Archive for May, 2020

Can the COVID-19 Virus Spread Through Drinking Water

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

The current COVID-19 public health emergency is an unprecedented event in anyone’s living memory that has disrupted daily lives, slowed the economy, and forced Americans living under stay-at-home orders to shelter indoors. 

Though social distancing measures appear to be having an effect on the growth of the pandemic, with cases in the United States topping 1 million and over 50,000 deaths currently according to the New York Times, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be a problem that will remain with us for the foreseeable future.

The novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, has demonstrated a remarkably high rate of transmissibility. The effects of the disease it causes, known as COVID-19, have proven to be equally devastating. As we have all adapted to living in a world where the surfaces we touch and the people we come into contact with pose a potential threat, many people have begun to reexamine the things around us that have the potential to carry and transmit the coronavirus.

Let’s take a closer look at whether SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be transmitted through drinking water.

Can the Coronavirus Spread Through Tap Water?

According to guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), SARS-CoV-2 has not been detected in drinking water. Current guidance by the CDC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), indicates that water supplied by municipal water suppliers remains safe to drink.

While much remains unknown about the virus, current guidance suggests that traditional water treatment processes used by municipal water suppliers are effective at either removing or inactivating the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Standard drinking water treatment processes, such as adding chlorine to municipal water or treating it with ultraviolet light, appear to be effective at neutralizing the coronavirus. This makes sense, given that these treatment processes are used to neutralize other more common viruses that cause outbreaks in drinking water systems. These include Hepatitis A, Norovirus, and Rotavirus.

What Can I Do If I’m Still Concerned?

It is understandable during this difficult time to seek out additional ways to protect the health of yourself, your family, and by extension your community. While current CDC guidance suggests that the risk of contracting COVID-19 through tap water is low provided proper water treatment occurs if you wish to further limit your risk there are viable home water treatment options.

The most effective water treatment option against viruses is reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis systems force water through a specialized membrane containing very small pores. Those pores allow water molecules to move through, but keep larger contaminants out. Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective at removing viruses, as well as a wide range of other contaminants. These systems are small enough to be installed under your sink, yet powerful enough to provide tens of gallons of fresh, clean drinking water for you and your family each day.

Reverse osmosis drinking water filtration systems are a great option for individuals, families, and businesses that are seeking extra protection against any unexpected rise in contaminants in their drinking water. Though the risk from contracting COVID-19 from treated municipal water supplies is thought to be low, there is a wide range of other contaminants that pose a health risk that reverse osmosis systems are also effective at removing. This makes reverse osmosis systems a great choice if you’re looking for on-demand filtered drinking water at your tap.

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Closing Thoughts

Guidance from the CDC, WHO, and EPA remains clear that the risk of contracting COVID-19 from tap water is very unlikely. However, to stay cautious, community water suppliers use treatment methods that remove or inactivate viruses. These treatment methods, including chlorine and ultraviolet light, are also believed to be effective against SARS-CoV-2.

If you remain concerned about the quality of your water, our experts at Rayne Water are here to help. We carry many great water treatment systems that can provide you with clean, filtered water at your tap. We’ll consult with you to listen to your concerns about water, then make targeted recommendations for the best systems that meet your needs.

Ready to learn more about water treatment options for your home or business? Schedule a virtual demo of our products today, so that you can learn about great water treatment systems for your home or business, all from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/can-coronavirus-spread-food-water/faq-20485479
  3. https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/drinking-tap-water-safe
  4. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/catching-coronavirus-water/story?id=70245815
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200403132347.htm

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Book Virtual Water System Demos with Rayne Water

Posted by Rayne Water

Are you curious about water treatment options for your home or business, but aren’t sure how you can find the right product for you? The current COVID-19 public health emergency has disrupted much of our daily lives. However, you can still get access to expert guidance on water treatment solutions for your home by booking a virtual demo with Rayne Water.

Rayne Water is an essential service, so we’re continuing to help our community members find the right water treatment solution for their needs. One of the ways we are doing that is by rolling out new virtual demos, which give you an opportunity to explore water treatment systems from the safety and comfort of your home. 

What’s Changed

The COVID-19 public health emergency has changed nearly every facet of our daily lives, and it is hard to understate how the pandemic is continuing to reshape how we live and interact. It is important to communicate where we are at currently, and what we are doing to protect our customers.

At Rayne Water, we’re closely monitoring guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local health officials. Though stay-at-home orders have caused many businesses to temporarily cease operations, Rayne Water is considered an essential business and is continuing with normal operations. 

