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COVID-19 Update From Rayne Water Incorporated

Posted by Rayne Water

 

The health and safety of Rayne Water employees and customers is our highest priority. With COVID-19, commonly known as Novel Coronavirus 2019, becoming a more widespread concern, Rayne has implemented preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). At this time, we are taking recommended precautions while continuing regular operations. We have instructed that all employees:

We are carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation globally and will continue to take direction from the CDC and follow its recommendations. Please check our website for future updates. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers during this time.

How to Remove Salt from Water

Posted by Rayne Water

If you have an ion-exchange water softening system you might be curious about how to remove salt from water. The soft water produced by ion-exchange systems contains a small amount of sodium. This small amount of sodium can’t be tasted, but some people prefer to remove sodium from their drinking water entirely. Understanding how to remove salts from water can help you determine whether augmenting your water softening system is right for you.

Soft Water and Sodium

Sodium plays a critical part in the water softening process. There are two primary ways that the impact of hard water is dealt with in a residential setting: water softeners and water conditioners. A water softener removes the mineral content of hard water and replaces it with a small number of sodium ions, while a water conditioner changes the minerals so they can’t cause scaling. Water conditioners are sometimes known as salt-free water softeners since the water conditioned by these systems doesn’t contain sodium. Learn the difference between a salt versus salt free water softener with our guide.

Water softeners function through a process known as ion-exchange. Sodium plays a critical role in this process.

Ion-Exchange

When water percolates through the soil and stone of Earth’s crust, it picks up mineral ions. These mineral ions, most often consisting of calcium and magnesium, bond to the water molecule. Once the water reaches your tap it has undergone a series of treatments, but those treatments don’t address the mineral content of the water.

Here is where an ion-exchange system comes in. These systems are usually installed where the main water line comes into your home after the water meter. These systems contain at least two tanks: a brine tank and a resin tank.

The resin tank contains small, negatively charged resin beads that have sodium ions attached to them. As hard water is piped into the resin tank and passes over the resin beads, the positively charged mineral ions attached to the water molecule are attracted to the negatively charged resin. When these mineral ions are drawn away from the water molecule they are replaced with the sodium ions which had previously been attached to the resin beads. The replacement of a positively charged mineral ion with a positively charged sodium ion allows the water molecule to retain an ionic balance.

Over time, the resin beads in the tank will have a large number of mineral ions attached to them. If these ions are not flushed from the system then eventually it will stop softening water. In order to flush the system, salty brine in the brine tank is flooded into the resin tank. The salty water displaces the mineral ions from the resin, replacing them once again with positively charged sodium ions. The brine solution containing the mineral ions is flushed from the system down the drain, and the system is ready to begin softening again.

The Impact of Sodium in Soft Water

Some people are skeptical about water softeners which use ion-exchange because of the sodium in the soft water they produce. This is understandable, particularly because the dangers of high-sodium diets have been discussed extensively over recent decades.

To clear up any confusion, the soft water produced by these systems contains sodium (Na) and not table salt, sodium chloride (NaCl). The sodium added to the water doesn’t alter the taste of the water. Still, it is worth considering the impact of this sodium. For the average, healthy adult the sodium content in soft water poses little risk. The exact sodium content of the water produced by your system will depend on how hard it is going into the system. Harder water going into a water softener will have more sodium coming out of the system. 

For example, water containing 10 grains-per-gallon (GPG) of calcium carbonate is considered very hard on the water hardness scale. Once softened this water will contain only 74 milligrams (mg) of sodium in a quart of water or 298 mg per gallon. To put this number in perspective, each gallon of soft water provides slightly more sodium than two slices of white bread or two cups of milk.

Removing Salt From Water

While the sodium content of softened water doesn’t pose a risk to most people, some individuals require low sodium in their diets or simply prefer the sodium removed from their drinking water. If you still want the benefits of softened water but don’t want sodium in your drinking water, you’ll need to understand how to remove salinity from water.

The most common and effective way to remove salt from water is through physical filtration. Specifically, reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing salt and a wide variety of other contaminants from softened water.

Let’s take a closer look at reverse osmosis systems, which offer a method for how to remove salt from water naturally.

Reverse Osmosis System

To understand reverse osmosis, it is helpful to start with osmosis. Osmosis is all around us and is important for how our bodies function. To understand osmosis, picture two liquids on either side of a membrane. Those liquids contain different amounts of dissolved substance. On one side of the membrane, the solution has a high concentration of the dissolved substance, while the solution on the other side has a low concentration of a dissolved substance. 

In osmosis, the liquid which has a low amount of the dissolved substance will flow across the membrane to the solution with a high amount of dissolved substances. This flow will continue until the liquid on both sides of the membrane contains an equal amount of liquid and dissolved substance. The force causing this flow is known as osmotic pressure.

Reverse osmosis is the exact opposite of this natural process. Desalination is the removal of salt from seawater and is an easy way to visualize reverse osmosis in action. When water is desalinated using reverse osmosis, saltwater is forced at high pressure across a semipermeable membrane. 

In order to force the water across the membrane, the pressure used in the system must exceed the osmotic pressure. The membrane used has pores large enough to allow water molecules through, but not large enough to allow sodium ions or many other contaminants through. The result on the other side of the membrane is freshwater that has had the vast majority of sodium removed.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a highly effective and natural method for removing sodium from softened water. At the same time, reverse osmosis systems also dramatically reduce the number of contaminants in water. 

Reverse osmosis systems are effective at removing or reducing:

Reverse osmosis systems may also contain a pre-filter to clear out any sediment and a post-filter consisting of activated carbon. Activated carbon filters are highly effective at removing many of the substances which give tap water a bad taste and smell. These include disinfectants like chlorine used in water treatment, chloramines, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). By using a reverse osmosis system that incorporates activated carbon filtration, you’ll be sure your drinking water has fewer contaminants and a clean, filtered taste. See our guide to Does Water Have a Taste for more information.

Can You Use Both Systems?

Yes! You can use a water softener and reverse osmosis at the same time. Here’s how it works. Ion-exchange water softeners are installed as a point-of-entry (POE) system. What this means is ion-exchange systems are installed where the water line comes into the house, and are intended to provide soft water throughout the house.

If you are concerned about the sodium content of soft water, you’ll install a reverse osmosis system at the point-of-use (POU). This may be at your kitchen sink or wherever you prefer to pour your drinking water.

With this type of dual system setup, hard water enters your house and immediately enters the water softening system where mineral ions are exchanged with sodium ions. This water is then piped throughout your home. Before it hits the tap where you want to provide drinking water the soft water enters the reverse osmosis system. Here any sodium ions are removed, as well as a broad array of other contaminants. 

