Friday, November 22, 2013

What Are the Potential Problems with Using a Calcite Only Acid Neutralizer?

Dear Merchant,

What are the potential problems with using a calcite only acid neutralizer for my well water.  Here are the current specs:
pH - 6.2
Hardness - 148 mg/L
Total Dissolved Solids - 388 mg/L

John S.

Alkalinity, pH, total hardness, and total dissolved solids all play a role in whether water will be corrosive to pipes, or form scale deposits in pipes.  The goal is to have neutral pH water with little or no scale formation, and no corrosion.
CWS Plus Calcite Neutralizer
For your water, it is best to use a backwash neutralizer. This will help the calcite media dissolve better over time in the presence of hard water.  If you use an upflow non-backwashing neutralizer, the hardness tends to cause the calcite to clump together.  
Note that the calcite in a calcite neutralizer can make your water a little harder.  Calcite is a calcium carbonate, and it neutralizes water by adding small amounts of calcium, the mineral most commonly responsible for water hardness (water hardness can also refer to the presence of magnesium).  However, the increase in water hardness from a neutralizer is generally negligible if the water isn't too hard to begin with: around 170 mg/L (10 grains per gallon) is the range where one might consider using a softener.  Since your water only contains 148 mg/L of hardness it will probably be just in the range of 170-200 mg/L after the neutralizer.  This is not a big problem, and if you decide after some time using the neutralizer that your water seems too hard, you can always add a water softener.
Pictured: Extreme corrosion
To determine the scaling and corrosion potential of your water based on its hardness, alkalinity, and TDS concentration, you can use the Langelier Index.  The Langelier Index is used by water operators for optimizing water supply systems and identifying the potential for leakages.  You can use it to manage your water supply system with our simple Langelier Index calculator.
For your application, we recommend our CWS Plus neutralizer system.  It features a fully adjustable backwash cycle, a user-friendly LCD display, and a rugged control valve designed to last for years with little maintenance.  
And if you decide to use a softener, consider our CWS Plus softener systems.  These systems are also fully adjustable, built to last, and very reliable due to their electronic sensors.
We hope this helps you correct the hardness and alkalinity in your water.  If you have any further questions about water or water treatment, e-mail us at or leave us a comment on Facebook - and don't forget to update us on your water quality once you've set up your treatment systems! Thanks for the letter!