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Water purification plays a key role in ensuring access to safe drinking water. Safe drinking water positively impacts the health of the entire community. Systems are in place to ensure ongoing water quality, including water quality testing. The testing helps ensure the water treatment process results in a product that meets federal water quality guidelines. Water analysis involves looking for several kinds of contaminants, including unsafe levels of organic, inorganic, microbial and/or radioactive contaminants.

1. Screening

Water from lakes, rivers or the ground passes through a screen as it enters the water treatment plant. When the water source is a lake or river, the screen serves an important function, keeping out large natural contaminants such as plants and wood, or fish. If ground water is used, screening may not be necessary since the water has passed through layers of the earth in what is essentially a natural screening function.

2. Coagulation

Treatment plant workers add alum and other chemicals to the water, which cause tiny sticky particles, or floc, to form. These floc attract dirt particles, making them eventually heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the water storage tank.

3. Sedimentation

The water and floc flow into a sedimentation basin. As the water sits there, the heavy floc settle to the bottom, where they remain until removal.

4. Filtration

Water passes through layers of gravel, sand and perhaps charcoal, which serve to filter out any remaining particles. The gravel layer is often about 1 foot deep and the sand layer about 2½ feet deep.

5. Disinfection

Water goes into a closed tank or reservoir. Chlorine or other disinfecting chemicals kill any remaining microorganisms or bacteria in the water and help keep the water clean until distribution. If a water treatment facility uses ground water as its only water source, disinfection may be the only step required to sufficiently treat the water. After it is disinfected, the purified water sits in the closed tank or reservoir until it flows through pipes to homes and businesses.


Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.

Hard drinking water may have moderate health benefits, but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water.

In domestic settings, hard water is often indicated by a lack of suds formation when soap is agitated in water, and by the formation of limescale in kettles and water heaters. Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water's adverse effects.

Copper Pipes and Water pH

According to studies done by UCLA and the University of Arizona with help from the Copper Development Association, over 60 percent of the plumbing in U.S. residential structures incorporates some sort of copper pipe. Copper leaching is a common phenomenon when the water that flows through these pipes has a pH lower than 7.0. Water with a pH lower than 7 is acidic and is more likely to dissolve copper in your pipes. Although most municipal water supplies are treated to keep water at a pH above 7, carbon dioxide enters municipal water supplies when it rains, and this will lower a reservoir's pH. Copper corrosion can be exacerbated by an electrical system that is grounded to water pipes, especially when water pipes include both copper and galvanized steel.

Your Health and Copper in the Tap Water

Excess copper in drinking water constitutes a health issue. People who are exposed to copper in drinking water may develop symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. If they're exposed to copper in their drinking water over long periods of time, they may develop damage to their livers and kidneys. Children under the age of one are particularly sensitive to the effects of copper in drinking water. Hot water dissolves copper from pipes more effectively than cold water does. If you suspect that you have a problem with copper leaching in your household, never use hot water for cooking or drinking. Instead, use cold water and heat it to the desired temperature. Under no circumstances should you ever use hot water from copper pipes to prepare baby formula or any food for infants under the age of one.

Rotten Egg Odor

The most common cause of smelly water is anaerobic bacteria that exist in some water and react with sulfur and the magnesium and aluminum sacrificial anodes that come with most water heaters to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, making the classic rotten egg odor.

Soft Water

Soft water is water which has relatively low concentration of calcium carbonate and other ions. The water that lathers with soap easily is called soft water. It describes type of water that contain few or no minerals like calcium (Ca) or magnesium (Mg) ions.

Water Softening

Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium, and certain other metal cations in hard water. The resulting soft water is more compatible with soap and extends the lifetime of plumbing. Water softening is usually achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins.

Low Water Pressure

It is a legitimate concern when you notice low water pressure in your home or office. Low water pressure can be caused by many things. Simple problems like the shut-off valve being closed or a faucet being blocked can cause low water pressure. More serious issues like plumbing blockages or water leaks decrease water pressure, too. There are multiple causes to low water pressure, but there are many ways that you can troubleshoot this problem. There may be more than one cause to your problem, Olde Colony can assess the situation and come up with a solution.

Well Tanks

A pre-charged bladder style tank has a bladder inside of it that is made of vinyl. The bladder is surrounded by pressurized air. Your well pump will push water into the bladder under pressure. When the pump shuts off, the water is held inside the tank by a one-way check valve in the piping system. Olde Colony offers WellXTrol Tanks to provide a premium solution for you're well water.

Pin Holes

A pinhole leak is a final breakthrough event of the progressive attack of pitting corrosion on copper water plumbing. Pitting corrosion is the non-uniform localized attack of the wall of copper tube, pipe, or fittings initiated on the inside surface of copper water pipes.


Sodium consumed in excess may make a significant contribution to the causes of many diseases, especially for those who suffer from hypertension. Drinking water may contribute 10% to one's total sodium intake; for patients on sodium restricted regimens, drinking water may account for 64% of total intake.

At present, insufficient evidence is available to conclude whether sodium in drinking water causes elevation of blood pressure., but it'spossible that reducing sodium intake early in life may minimize the risk of hypertension in the later years. Many communities in the U.S. exceed the recommended 20 mg/L or less sodium in drinking water; this may present a hazard to some members of our population.


Iron has two means of infiltrating well water: seepage and corrosion.


Water in the form of rain or melted snow travels from the ground's surface and through the soil to become part of a water supply. If the soil contains iron, the iron can dissolve into the wandering water and travel with it. Consider excessive amounts of tag-along iron as unwelcome extra baggage accumulated on water's journey.


Exposure to a combination of water and oxygen causes iron to deteriorate; the casings and pipes of a well water supply have a passing acquaintance with both factors. If the casings and pipes contain iron, the acquaintance leads to this deterioration. Rust, the natural by-product of iron corrosion, flakes off the well's components and into the water traveling from the well to our taps.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property, that is driven by chemical potential differences of the solvent, a thermodynamic parameter. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of dissolved and suspended species from water, including bacteria, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of potable water.

The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent is allowed to pass to the other side. To be "selective", this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes), but should allow smaller components of the solution (such as solvent molecules) to pass freely.

In the normal osmosis process, the solvent naturally moves from an area of low solute concentration (high water potential), through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration (low water potential). The driving force for the movement of the solvent is the reduction in the free energy of the system when the difference in solvent concentration on either side of a membrane is reduced, generating osmotic pressure due to the solvent moving into the more concentrated solution. Applying an external pressure to reverse the natural flow of pure solvent, thus, is reverse osmosis.

The process is similar to other membrane technology applications. However, key differences are found between reverse osmosis and filtration. The predominant removal mechanism in membrane filtration is straining, or size exclusion, so the process can theoretically achieve perfect efficiency regardless of parameters such as the solution's pressure and concentration. Reverse osmosis also involves diffusion, making the process dependent on pressure, flow rate, and other conditions.

Reverse osmosis is most commonly known for its use in drinking water purification from seawater, removing the salt and other effluent materials from the water molecules.

Water Testing

Waterborne disease and other health effects can be caused when microbial, or chemical contaminants enter the drinking water supply. You should regularly test your water for contaminants, health risks and overall quality. Typical tests are those for bacteria, nitrates, iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor. The solutions we recommend are based on the problem and the most applicable technology. We will research the problem and provide the most applicable solution.


Keep your water clean, and your family healthy.

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