Using both systems in this way allows you to have the benefits of both soft water and water filtration. Softening your water ensures you won’t have to deal with the soap scum, scaling, and deposits that come with hard water. Water filtration using reverse osmosis gives you gallons of filtered, clean water.

Final Thoughts

Most people aren’t negatively affected by the sodium content of softened water, but it is important to recognize the options available to remove the salt from softened water or go with one of the best salt free water systems. The most common solution is to install a reverse-osmosis system to provide filtered, clean water. 

The benefit of this solution is that not only will sodium be removed from your drinking water, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing many other contaminants will be removed as well. These include microbes like giardia and salmonella, nitrates, and PFAS.

To learn more about water softener alternatives and options for removing salt from your freshwater, please contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. https://academic-eb-com.prox.miracosta.edu/levels/collegiate/article/hard-water/39219
  2. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  3. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/how-much-sodium-should-i-eat-per-day
  4. https://www.water-rightgroup.com/blog/myths-about-water-softeners-8-things-people-get-wrong/

 

Does Water Have a Taste?

Posted by Rayne Water

If you are drinking the daily amount of water recommended by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, you should be consuming around 3.7 liters of water if you are a man or 2.7 liters of water for women. Only 20% of this amount is estimated to come from the food you eat, leaving a fairly large amount of water to drink.

For many people, drinking this amount of water each day is made more difficult by how their water tastes. But does water have a taste? At Rayne Water, we say the short answer is yes, but the factors influencing how your water tastes may surprise you.

What Does Water Taste Like?

It’s inherently difficult to describe the taste of something like water. Taste is a subjective experience, and for most of us we know when drinking water tastes good and when it doesn’t.

One of the main factors influencing taste is the mineral content of water. The easiest way to see the influence of minerals on the taste of water is to compare the taste of distilled water with regular tap water or mineral water. Distilled water has had any dissolved solids removed from it, and for most people, it tastes bland or flat. This is particularly true if you compare it to water containing minerals.

The mineral content of your water is sometimes expressed as the number of total dissolved solids (TDS) in a sample of water. A higher number of TDS means your water has a higher mineral content, while a lower TDS means your water has lower mineral content.

But minerals aren’t the only factor influencing the taste of your water. Let’s take a look at some of the other things in your water which might alter the taste, and how to make your water taste better if these contaminants are in your water.

Disinfectants

If you are like most people in the United States then you probably get your water from a municipal water supplier rather than a well. While well-water isn’t treated, community water suppliers do treat the water passing through their salt-free systems to ensure the water is safe for consumption when it is delivered.

One of the most common treatments for tap water is to add chlorine to it. Chlorination is used to kill any microbes like giardia or salmonella. While chlorine treatment is highly effective and makes public water supplies safer as a whole, it also alters the taste of the water. Next time you pour a glass of water from your tap, take the time to smell it. You’ll almost certainly notice your tap water smells like chlorine.

Removing disinfectants and their byproducts from your water will require the use of a filtration system utilizing activated carbon. Activated carbon is highly effective at capturing disinfectants and their byproducts, as well as a variety of other chemicals.

Hydrogen Sulfide or Bacteria

Do you find yourself wondering why your water smells like sulfur? The answer might not be very pleasant. The smell some people describe as sulfur or a rotten egg is usually the result of bacteria or hydrogen sulfide in the water. 

Hydrogen sulfide is a naturally occurring gas commonly found in tap water. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t consider hydrogen sulfide a primary or secondary contaminant, but there may be some detrimental effects alongside the foul smell and unpleasant taste. Very high levels may result in nausea or stomach pain, while concentrations greater than 0.5 parts per million (ppm) can corrode pipes or metal, as well as alter the taste of your food and beverages.

If your water has sulfur or rotten egg smell, the most effective solution is to use an activated carbon filtration system.

Chlorides and Sodium

If your water tastes salty there are two likely culprits: chlorides or sodium. Chloride is a common salt compound that can enter the water supply from rocks containing chloride, wastewater, sewage leaks, or agricultural runoff. Sodium may be found in softened water as a byproduct of the ion-exchange process but this should not alter the taste of water.

If your tap water suddenly becomes salty, it is a good idea to report it to your water supplier because it can be an indication of unwanted contaminants entering your water supply. However, if your water is always slightly salty, you’ll want to utilize a reverse-osmosis (RO) system. RO systems use a membrane to filter out tiny contaminants, including chloride and sodium. Using this system will help you learn how to remove salt from water in an easy and efficient way.

For more insights, we’ll tell you the best salt-free water system and some great water softener alternatives for your home.

Final Thoughts

Not all water tastes the same. The flavor of water can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the mineral content of the water or the presence of other contaminants. The smell of chlorine is a byproduct of the disinfection process most tap water goes through, while a sulfur smell stems from hydrogen sulfide. Water may taste salty if the chloride content of your tap water is high as well.

Removing these tastes from water simply requires having the right filtration system in place. Hydrogen sulfide and chlorine can be effectively removed through the use of activated carbon filtration, while sodium and chlorides can be effectively removed with a reverse osmosis system. Many reverse osmosis systems include a post-filter using activated carbon, which makes these systems effective at removing a wide range of contaminants which cause your water to taste or smell bad.

The best way to find out what’s in your water is to schedule a water test with a Rayne Water technician. A water test can let you know what contaminants are influencing the taste of your water, and our knowledgeable technicians can outline the filtration systems that can deliver clean, filtered drinking water that’s crisp and great tasting.

If you want to learn the difference between salt versus salt-free water system or how salt is used in softening water, visit our page and contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx
  2. https://www.livescience.com/54521-tap-water-tastes.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/does-water-have-a-taste#sense-of-taste
  4. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/science/854-articles/story/why-does-water-from-different-places-taste-different
  5. https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C858-15&title=Removal%20of%20Hydrogen%20Sulfide%20and%20Sulfate
  6. http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/publications/watercirc/HydrogenSulfide.pdf

 

Why Your Office Needs a Commercial Water Filter System

Posted by Rayne Water

There are many must-have office amenities, especially if you are looking for ways to improve your working environment. You might want to consider investing in commercial water filtration for your office. Office water purification systems offer a cost-effective means of providing a nearly unlimited supply of clean drinking water to your office staff.

There are several different commercial water treatment systems available, including bottle-less water coolers and commercial reverse osmosis systems. Understanding the advantages of these systems, as well as how they stack up against alternatives like bottled water delivery, can help your organization find the filtered water solution that is right for you.

