Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Whole House Nitrate and Sulfate Reduction for Well Water


I am interested in sorting out a water issue with a house I am hoping to purchase.  The house currently has a water softener and a neutralizer, though they have not been serviced properly. The house has an RO system already.  We would like to get the nitrate levels lower, and need advice about that.  The sulfates are also high.  Water test results are attached.

- Mr. Weston

The calcium hardness is low, though, so your softener is quite possibly functioning just fine.  It’s hard to know for sure without seeing some analysis for your untreated water too. Are you looking to have the nitrates and sulfates completely removed from all of your household water, rather than just the drinking water? 

Thanks for attaching the report, which evidently was taken after the softener and neutralizer, but not after the reverse osmosis system.  From looking over the analysis, it would appear that your acid neutralizer system doesn’t seem to be working, because the treated pH is really low, at 5.4.  That is too acidic. The pH should be in the range of 7 to 8.

It is correct that the nitrates and sulfates are both high.  Reverse osmosis treatment should eliminate both of those things, so assuming the RO system in the kitchen is working properly and has been serviced within the past couple of years; you shouldn’t have to worry about that, at least in the drinking water.

To remove sulfate and nitrate, a whole-house nitrate system is recommended.  These look like a water softener, and use salt to regenerate the nitrate resin, but don’t soften the water.  They remove both sulfate and nitrate.  It would be need to be installed after the softener, since the nitrate-sulfate systems cannot be exposed to hard water.

See below for our top recommendation on a whole-house nitrate filter system, which would be installed after the water softener:

Nitrate 7000 SXT – Meter, 1.5 cubic Foot, 115 Volt:                                  
Nitrate Removal System.  These automatic backwashing nitrate systems using Anion exchange resin can reduce Nitrate levels by 80%.  All the filter medium needed is included with the system.  Nitrates are typically a result of fertilizer run-off from agricultural operations or poorly designed/leaking septic systems.  The maximum Nitrate MCL level as designated by the EPA for nitrate-N is 10 mg/L (parts per million).   

Dimensions: 10" diameter x 61" height with valve attached.  ¾" or 1" pipe connectors, bypass valve, and full installation instructions provided.  We are also available for Tech-Support should questions or confirmation of programming as well.

Excellent warranty: 10 years on the softener and brine tank; 5 years on the control valve.
As for the neutralizer, you may just need new calcite and corosex media for the tank.  Or, if you’d like you can replace it with a new neutralizer system.  Please let us know what you would like to do about it, we can make the appropriate recommendation.