We have implemented best practices recommended by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), including practicing safe hygiene, keeping hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available for all employees, and encouraging employees who don’t feel well to stay at home. A comprehensive list of actions we’ve taken so far can be found at our COVID-19 Update

One of the ways that we are striving to protect the health of our customers and employees is by expanding our use of technology to bring our products to you through virtual demos. We’ll continue to seek out new ways to provide the same great service we always have and get you access to quality water treatment options.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

How a Virtual Demo Can Help You

A virtual demo can help you identify the right system for your needs. Understanding what different water treatment options are available to you can be a challenging task. There are many different types of products on the market, including water softeners, water conditioners, and reverse-osmosis water filtration systems. A virtual demo is one way that you can be quickly introduced to the various types of water treatment systems we offer, including how they work, what the advantage of the system is, and why you might choose it.

How Do I Know What Type of System I Need?

One of the best ways to narrow down your search for a water treatment system is to begin by determining what you want the system to do. Think about what specifically you don’t like about your water.

If you are tired of dealing with the impacts of water hardness, you’ll probably want to take a look at water softening systems. If your water has an unpleasant smell that you’d like to get rid of, a water conditioning system might be right for you. If you are looking for a cost-effective drinking water filtration system, you’ll probably want to start by taking a look at reverse-osmosis systems.

By starting at the problem and working your way back toward a solution, you’ll be more likely to find a solution that is right for you. Our technicians will also help you through this process by asking questions to find out what you don’t like about your current water and finding a treatment method that addresses that issue.

Common Types of Water Treatment

Whether you are tired of dealing with hard water, want to remove bad odors and tastes from your water, or are looking for a cost-effective alternative to bottled water, there’s a water treatment system that can fit your needs.

One thing to keep in mind when exploring water treatment options is that there generally isn’t a system that does everything. Rather, water treatment systems are usually highly effective at removing some contaminants and not others. This is because different treatment processes tend to have high effectiveness at certain types of contaminants, but are less effective against other contaminants. 

The most common types of water filters for residential and business use tend to be water softening, water conditioning, and reverse-osmosis water filtration. Let’s take a look at how each of these functions in a bit more detail.

Water Softening

Water softening is the most common method of dealing with hard water. Hard water is water with a relatively high amount of dissolved minerals. These minerals include calcium, magnesium, and heavy metals such as lead and aluminum.

Water softening systems use a process known as ion-exchange to actually remove the heavy minerals from water. In a water softening system, hard mineral ions in water are exchanged with softer sodium ions.

Softened water won’t cause the scaling and soap scum that are common symptoms of hard water. Clothes washed in hard water tend to be more durable and their colors will last longer. Bathing in softened water allows your soap to lather fully, and it is easier to rinse off completely. Hair washed in softened water has more volume and vibrant color.

The benefits of water softening can be immense if you have hard water. Water softeners are a point-of-entry (POE) system so they provide softened water throughout your entire home. But, while water softeners will soften water by removing hard minerals, they won’t remove other contaminants that might be in your water. This is why some people choose to install a reverse-osmosis filtration system under their kitchen sink to provide filtered drinking water for their entire house in addition to a water softening system. 

Water Conditioning

Water conditioners are sometimes considered a salt-free alternative to water softening systems, but this description doesn’t capture the differences between these two systems. Water conditioners and water softeners function in different ways and produce different results. 

Water conditioners are typically used to remove the chemicals and compounds from your water that cause it to smell or taste bad. They do this through the use of granulated activated carbon, which is a special type of carbon that has been treated with heat or oxygen to give it a very large surface area. As organic contaminants pass through the activated carbon they are trapped on the surface of the carbon through a process known as adhesion.

Water conditioners are incredible for removing the disinfectant chlorine, chloramines, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other substances in your water that cause it to have an unpleasant taste or smell.

Some water conditioners can also be used to provide some of the benefits of softened water. These water conditioners don’t actually soften water, they alter the structure of the hard minerals so that they don’t cause scaling. The Rayne Spartan Series is an example of a water conditioning system that provides some of the benefits of softened water.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration

If you want a cost-effective alternative to bottled water, a reverse osmosis filtration system is a great place to start. Reverse osmosis systems filter out the vast majority of unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. They do this through the use of a specialized membrane that contains very small pores. These pores allow water molecules to pass through but block larger molecules. 

Reverse osmosis is the same technology used in industrial-scale desalination plants, and the reverse osmosis system in your home will also remove salts from water. However, reverse osmosis systems remove far more contaminants than just salts. Reverse osmosis removes viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and coliforms. It also removes hard minerals, salts, arsenic, fluoride, nitrates, sulfates, and heavy metals such as copper, lead, and chromium.

Under sink reverse osmosis systems for residential use are most-often installed at a point-of-use (POU), to provide drinking water for the household. These systems are capable of providing many gallons of drinking water per day, making them a cost-effective alternative to bottled water. If you transition to reverse osmosis from bottled water, you’ll also produce less waste.

