Understanding Water  
Quick Reference Guide  
Product Showcase  
Free Water Test  
Free Equip. Sizing  
If you are local to us  



Quick Reference Guide

The following table summarizes typical water problems, their probable cause and possible remedies. Remember, this is a general guide. Please review the Learn About Water and Product Showcase sections in our website for further explanations. In addition, it's always a good idea to get your water thoroughly tested and consult a Water Soft professional before moving ahead with any equipment purchase for best results.




Hardness (calcium & magnesium)

Scale in pipes and water heaters; causes "soap curd" on fixtures, tile, dishes and laundry, low sudsing characteristics.

Removal by ion exchange softener


Causes discolored water; red, brown, orange or black stains on fixtures, appliances and laundry; dark scale in pipes and water heaters.

Low level (2 ppm) removal by ion exchange softener when hardness is also present; best removed by oxidizing iron filter; aeration and/or chlorination followed by filtration in some cases.

Iron/Manganese/Sulfur Bacteria

Same general effects as above plus slimy deposits that form in pumps, pipes, softeners and toilet tanks. Rotten egg odor possible.

Low level removal possible by oxidizing iron filter; Also removed by chlorination followed by filtration.

Hydrogen Sulfide Gas

Foul rotten-egg odor; corrosion to plumbing; tarnishes silver and stains fixtures and laundry; ruins the taste of foods and beverages.

Best removed by aeration, scrubbing and filtration; also removed by oxidizing filters or chlorination followed by filtration.


Suspended matter in water; examples include mud, clay, silt and sand; can ruin seats, seals and moving parts in appliances.

Removal by backwashing sediment filters; extra fine treatment utilizing sediment cartridge elements.

Acid Water
(low pH)

Corrosive water attacks piping and other metals; red and/or green staining of fixtures and laundry.

Best corrected by neutralizing filters or soda ash feeding.

Taste/Odor/Color (organic matter)

Makes water unpalatable; can cause staining.

Depending on the nature of contaminant, aeration followed by filtration; carbon filtration; chlorination followed by filtration.

Tannins/Humic Acids

Can impart an "iced-tea" color to water; causes light staining; can affect the taste of foods and beverages.

Removal by special ion exchange or oxidizing agents and filtration.

Coliform Bacteria

Can cause serious disease and intestinal disorders.

Chlorination and filtration is most widely practiced; iodination, ozonation and ultraviolet treatment are used to a lesser degree.

Organic Halides (herbicides & pesticides)

Can cause serious disease and/or poisoning.

Most are readily removed by adsorption with carbon filters; some can also be removed by hydrolysis and oxidation.


Can cause health-related problems if quantities are high.

Removal by special ion exchange, deionization process or reverse osmosis.

Sodium Salts

Imparts an alkaline or soda taste to water.

Removal by deionization process, reverse osmosis or distillation.