What's In Your Water? You May Be Suprised...

Have you ever filled up a nice cup of crystal clear water and wondered what was in it? Is it purely water or is there something else? If you haven’t had that thought then this little story will definitely make you wonder.

Many of you have heard me talk about my recent experience with our newly dug well at our home and the problem we had with limestone and low oxygen. Well I am glad to say that thanks to Pure Water Oasis we have had no recent issues with our well water and are happy with the system. This story though isn’t about my water but rather the water issue that caused us a few headaches with a recently installed boiler system in KCMO.

To set the scene here is what this job consisted of; we removed an old boiler system and in its place installed a new modulating high efficiency boiler that heated the house and also the domestic hot water (water that you use for bathing, cooking, washing, etc…). The old system had a 50 gallon water heater that heated the domestic water and an in-floor loop that heated the family room area of the home. The family room floor loop with the old system was an “open loop” system. What that means is that it took incoming water from the house and heated it up in the 50 gallon water heater and pumped it through the floor to heat the family room. There was a pump controlled by a thermostat that would run the water through the floor loop when needed and this same 50 gallon water heater would heat the water for their domestic use as well.

The new system is now a “closed loop” system, which means that the water used for heating is totally separate from the water used for general domestic purposes in the home. The closed loop system is much more efficient and also less likely to have service issues.

Well we had a big problem maintaining water flow through the floor heat (that is buried in concrete) in the family room loop. After several hours of work and banging our heads against the wall we came to the conclusion that there was a blockage in the floor loop. So how do you free up a blockage in 300 feet of buried pipe? At first we tried to use the water house pressure (around 50-55psi) to free it by hooking a hose to a special made adapter on each end of the loop, this did not work. We then had the idea to hook an air compressor nozzle up and blow it through the pipe to free the blockage, again no luck. So what we did was hook a hose with water pressure to one end of the loop and blow 120psi of air into the other end (the idea was water pressure on one side, with air pressure to free the blockage on the other side) and after several minutes and lots of attempts with the air compressor the blockage broke free.

It was definitely a high-five moment for the homeowner, Scott and myself when this big wad of rust colored stuff started shooting out the pipe. We continued running water through the system and by time it was clear we had an enormous amount of the sediment. So where did this stuff come from? Well remember before the system was an “open loop” system which meant it was getting incoming city water through the floor loop which means that the sediment was in their incoming water. This incoming water is what you drink. Yuck!

So how do you know what’s in your water? You don’t unless you have it tested. I went to the EPA website to get water study information for our area and the information is very vague. They list a few items that may be present in our water such as Coli Form, Fecal Coli form, E-Coli, Turbidity, Radium and a large list of Inorganic Contaminants. The water districts must test the water and have safe levels of all of the contaminants before they can distribute it and water quality can change on any given day. So in other words just a little poop is OK to eat as long as it’s a safe level, really?  My thought is that any of amount of fecal matter or e-coli is just plain gross to be ingesting.

For more information on water quality in your area you can go to your water districts website or the EPA website. If you are looking for a great company that is honest and trustworthy for testing please contact Pure Water Oasis at 816-254-3335. This is the company I have entrusted with my family’s drinking water and they are great people to work with.

Hope I didn’t gross any one out too much and feel free to contact me with questions on this blog or any other indoor comfort question.

Thanks

James Gallet

Envirotech Heating and Cooling