Closing Thoughts

At Rayne Water, we are doing everything in our power to continue to provide you with the cleanest water possible and the best water treatment systems on the market. As an essential business, we have remained open while closely adhering to safe practices outlined by the CDC and WHO. As the situation develops, we will continue to keep our customers and community members updated.

As part of our effort to continue to provide you with the best water treatment options, we’re deploying a new virtual demo option. Aren’t sure what type of water treatment system is right for you? Sign up for our virtual demo! Our knowledgeable technicians can introduce you to our lineup of systems and help you narrow down the treatment option that’s right for you.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/drinking/Household_Water_Treatment.pdf
  3. https://extension.psu.edu/water-softening

 

A Guide for How to Test Water Hardness

Posted by Rayne Water

Have you ever wondered how to test water hardness in your house? The answer might be closer than you think. Hard water is the result of elevated mineral levels in the groundwater supply. While hard water may be potable water and not necessarily  harmful to your health, it does result in a number of unpleasant effects with which you are probably familiar. 

Figuring out how to determine water hardness isn’t necessarily a complex process. While there are detailed tests that can give you an accurate and exact measure of how hard your water is, determining whether or not you have hard water is a much simpler exercise. 

In this article, we’re going to outline some easy to understand tips that can help you determine whether or not you have hard water. In doing so, we’ll explore some of the key effects that hard water can have around your house and on your body. Some of these are merely unsightly, while others can impact everything from the efficiency of your appliances to the moisture of your hair and skin. In the end, you might be surprised at the many ways that hard water has had an impact on your daily life and may be interested in a whole home water softener. Water Softening System.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high amount of minerals in it. The majority of these minerals are usually calcium carbonate and magnesium, however other minerals such as manganese and iron can also be found in hard water samples. The higher the mineral count in your water, the harder your water is considered.

Generally, water is thought of as “soft” if it has less than 1 Grain per Gallon (GPG)  of calcium carbonate. A higher concentration than this is considered to be hard water, with varying degrees of calcium hardness assigned to different thresholds of calcium carbonate.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

How Does Hard Water Form?

The formation of hard water occurs naturally through an interaction between water and the soil it passes through. Starting as precipitation, water is largely soft, though there may be small amounts of minerals contained in rainfall. Once that rainfall hits the ground, it begins to move into and through the soil. 

The movement of water through the soil and into the rivers and aquifers that provide our water supply is long and arduous. As water passes through soil along the way, it dissolves the bonds of the mineral ions in the soil. These minerals are then carried along with the water into the water that reaches your tap.

In order for water to be hard, it must pass through soil that is rich in calcium carbonate and magnesium. This typically means chalk or limestone. Hard water can also contain high levels of iron if it moves through iron-rich soil. Put another way, the presence or absence of minerals in the soil around a groundwater source has a direct impact on how hard the water is. 

This means that the hardness level of water can vary substantially based on where you live. Many parts of the United States have hard water. This is also why you might notice that the water feels different when you visit another state or country.

Testing for Hard Water

If you are wondering how to measure water hardness, there are a variety of different tests you can do to find out whether or not your water is hard. Most municipal water suppliers also publish information about what types of minerals and other substances the water piped into your house contains. These water quality reports can provide a valuable source of general information, such as where your local water is sourced from, how it is treated, and what types of organic and inorganic materials it might contain. An example of a local municipal water quality report can be found here.

Short of browsing a water quality report or testing a water sample directly at your tap using a water test kit or test strip, there are some easy observational methods that you can use to determine if your water is hard. 

Do You Have Spots on Your Dishes?

If your dishes come out of the dishwasher with spots or a slight film on them, you probably have hard water. Those spots found on your dishes are mineral deposits left behind when the water used to wash the dish evaporates or is dried during the last part of the dishwasher cycle. 

Have You Observed Mineral Buildup on Your Faucets and Fixtures?

You can definitely tell that you have hard water if you pay close attention to your plumbing fixtures. Those areas of your house that are in frequent contact with tap water will be the areas where you see the biggest impact of hard water, and nowhere else comes in contact with water as frequently as plumbing fixtures.

If you have noticed scaly buildup on your fixtures then you most likely have hard water. You may have noticed that the nozzles on your shower head become clogged over time. This occlusion is due to mineral deposits left behind by hard water. The same is true of the nozzles in your dishwasher, which slowly become closed off by mineral deposits over time. 

Staining from mineral deposits on plumbing fixtures can also be different colors. White or gray stains tend to be from calcium carbonate, while areas with a high amount of iron in the water will produce reddish stains on fixtures and faucets.

Do You Get Soap Scum?

If you are constantly battling soap scum, you have hard water. Soap scum is a white, filmy layer often found in showers, in sinks, or on bathroom fixtures. Soap scum forms from a reaction between the minerals in water and the soap or detergent you use and leaves behind a solid substance that is difficult to clean. 