Why Invest in a Commercial Water Filter System?

Executives and consultants have worked hard over the years to create the image of the modern office as an extension of one’s own home. With things like flexible furniture, open designs, and seamless technological integration, the office is increasingly a collaborative space where creativity and productivity are enhanced by the environment itself. So, it is a no brainer that there are added benefits of an office water cooler and incorporating other filtration options into the office. 

This effort extends to the food we eat and the water we drink. Tap water from a faucet can be full of contaminants, chemicals, and other products that aren’t the best to ingest. Companies that are looking for ways to improve their work environment have cast an eye towards building a collection of healthy and convenient food choices and ensuring that their employees have easy access to clean, filtered water.

Offering clean, filtered water is an effective way for employers to fulfill a straightforward need for their staff. By proactively making clean drinking water available, you’ll improve the health of your staff. Dehydration can reduce a person’s ability to concentrate and think clearly. By ensuring that your staff has convenient access to clean water, you’ll also improve productivity.

Lastly, investing in a commercial water filter system is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for providing clean drinking water to your staff. You’ll reduce waste stemming from bottled water, while also saving your organization money in the long run.

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

Options for Providing Clean Drinking Water

Providing clean drinking water to your entire office isn’t necessarily difficult, but it is important to understand what your options are so that you can find the appropriate solution for your needs. The two most common methods for providing drinking water to your office are by installing a commercial water filter system or using a bottled water delivery service. 

Let’s take a look at the core benefits and drawbacks of these solutions.

Water Purification Systems

Commercial water purification systems are the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution for providing clean drinking water to your employees. There are many different types of commercial water filter systems. The two most popular options are bottle-less water coolers and reverse osmosis systems. Each of these systems has advantages that make them appropriate for different applications.

When taken together, commercial water purification systems represent more of an initial investment than alternatives like bottled water delivery services. But, that investment results in lower ongoing costs over time. Some water purification systems do require some degree of maintenance, which may be provided by a service provider like Rayne. Typically this involves changing filtration media, but certain solutions like bottle-less water coolers don’t require this.

Bottled Water Delivery Service

Many offices rely on a bottled water delivery service for drinking water. These services involve a contract with a water provider who delivers bottled water at regular, agreed-upon intervals. The amount of water delivered usually depends on your specific needs and is typically delivered in 5-gallon bottles.

The systems used by bottled water delivery services are either bottom-loading or top-loading, meaning the bottle of water is either loaded into the bottom or top of the system. This brings us to the first disadvantage of these systems, which is that the 5-gallon bottle of water weighs around 42 lbs, which makes loading the system difficult for many people. 

Storage is also a concern, particularly in small offices or in work environments with many employees. If you have 50 gallons, or ten bottles, delivered every week, you’ll have to have a place to store those ten bottles. 

The biggest disadvantage of bottled water delivery services is that they are relatively expensive when compared to using a commercial water filtration system. Using one of these services will result in costs for water, deposits for the bottles themselves, and a rental fee for the cooler.

What Types of Commercial Water Filter Systems Are There?

Understanding what types of commercial water filter systems can help you get a sense of what type of system might work best for you. There are different types of water filtration systems, each using one or more filtration methods. The three most common filtration methods are reverse osmosis, filtration through charcoal media, or ion exchange systems. 

The two most common types of commercial water filtration systems are bottle-less coolers and commercial reverse osmosis systems. Which system is right for you will depend largely upon your needs.

Bottle-less Coolers

Bottle-less coolers come in a familiar form-factor that is similar to the types of coolers that provide water from a 5-gallon bottle. Unlike those systems, bottle-less coolers provide filtration on the spot. The standard bottle-less cooler can provide both hot and cold water, while tri-temp coolers can provide hot, cold, and room temperature water.

Bottle-less coolers utilize both reverse osmosis filtration and multi-stage carbon filtration. Reverse osmosis captures almost all of the dissolved solids in the water, while the multi-stage carbon filter captures the chemicals that are used to treat water, such as chlorine, as well as the odors that give tap water a bad taste.

The combination of both filtration methods ensures that the water coming out of your bottle-less cooler is always clean and fresh tasting. At the same time, bottle-less coolers can provide a nearly limitless supply of filtered water. This makes them ideal for busy office spaces. 

When compared to bottled water delivery service, a bottle-less cooler takes up much less space. With a bottle-less cooler, you won’t have to worry about where to store your many full bottles, and where to stage your empty bottles until they can be picked up. Lastly, with a bottle-less cooler system, you won’t have to worry about loading heavy water bottles into the system, making on-demand drinking water easier to access for everyone in your office.

Commercial Reverse Osmosis Solutions

Commercial reverse osmosis filtration systems offer an alternative to bottle-less coolers. While bottle-less coolers are great for fitting into a small area and providing easy access to hot or cold water, they aren’t ideal for providing large quantities of filtered water to multiple delivery points. For that type of application, you will probably want to look towards a point-of-entry (POE) solution that filters water as it comes into your building like a commercial reverse osmosis system.

Commercial reverse osmosis systems can vary in size and how much water they deliver. Smaller point-of-use (POU) systems that fit under a single sink can deliver anywhere up to 75 gallons-per-day (GPD) of filtered water. An example of this would be our Rayne Eradicator RO System, which is used to provide 36, 50 or 75 GPD of drinking water and is small enough to be installed under a sink.

The next step up would be a system like our Rayne Compact RO, which is capable of providing between 150 – 800 GPD of drinking water. For even larger applications, the Rayne Frame Mount Verticle RO is a POE solution capable of providing up to 10,800 GPD in certain configurations.

Some of these larger commercial reverse osmosis systems are better suited for commercial applications like foodservice, a car wash, or an agricultural setting than your typical office building. However, they may be right for you depending on what contaminants are in your water and how much filtered water you need each day.

Final Thoughts

Your office needs a commercial water filter system because it is the most cost-effective, long-term solution for providing clean, filtered water to your employees. Access to clean, filtered water is a top amenity that today’s businesses can offer their employees that is both cost-effective and beneficial for health and productivity.

When compared to other options for providing clean drinking water for your employees, office water purification systems can do so at less cost and with less hassle. Compared to water delivery services, filtration systems provide clean drinking water that is cheaper and without the need to load heavy 5-gallon water bottles.

Other drinking water solutions, like bottled water delivery, take up more space. You’ll need to store your full bottles near your dispenser, and store empty bottles until they can be picked up and replaced. In contrast, filtration systems like the Rayne Tri-Temp Bottle-less Cooler take up less room, can provide hot, cold, or room-temperature water, and can provide a nearly limitless supply of filtered drinking water. 

