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Water Treatment Chemicals - When to use them

Posted by on 7/29/2014

Everyone's water source and supply has different attributes and each home has its own personal fingerprint.  Each home's unique water chemistry makes it hard to actually just give everyone the same kind of water treatment plan.  Sometimes homes require different water treatment chemicals to pre-treat or actually treat the home.  It's important to get a water test done in order to know the extent of the problem before treating anything.  Water test kits can be found online for about $20.00; or if you want a professional to look at your water, it can be done for about $100-150. Once you receive your water report you can then go through the paragraphs below to find your particular water problem.  Hopefully it doesn’t require any special treatment.

Iron : For Iron, you’ll need to find out if it is ferrous or ferric iron.  If it’s ferric iron, you may not need any additional chemicals but instead you can just use a sediment filter to catch the iron and remove it from your existing water lines.  However if it is ferrous iron, pre-treatment is necessary. There are several water treatment chemicals you can use to transform the ferrous iron into ferric iron.  The most common method is the chemically treat water with chlorine.  Chlorine will oxidize the iron and cause the iron to precipitate which will allow for sediment filter treatment. 

If you happen to have hydrogen sulfide or manganese in the water, chlorine will also do the trick.  You may find that the precipitate coming out is black and just like iron and it will filter out the same once it precipitates out.

Some filtration medium require certain chemicals to regenerate like manganese greensand.  Manganese greensand is used to treat iron, hydrogen sulfide, and manganese.  It uses the water treatment chemical regenerate “potassium permanganate” also known as “pot perm”. Pot perm is best to be purchased locally when you need large quantities because it is considered a HAZ MAT item for most shipping companies. 

Hardness scale : If you happen to notice that you have water hardness and do not want to get a water softener to remove existing scale.  There are other methods like using citric acid to lower the pH of the water and remove the scale. There are water softener cartridges that use a chemical that has the ingredients of citric acid to remove scale.  If you are trying to prevent scale, you can use polyphosphate crystals which will dissolve in the water are coat the water to prevent any new scale to build up. 

So no matter what you have or what you do, it’s always best to check your water conditions before treating your water with any water treatment chemicals.

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