Soap scum can combine with mold or trap mildew in it. It can also be extremely difficult to remove, particularly if it has been left in place for some time. Most often, soap scum is an unsightly nuisance that most people with hard water have just learned to live with.

The Hair Test

Hard water can affect our lives in surprising ways. One of these is the effect of hard water on hair. You can test for water hardness by observing your hair – hair washed with hard water will begin to form a layer of minerals on the hair follicle. This mineral layer has a couple of effects that you may not have even realized were happening. 

The first is that minerals make hair look dull. Typically, hair washed in hard water will, over time, become duller and lack the vibrancy of hair washed in soft water. Your hair might also be drier when washed with hard water vs. soft water. The minerals deposited by hard water makes it more difficult for moisturizers to penetrate your hair follicle, leading to drier hair over time. 

The Hand Washing Test

This could also be considered the soap test, given the fact that it really comes down to how effectively your water washes away the soap. If you wash your hands with hard water and soap, you will probably notice that your hands can feel a bit dry and rough after all the soap has been visibly washed away, requiring lotion or oil. That dry feeling is from a thin layer of liquid soap sticking to the hard mineral left behind and sticking to your hand and is a common sign that your water is hard.

Another component of this test method applies to your skin as a whole. Individuals with hard water can have dry skin, which actually stems from that layer of soap that is left on your body after you get out of the shower. 

How to Soften Water

If you realized through your observational tests that you probably have hard water, you might be wondering what makes water soft. Once you determine you have hard water, there are a couple of options for you. 

Option 1

The first is to just live with the fact that you have hard water and deal with the issues associated with hard water in your home.  

Option 2

The second solution is to install a water softener. What is a water softener? Water softeners are systems that are installed where your water comes into your house. Water Softeners generally consist of two tanks; a mineral tank that contains a negatively charged resin, and a brine tank that contains a sodium-rich solution. Both of these tanks work together to remove minerals from hard water in a process known as ion exchange.

A home water softener system functions by running the tap water coming into your house through the mineral tank, where the positively charged mineral ions are attracted to the negatively charged resin in the tank. These minerals are replaced with sodium ions in the water during the water softening process.

Once the resin in the mineral tank reaches its capacity, it will need to be recharged. With this process, water from the brine tank is pushed through the mineral tank where the sodium ions that also have a positive charge replace the mineral ions that are on the resin. Once the mineral ions have been flushed out of the tank completely, the tank is ready for further extraction of minerals from your hard water. 

Is Soft Water Salty?

A water softener solution provides soft water for your entire home. One thing most people immediately wonder is whether the soft water that enters their home is salty, given the fact that there is now sodium that is attached to the water molecule. While there is sodium added to the water during this process, it doesn’t substantially raise the salinity of the water going through your house and doesn’t taste salty. 

If the salt content of soft water concerns you, you could look into installing a reverse-osmosis home water filtration system at your sink tap, which would remove any excess sodium as well as bacteria or other contaminants that might be in your water.

Closing Thoughts

Testing to see if your water is hard doesn’t have to be a confusing process. The methods we’ve outlined above constitute an observational test that anyone can perform to quickly determine whether their water is hard. Key indicators of hard water are mineral buildup around faucets and plumbing fixtures, spots and film on dishes after they have been cleaned and dried, and ever-present soap scum or suds in your showers and on your sinks.

Alongside these indicators, there are some additional ways that you can tell your water or drinking water is hard. You may notice that your hair is dry and dull, both of which are often the result of a buildup of minerals from hard water on your hair follicles. Hard water can also cause the skin on your scalp and body to become more dry or irritated, which stems from a layer of soap left on the skin after it has been washed. This layer of soap is also why your hands might feel a bit dry after washing them in an area with hard water.

While hard water doesn’t have any huge negative health consequences, it does produce unsightly buildup and can impact the operational efficiency of equipment such as water heaters over time. If you live in an area with hard water, switching to soft water is as easy as installing a water softener into your home. Water softeners ensure that all of the water in your house is soft through an ion exchange process, whereby the mineral ions in hard water are extracted and replaced with sodium ions in soft water. 

The tests we have outlined can give you a good idea of whether or not you have hard water. If you want to understand the total hardness of your water, or exactly how hard the water at your tap is, contact Rayne Water today to schedule a free water hardness test. Rayne Water is proud to serve California and Arizona. So if you need a water softener in Phoenix or a reverse osmosis system in San Diego… we’ve got you covered!

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  2. https://extension.psu.edu/water-softening
  3. https://www.vidwater.org/files/d5ce12c8f/2018+CCR++Final+English+for+POSTING.pdf
  4. https://www.skincarebyalana.com/blog/whats-better-skin-hard-soft-water/
  5. https://www.thespruce.com/solving-hard-water-laundry-problems-2146651
  6. https://www.thespruce.com/soap-scum-information-1900291