If a bottle-less cooler doesn’t suit your needs, you might consider a commercial reverse osmosis system. Reverse osmosis systems vary in size depending on their application and your needs. Smaller systems can be installed under your sink and provide up to 75 gallons of drinking water each day, while larger systems are available that can provide up to 10,800 gallons of filtered water every day.

The first step to determining which type of system is right for you is to contact our water specialists at Rayne. For instance, we can determine if offices needs a commercial water softener or cooler. Our helpful staff can outline the options available to you, help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each, and guide you towards the solution that is ideal for your needs. To learn more about commercial water filter systems, please contact Rayne today.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.lifehack.org/639312/why-its-important-to-drink-more-water-at-work
  2. https://blog.managedbyq.com/the-importance-of-a-well-hydrated-workplace
  3. https://medium.com/water-cooler-talk/the-truth-about-staying-hydrated-in-the-office-it-all-starts-with-access-beb47d14bc6

 

The Best Home Water Filtration Systems

Posted by Rayne Water

There are many benefits of a water filter at home. Choosing the best home filtration system can ensure your water is clean, tastes fresh, and is free of most contaminants. Let’s explore the best home water filter systems and their benefits.

#1 Clean Taste

For many people, how their water tastes and smells can have a big impact on how much they enjoy their water. Many of the odors and smells that lead to poor taste are contaminants. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are in many of the products we use daily and have found their way into our water supply. It is estimated that roughly 20% of water supplies in the United States contain VOCs.

One of the most common VOCs is chloroform, which forms when the chlorine used to disinfect your water comes into contact with organic material. Chloroform and other VOCs not only affect the flavor of your water but may also be carcinogenic.

To remove VOCs and give your water a fresh and clean taste, you’ll want to use an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters utilize porous charcoal that captures chemical contaminants like VOCs through a process known as adsorption.

#2 Microbe Free

Did you know that waterborne pathogens in community water supplies are responsible for over 16 million cases of gastroenteritis every year in the United States? Although community water suppliers use chemicals like chlorine and bromine to disinfect their water, sometimes pathogens slip through.

The most effective method of removing pathogens from your drinking water is a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Reverse osmosis filtration systems force water through a membrane with very tiny pores. Those pores allow water molecules through, but not much else. Having a house filtration system, like reverse osmosis, will allow for your regular faucet water to have a serious upgrade in taste and quality.

With a reverse osmosis drinking system, bacteria like E. Coli and Legionella, viruses like rotavirus, and protozoans like Giardia can’t reach you.

#3 Save Money

Adding a house water filtration system can even be an amazing way for you to not only have healthier drinking water free of chemicals, but to also save some serious cash. Believe it or not, when you purchase a water purification system for your home, you’ll be able to cut costs. Even if you invest in the best and most expensive water filtration system offered, filtered water is less expensive than alternatives like bottled water delivery services. While a water filtration system represents a higher initial investment, you’ll spend less on the drinking water you use every day. Plus, there’s no equipment to rent or bottles to leave out, just clean filtered water on-demand at any time. 

There is another house water filter that you can invest in if you have hard water. Not necessarily a water filter, but more of a water softening system. A water softener can help you save money by increasing the longevity of your home’s plumbing and systems. Appliances like water heaters and dishwashers can have a reduced operational lifespan because of mineral deposits left behind by hard water. Mineral deposits will also affect your plumbing over time, wearing down seals leading to leaks, and slowly reducing the flow of water through your pipes. With a water softening system in place, you’ll eliminate sediment buildup and the other harmful impacts of hard water.

 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

#4 Capture Heavy Metals

After the water crisis in 2015 in Flint, Michigan, many Americans became concerned about elevated levels of heavy metals in the water they are drinking. Lead can leach into your faucet water through the pipes used to transport water to your home. Other heavy metals, like zinc, can be picked up as water moves through soil and stone. These metals not only pose a health risk, but they also contribute to water hardness.

The best house filtration systems will capture and remove contaminants from heavy metals in your drinking water. Heavy metals can be removed with a water softener system, through a process known as ion-exchange, or by a filtration system utilizing reverse osmosis.

#5 Flexibility

Aren’t sure if you want to invest in a whole house water filter? Or even where to start when it comes to picking which home filtration system to get? The good thing is that there are many water filter systems available from Rayne that are suitable for just about every situation. To start your search for the perfect house filter, its important to know the different types. Water filtration systems break down into two different categories; point-of-entry (POE) and point-of-use (POU).

POE systems are installed where your water line comes into your house. These systems are used to provide a clean water source to your entire house. If you are just looking to soften hard water, chances are you’ll choose a POE water softening system. However, if you want to filter out a wider range of contaminants, there are also POE reverse osmosis systems available.

In contrast, POU systems are used to provide drinking water at a specific tap. These systems tend to be small, allowing them to be installed under your kitchen faucet or in other tight places. With a POU system, you’ll still get great tasting water that can be conveniently placed where you want it.

Regardless, there are plenty of options to fit your needs. Whether you want a sink water filter placed in your kitchen or a filtration system to go through your entire home, the choice is yours. 

Final Thoughts

Asking, do you need a water filtration home system? is a big step. However, water filtration systems for your home are a cost-effective method of getting clean, filtered water. Residential filtration systems provide on-demand water that has a clean taste and is microbe, chemical, and heavy-metal free. 

There are water filtration systems that can filter all of the water throughout your house, or provide filtered water at the tap of your choosing. To find the best water filtration systems for your needs, please contact our specialists at Rayne. We’ll schedule a water test so that you can understand exactly what contaminants are in your water, and then help guide you towards the system that is right for your needs.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/climate/drinking-water-safety.html
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2078
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  4. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3043/pdf/fs2006-3043.pdf
  5. https://www.wqa.org/improve-your-water/solutions/for-the-entire-building

 

 

Do Offices Need Commercial Water Softeners?

Posted by Rayne Water

There are many benefits of an office water cooler, but have you been battling the effects of hard water in your office building? If so, installing a commercial water softener system may be the right choice for you.

Commercial water softeners remove the mineral ions that contribute to water hardness. Gaining a better understanding of how commercial water softeners work, including what contaminants they remove, can help you understand if a water softening system is an ideal solution for your needs.

What is a Water Softener?

Water softening systems are used to remove mineral ions from hard water. Those mineral ions can have a big impact around your office building, not only on industrial systems and machinery but even on your employees themselves.

