Poor Water Quality in St. Charles
Whether we’re drinking, showering, or washing clothes and dishes, water is our unsung companion. Reports vary, but it’s safe to say that the average American uses around 100 gallons of water per day. However, sometimes our water is not as clean as it should be.
For some St. Charles residents, 2017 was not a good year for their water. Many complained about the water quality coming from the city’s water system. Problems were especially bad for those living outside of the downtown St. Charles area. Inconsistent water quality meant that some residents were getting perfectly good water one day and the next day their water was coming out brown.
Worried about your own water not being sufficiently clean and safe? Have it tested.
What is “Hard” Water?
Water is described as “hard” if it contains a high proportion of minerals. Generally, these minerals are calcium and magnesium, which are picked up in the process of getting water from the ground to your tap. A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey has determined that Northern Illinois’ water has the highest level of water hardness, based on their scale.
What’s Wrong With Hard Water?
Though hard water alone doesn’t pose any health risks, it can still be very problematic. It decreases the effectiveness of soap, leading to spotty dishes and clothing that doesn’t look totally clean. Hard water can also be detrimental to your appliances. Your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, and other devices will likely have shorter lifespans due to hard water. Hard water can even take years off the life of your toilets and faucets.
Water Quality Testing
Unfortunately, St. Charles city officials have said that it will be many months before they’ll have a solution to the water problem. That’s simply too long to wait for many of the people dealing with bad water. To fix the problem in the meantime, the first step is to have your water tested. Once the quality of your water is determined, including amounts of bacteria, minerals, and other contaminants, a professional can decide the best course of action.
Water Quality Solutions
If the problem is hard water, a water softener is usually the best solution. Most water softeners essentially exchange salt for the minerals causing the hardness, resulting in soft water that can be used to cook with, drink, bathe in, and launder clothes without the problems hard water poses. If your problem goes beyond hard water, a water purification system will probably be your best bet. This will ensure the water you’re using every day is both soft and safe to consume. A point-of-use system (e.g. refrigerator filters or under-sink reverse osmosis systems) treats the water at the point where it’s consumed. On the other hand, point-of-entry systems are designed to treat the whole house’s water supply. Examples are chlorine filters and filtration systems.