking water standards during this process. The first standard will be heavily based on health considerations, and the second will focus on financial investment obligations. For more information about this EPA update, read this article.



4 Steps on How to Remove Rust from Drinking Water

Rust is commonly regarded as one element but is actually composed of several compounds that consist of iron and oxygen. Rust forms when free iron is exposed to oxygen and water. The water color in your home could be yellow, orange, or brown depending on the concentration of the rust. Typically, rusty water pipes on a well water system will have a higher concentration of iron leading to rusty water issues. Thankfully you can remove rust in your home with water softeners, oxidizing filters and sequestration.

Step 1: Connect an ion exchange water softener to your water supply. This device will contain sodium that will combine with the iron and remove the rust from your water.

Step 2: Install an oxidizing filter before the water softener line. This device will contain manganese oxides that will convert soluble compounds into insoluble compounds, which then will filter out of the water. Oxidizing filters are most appropriate for treat water with a moderate level of concentrated iron and where the pH is at least 6.8

Step 3: Use a solution feeder to add polyphosphates to your water supply. Polyphosphates contain phosphorus, which disperse in the water so the iron doesn’t form rust. However, a polyphosphate chemical feeder can be more expensive than other options. It is only recommended to use a polyphosphate feeder if the rust issues are severe enough warrant this option.

Step 4: Add about half gallon of bleach to your water supply. After adding the bleach, allow to water to sit for about 12 hours and run the water until no more bleach is present in the system. This system is most effective when the rust in your water is being produced by bacteria.

Read More on How to Effectively Remove Rust from Your Water Supply