Before we dive into how commercial water softeners work, let’s explore what hard water is exactly.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is simply water with a high content of hard minerals. These minerals are in the form of ions, which are picked up and bound to water molecules as it percolates through the ground.

Hard water occurs naturally, and water softeners use natural processes to reverse water hardness. Some regions in the United States have naturally harder water than others. If you are dealing with the effects of hard water, everyone else on the same municipal water supply will also be dealing with hard water.

Water hardness can be affected by different minerals. Hard water predominantly contains calcium carbonate and magnesium, which are found in chalky soil and limestone. However, hard water can also contain metal ions like iron, manganese, zinc, aluminum, and others.

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

When do you need a Water Softener?

The simple answer for when you need a water softener is when the effects of hard water are too difficult or detrimental to deal with. This threshold will change for each person and organization. The impacts of hard water can be severe, particularly in a commercial setting. Understanding what those impacts are can help you gain a better sense of whether you need a water softening system.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are different levels of water hardness. Water hardness exists on a scale ranging from “soft” water that contains less than one grain-per-gallon (GPG) of dissolved calcium carbonate, all the way to “very hard” water that contains over 10 GPG of dissolved calcium carbonate.

Because water hardness can vary depending on your location, it is important to have your water tested before investing in a water softening system. A water test will tell you not only how hard your water is, but also what the mineral content of the water is. Water tests can also let you know what other contaminants are in your water. High levels of contaminants, in addition to mineral ions, may indicate that a water filtration system, such as a commercial reverse osmosis system, may be necessary alongside a water softening system. 

How do Water Softening Systems Function?

If you are wondering, “how does a water softening systems work?” The answer is through a process known as “ion exchange.” Sometimes water softening systems are also referred to as ion exchange systems.

When water percolates through the soil, it attracts mineral ions, which become bound through an electrical charge to the water molecule. Water softening systems attract mineral ions away from the water molecule by replacing them with a sodium ion. In other words, in a water softening system, the minerals in hard water are exchanged with sodium ions. 

To accomplish this exchange process, water softening systems contain a negatively charged resin. Attached to that resin are positively charged sodium ions. When hard water enters the system, the mineral ions attached to the water molecule are attracted to the resin. The sodium ions that were previously attached to the resin swap places with the mineral ion, allowing the water molecules to maintain a balanced electrical charge. 

The water exiting the system is considered “soft” because the hard minerals remain behind on the resin. Water softening systems typically contain a tank containing resin and a tank containing a salty brine solution. When the resin becomes saturated with minerals, it needs to be refreshed. To return the system to peak working condition, the salty brine solution in the second tank flows into the tank containing the resin. The sodium ions in the brine solution replace the mineral ions attached to the resin. The remaining water, containing the detached mineral ions, is flushed from the system as wastewater.

The process of flushing the collected minerals from the system occurs periodically and can be automated with some systems. Periodically, the sodium in the brine tank must also be replenished. Aside from these events, water softening systems do their job without any intervention. The ion exchange process doesn’t use any chemicals to remove minerals from hard water.

Water softening systems are considered a “point-of-entry” (POE) solution. This is because water softening systems are typically installed where water is piped into a building or home. The installation location ensures that the water being piped throughout a building or home is soft, which eliminates the most significant impacts of hard water.

Water Softening Systems vs. Water Filtration Systems

It is important to note that while ion exchange systems are excellent at removing hardness from water and heavy metals such as iron or lead, they aren’t effective at removing other contaminants from drinking water. To remove organic and inorganic materials from water, you’ll want to consider a water filtration system. Using both a water softening system and a water filtration system can be an effective way to remove both the hardness from water as well as other contaminants that affect the safety or taste of water.

Water filtration systems rely on various methods to remove contaminants from water. Reverse osmosis (RO) is one such method, which utilizes a membrane containing very tiny pores. In an RO system, water is forced through the membrane using pressure. Contaminants larger than the water molecule are left behind. 

Activated carbon is another very popular method of water filtration. Activated carbon filters contain porous charcoal which can capture organic compounds, such as benzene, pesticides, and petroleum products. Activated carbon filters are also capable of removing the chemicals used in water treatment, such as fluorine and chlorine, as well as the odors that can negatively impact the taste of your water.

What are the Impacts of Hard Water?

In a commercial setting, hard water can be quite detrimental. Although in a residential setting the focus of attention tends to be on the health effects of hard water, in a commercial environment, the impacts of hard water tend to revolve around its effect on systems, machinery, and manufactured products.

Equipment Efficiency

When hard water passes over or through something, it leaves behind mineral deposits, which are collectively known as “scale” or “limescale.” Scaling can be a big problem in commercial applications, particularly for machinery and equipment. When hard water is heated, it leaves behind mineral deposits as an insoluble precipitate that is difficult to remove. Over time, these mineral deposits build up and impact the efficiency of the equipment.

Water heaters, dishwashers, machinery, or other appliances that use large amounts of water will experience the worst impacts from hard water. Equipment that uses hot water, such as industrial boilers, tend to be the most impacted.

Plumbing

The same mineral deposits that can impact machinery and appliances will also harm your plumbing. Over time, mineral deposits can slowly reduce the flow of water passing through pipes, in a similar way to how cholesterol buildup in our body can reduce the flow of blood.

Food and Beverage Preparation

The minerals in hard water will impact the taste of food and beverages. For example, most coffee shops choose to use soft water for the preparation of their beverages due to the impact on the taste of their products that hard water can have. Hard water can harm the equipment used to prepare food and beverages, such as coffee pots and espresso machines.

Mineral Deposits

Surfaces around your office building that come into contact with hard water will have mineral deposits. Typically these are found on sinks, faucets, and fixtures. They will probably also be found in fountains and other displays that use flowing water. While not necessarily damaging, these mineral deposits are unsightly and difficult to keep clean. When the minerals in hard water combine with soap, they form soap scum, which is an insoluble precipitate that is also unsightly and difficult to remove.

Final Thoughts

If you are seeking to understand whether your office needs a commercial water softener, it is helpful to understand what a water softener is. Water softeners remove hardness from water. Hardness consists of hard minerals that can be left behind by hard water and impact the efficiency of equipment, the taste of food and beverages, and the plumbing of your building.

If your office building has tenants that rely on machinery that uses water or heats water, such as water heaters or boilers, or prepare food and beverages, or manufacture certain products, chances are you will need a water softening system. 

To understand whether a water softening system is right for you, you’ll want to test your water. Testing your water will give you an idea of how hard your water is, as well as let you know of any additional contaminants which might require a water filtration system.

If you’re still wondering why your office needs a commercial water filter system, to learn more about commercial water treatment options, please contact our water experts at Rayne today. With more than 100 years of experience in water treatment, Rayne can guide you towards the treatment options that are ideal for your office environment.

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Sources:

  1. Ungvarsky, Janine. 2018. “Hard Water.” Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science.
  2. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water
  3. https://www.wqa.org/improve-your-water/solutions/for-the-entire-building

 

Benefits of a Water Filter at Home

Posted by Rayne Water

Tens of millions of Americans filter the tap water they drink. Those that don’t may question the importance of water filtration. The assumption is that our tap water has undergone treatment, so filtration is an unnecessary step as homeowners believe they have clean water. However, there are steps that can be taken to improve the quality of your water much further.

Do you need a water filtration home system?  While it is true that municipal water suppliers treat the water that they pipe through their systems, those treatment methods don’t capture all of the contaminants that are in the water. Meaning, their water is not the cleanest water to drink. The chemicals used to treat the water may pose a health risk, and aging water delivery systems can also be a source of contamination.

Minimizing the risk of drinking contaminated water requires understanding precisely what contaminants are contained in your water and adopting a filtration method or multiple filtration methods that will capture and remove those contaminants.

Isn’t Tap Water Filtered?

If you receive your water from a municipal or community water supplier, your water undergoes several treatments before it reaches your house. In theory, the tap water flowing in your home should have had many of the most harmful contaminants removed. There are even regulatory structures in place to ensure that this occurs, the most notable of which is the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

The SDWA was a landmark regulation that sought to create a set of health standards for owners and operators of community water supplies. The SDWA outlined standards and placed enforcement of those standards under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently, the EPA has limits on over 90 contaminants that may be found in drinking water. Public water agencies must adhere to those limits, as well as follow the schedule and methods for water testing provided by the EPA. It is worth noting that states can enact drinking water regulations as well, provided the regulations are at least as strict as the EPA standards.

Given the length of time that the SDWA has been in place and the wide scope of the regulations, it might seem unlikely that contaminated water would continue to be piped to our homes and businesses. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case. 

A fairly recent study found that between 3-10% of community water systems violate the standards for drinking water. While that number may seem insignificant, it was found to affect between 9-45 million people each year between 1982 – 2015. 

The most notable violations of drinking water quality are noteworthy in their scale. The crisis in Flint, Michigan during 2014 – 2015 captured the nation’s attention. As residents believed they were receiving quality, filtered, drinkable tap water, the people of Flint were exposed to many contaminants. Flint residents were exposed to extremely high levels of lead, as well as by-products of water disinfection, E. Coli, and Legionella bacteria. These issues with Flint could have been avoided if people were provided drinkable filtered tap water; however, due to poor water purification regulations, they were burdened to drink many harmful substances. 

But the size and scope of the water crisis in Flint shouldn’t obscure the fact that water quality violations are much more widespread than most people think, even if they occur on a smaller scale. A 2019 study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that the water for 7.5 million residents in California being served by community water systems contained levels of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that exceeded safe levels outlined by independent studies. Even using the EPA’s thresholds, nearly 40% of the water suppliers had samples that exceeded the regulatory thresholds for these manmade chemicals.

There are many more examples of similar violations, which makes it clear that while the majority of water provided by community water suppliers in the United States has undergone treatment, violations are widespread and unlikely to be detected in real-time. 

How do Water Filters Help?

The best home water filtration systems are capable of removing many of the contaminants that may have been missed by municipal water treatment. If the number of contaminants in your water suddenly rises, as long as you are using a filtration system, your water will be consistently clean. If you don’t get your water from a community water supplier and instead get it from a well, a residential water filtration system will also help remove contaminants that may be contained in your water.

Let’s take a look at the most common contaminants that residential water filters can remove.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are chemicals that dissolve into water, often giving water an unpleasant taste or odor. These chemicals are commonly used in a variety of products, from glues and paints to gasoline, carpet, electronics, and refrigeration units. Some of the hygiene products we use daily, like lotions and deodorants also contain VOCs. The widespread use of VOCs in industrial and commercial products and applications lead to their widespread presence in our nation’s water supplies.

Concerns about VOCs are particularly relevant when water is drawn from a private well. Tests of different aquifers within the United States, from which hundreds of wells draw water, found that VOCs were found in 90 of 98 aquifers across the country. VOCs have been detected most frequently in California, Nevada, Florida, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic States. 

VOCs can be harmful to your health. They have been linked to a variety of health effects, including increased risk of certain types of cancers, damage to the nervous system, kidneys, liver, and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals like lead are a serious source of concern in our nation’s drinking water. Lead can enter the water supply through the pipes and plumbing carrying water to and through your house. The acidity and mineral content of water plays a large role in whether or not it leaches lead from the plumbing it passes through.

Other heavy metals can be picked up by water as it moves through soil and stone, and are a contributing factor to water hardness. Arsenic is one such metal, which naturally occurs in soil and is a particular concern for those who get their water from private wells. Exposure to elevated levels of arsenic can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers, change your skin coloration, decrease the production of white and red blood cells, and cause nausea and vomiting.

Disinfection By-Products (DBPs)

There are several chemical agents used by public water suppliers to reduce waterborne pathogens. The most common disinfecting agents are chlorine and bromine. The use of these chemicals drastically reduced the rate of illness from waterborne pathogens, but it carries with it other risks.

When chlorine and bromine are added to water, they react with organic material in the water to form DBPs. The most common of these DBPs are chloroform, which was also the most common VOC found in aquifers in the United States. DBPs can be absorbed when you drink water, or through your skin when you take a shower. If you take hot showers, you’ll absorb more DBPs through your skin than you will by drinking water.

As a whole, there isn’t enough research to definitively assess the risk that DBPs pose to our health. They are currently classified as “possible human carcinogens” that are potentially harmful to human health.

Microbes

Given the fact that most municipal water suppliers treat the water in their system with chemicals to kill waterborne pathogens, you might think that the risk of developing a microbial illness from your tap water is nonexistent. While relatively rare, illness from waterborne pathogens still occurs. It is estimated that over 16 million cases of acute gastroenteritis occur each year in the United States from contaminants contained in public water supplies.

Microbes include bacteria, viruses, and protozoans. Bacteria can include E. Coli, Legionella, and Salmonella. Common viruses found in drinking water are Norwalk Virus and rotavirus. Protozoans found in water include Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Waterborne pathogens typically cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are not usually life-threatening in healthy adults.

What Filtration System Should I Use?

Water filtration systems are highly effective at reducing the number of contaminants in your water, but it is important to understand that different filtration systems are effective at removing different contaminants. Because of this, the first step you should take is to get your water tested by a water quality specialist. 

Understanding what contaminants are in your water can help guide you towards the right filtration system for your needs. The benefits of water filtration system depend largely on which type of filtration method or methods the system uses.

Water softening systems are highly effective at removing minerals and heavy metals that contribute to water hardness. Reverse-osmosis systems are effective at removing microbes, sediment, heavy metals, arsenic, and some chemicals. Activated carbon filters are effective at removing VOCs that give water a poor taste and smells, as well as DBPs, chlorine, and bromine.

Many water filtration systems use multiple filtration methods to capture a broad array of contaminants. 

Final Thoughts

The benefits of water filtration are numerous. While the majority of water passing through community water systems has been treated, violations of water quality regulations persist. If these violations do occur they are often not caught in real-time. Even where no violations occur, the chemicals used in water treatment can react with organic material in the water to form possibly carcinogenic compounds.

Water filtration eliminates the worries that chemicals, microbes, and heavy metals in our water pose. Many water filtration systems use multiple filtration methods to capture a greater number of contaminants. The result is water that has substantially fewer contaminants than the tap water that is piped into your house. 

The best way to understand which filtration systems is right for you is by having your water tested by a water specialist at Rayne. A water test will tell you what contaminants are in your water, which can help guide you towards the right systems and filtration methods you need to ensure your water is free of contaminants.

Sources:

  1. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2078
  2. https://www.ewg.org/research/toxic-forever-chemicals-detected-drinking-water-supplies-across-california
  3. https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-safe-drinking-water-act
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/climate/drinking-water-safety.html
  5. https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1292/pdf/circ1292_chapter1.pdf 

 

5 Must-Have Office Amenities

Posted by Rayne Water

Creating the ideal office space can be a challenging process. The modern working environment consists of a constellation of people from different backgrounds, each with an idea of what they want their workspace to look like. Given that, how can you incorporate office building amenities that appeal to such diverse desires?

Increasingly, the answer is to create a flexible office environment that allows each employee to choose how they work. Businesses should consider offering high-demand amenities that improve the quality-of-life for all of their employees. These include adopting flexible furniture, on-site fitness centers, or gym reimbursement programs, increasing the availability of healthy meal options, pumping stations, and easy access to filtered drinking water. 

On-Site or Employee Sponsored Fitness Programs

Revitalizing your workplace to increase productivity or improve employee retention requires rethinking your office-space as a whole. Modern offices have let go of the idea that a workspaces are simply a place their employees gather to do work for 8 hours and leave. Instead, many successful organizations are incorporating amenities into their workspace that improve the health and wellness of their employees. 

At the core of this effort is the integration of fitness options into the benefits package that you offer your employees. On-site fitness centers are becoming commonplace in modern offices. They offer employees the convenience of being able to squeeze in a workout before or after their workday. Not every organization can offer an on-site fitness center, but alternatives like gym membership reimbursement can be an excellent substitution. Regardless, your workers will be grateful that one of their office perks is part of their fitness regimen. 

There are advantages for both the employer and employee by offering fitness options. Whether on-site or through reimbursement, employees are more likely to work out when it is convenient and at no cost to them. For employers, this creates a workforce that has higher morale, lower healthcare costs, and increased productivity. If you are looking to attract the best talent in your industry, incorporating a fitness room into your workspace is an excellent place to start.

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Pumping Stations

Employers are required by law in the United States to provide areas for new mothers to pump breast milk, so you might be wondering why a pumping station is considered an amenity. While the letter of the law requires employers to provide a space for pumping, there aren’t strict requirements on what that space looks like. 

Often, pumping stations are one of the last considerations in the modern office. This leaves new mothers and potential mothers feeling marginalized and forgotten. Finding the space to pump in private, particularly in offices that prioritize open layouts, can be stressful and difficult. 

Healthy Meal Options

One of the most attractive amenities that appeal to both current and prospective employees is the availability of healthy meal options nearby. One of the secrets to creating a happy work environment is to make healthy food available at a reasonable cost. This will allow your employees to grab a quick healthy snack before their next meeting or sit down with colleagues over a meal on their lunch without the hassle of driving off-site for their break.

There are many ways to improve the food available to your employees, but there are two central concepts to doing it well; bring the food on-site, and offer healthy options for a variety of different dietary restrictions. 

Bringing the food on-site can mean installing a new cafe with an open floorplan and flexible seating. This encourages spontaneous conversation and mingling between employees. Or it can mean introducing a market or new vending machine options that incorporate healthy food choices, ranging from small snacks to larger meal options.

Catering to different dietary restrictions requires thinking outside the box when it comes to foodservice providers. At a minimum, consider incorporating vegan and vegetarian options into your menu if your workplace has a cafe or cafeteria. For instance, if someone is vegan but would like oat milk to be provided as a milk alternative for their coffee, try to offer those options.  Move away from processed food and lean closer to salads and foods with whole ingredients that are recognizable and easy to understand. If you aren’t sure what to offer, consider reaching out to your employees themselves to get an idea of what food options they would prefer, then take steps to make that happen.

Provide Fresh Water

There are many reasons as to why your office needs a commercial water filter system. One of the most effective ways that you can improve the productivity of your workplace and enhance the lives of your employees is to make clean drinking water accessible at all times. Most people don’t hydrate properly, and this problem is compounded when they are at work and don’t have access to clean drinking water. While dehydration produces many negative health impacts, it also reduces productivity and the ability to concentrate. 

There are several avenues through which you can provide fresh drinking water to your employees. Although some workplaces choose to have bottled water delivered, these services are typically very costly and often require employees to lift heavy 42lb bottles. Not only that, but you have to store all of those bottles somewhere.

Bottle-less water coolers, like the Rayne Tri-Temp Bottle-less Cooler, offer an excellent alternative to bottled water delivery services. Offering nearly unlimited filtered water, our bottle-less cooler filters contaminants using both reverse osmosis and a multi-state carbon filter, ensuring that dissolved solids and chemicals like chlorine and fluorine are eliminated. Additionally, the Rayne Tri-Temp offers hot, cold, and room temperature water, giving your employees options.

Depending on the size of your office space, you may also consider a commercial reverse-osmosis filtration system. Commercial reverse-osmosis systems can produce anywhere from 150 gallons to 10,800 gallons per day of clean, filtered water. This allows businesses of any size to provide clean, filtered water to their employees without the hassle or expense of bottled water delivery services.

There are many benefits of an office water cooler. If you were thinking about only getting one amenity for your office, this should definitely be it.  

Improved Ergonomics

Improving the ergonomics of your workplace can boost productivity, reduce workplace injuries, and keep employees happier and healthier. Improving ergonomics in the workplace isn’t a new idea, yet it remains one of the best ways to refresh your office space and improve the lives of your employees.

Many employers are transitioning to flex furniture to accomplish a more ergonomic workplace. The idea behind flex furniture is that it allows employees to work where they are most comfortable. Office spaces embracing more flexible workplaces still offer their employees a personal desk but also incorporate furniture elsewhere in the building that can be used for work or relaxation. Employers are moving away from open office layouts, in which some employees thrive, and some feel that concentration is more difficult, towards flexible spaces and greater freedom of choice for their employers.

One key piece of flex furniture that every office should offer is sit-stand desks. These are especially beneficial to employees with back problems or who commute for long distances, but all employees will see a benefit from not sitting for 8 hours per day. More comfortable chairs that are adjustable and configurable for different body types can also improve your employee’s workday.

Final Thoughts

Improving your office space by expanding the amenities you offer your employees may seem difficult at first, but there are straightforward additions you can make that improve your employee’s lives and make your workplace more comfortable and healthier. 

A few of our top 5 office amenities are focused on improving the health and wellness of your employees. These include offering an employee fitness program, whether through an on-site gym or gym membership reimbursement program, giving your employees access to clean drinking water at no cost, and giving them convenient access to healthy food options. 

On-site fitness rooms give your employees a convenient way to squeeze in a workout before or after work while giving you a healthier workforce. Access to clean drinking water will ensure your employees stay hydrated and healthy throughout the day. Consider using a bottle-less water cooler, which offers convenient, clean filtered water without the expense and hassle of a bottled water delivery service. 

You should also consider incorporating flex furniture into your office. Things like sit-stand desks and adjustable chairs are appealing to all employees, while they are also proven to improve productivity and decrease health problems. Lastly, consider incorporating a dedicated pumping station into your office space or upgrade your existing pumping station with comfortable seating, refrigeration for breast milk, and microwave for disinfecting pumping equipment. These efforts will make your office stand out as progressive, embracing, and empowering of all your employees. 

While we can’t help you install a pumping station or flex furniture, the experts at Rayne Water can help you provide clean, filtered drinking water to all of your workers. Whether you choose to do so with a bottle-less water cooler or a reverse-osmosis system for your whole building. Even if you later ask yourself, “does the office need a water softener?” Regardless of what you decide to do,  Rayne Water has the water treatment solution that is right for you. To learn more about commercial water softeners or reverse osmosis systems, please contact Rayne Water today.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/worlds-coolest-offices-design-trends-2019.html
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/24/how-your-office-space-impacts-employee-wellbeing/#384a5fdd64f3
  3. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/industry-blog/en-gb/cross-industry/2019/01/22/how-office-space-affects-productivity-5-tips-to-transform-your-workplace/
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/02/24/alternative-forms-of-compensation/employers-should-reimburse-for-gym-memberships
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/on-parenting/mothers-experiences-pumping-at-work/
  6. https://www.lifehack.org/639312/why-its-important-to-drink-more-water-at-work
  7. https://www.oshaeducationcenter.com/articles/improving-ergonomics/

Which Home Improvements Add Value?

Posted by Rayne Water

Every homeowner wants to boost the value of their real estate. Knowing which home improvements add value can help you make targeted improvements to your home that improve your return on investment.

Not all home improvements are equal. While it can be tempting to pursue older methods of adding value to a home, such as building a pool in your backyard or patio, these methods may no longer be appropriate for current homebuyers. Instead, home improvements ideas that increase the efficiency of your home, boost your living space or increase the longevity of your appliances and fixtures are often prioritized by today’s homebuyers.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Today’s home buyers are acutely attuned to the energy efficiency of modern homes. The trend of going green has firmly extended into the home improvement sector, with potential homebuyers of both younger and older generations paying close attention to the energy efficiency of the homes they are looking at. If you are looking for which home improvements increase value, improving your home’s energy efficiency offers a strong starting place.

Effective ways to boost the efficiency of your home and add value are to install energy-efficient windows, replace existing light bulbs with LED lighting, and consider adding solar panels. These improvements are examples of home improvements that are tax deductible. The addition of Energy Star certified windows can reduce your monthly energy bills by up to 15%, which can offer substantial savings over the lifetime of your home. Keep in mind that transitioning to high-efficiency windows may not pay off in the short-term, but should be a strong investment if you plan on staying in your home for a few years before you sell.

Transitioning to LED lighting is a quick and easy way to both reduce your monthly energy bill and attract homebuyers who are energy efficiency-conscious consumers. LED lighting substantially reduces the energy cost for each bulb in your house, while also offering extended lifespans of over 20 years.

Homeowners can also consider boosting their home’s efficiency by replacing their water heater. Water heating represents a significant amount of your home’s energy consumption, by some estimates as much as 16%. Installing a new, more efficient water heater can attract energy efficiency-minded consumers. 

If you are considering installing a new water heater, you might want to also consider installing a water softening system for your house. A water heater can be particularly prone to the effects of hard water, or water that contains a high content of minerals. The minerals in hard water are left behind as deposits in water heaters, reducing their efficiency and lifespan over time. By installing a water softening system alongside a new water heater, you’ll get the benefits of soft water throughout your whole house and improve the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater.

Boost Curb Appeal

Making your house more attractive is a time-tested method of improving the value of your real estate. Curb appeal refers to making your house more attractive from the street, which will ultimately improve the first impression on a potential buyer. If you are searching for what home improvements add the most value without breaking the bank, you should consider focusing your efforts on your home’s curb appeal.

The key areas to focus on if you want to improve the curb appeal of your house are on your landscaping and outward appearance. Ensure that your landscaping is neat and maintained. If you live in a more arid area, consider transitioning to drought-tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant plants will reduce your monthly water cost and are generally easier to care for than plants that are more sensitive to hot and dry conditions.

If you are redoing your landscaping, don’t forget to update your irrigation systems. Modern irrigation systems are geared towards efficiency while still delivering adequate levels of water to your plants. Savvy homebuyers are keenly aware of where waste occurs, and many will request copies of your most recent utility bills. Adopting high energy-efficient irrigation systems can help you reduce your monthly bills, while also giving you greater control over what gets water and how long it is watered for. 

When you are updating your landscaping, don’t forget to refresh the look of your house. Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint can make a lasting first impression and give life to an otherwise drab exterior space. A fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house can protect your home against the elements while also providing a big boost to your curb appeal.

Keep in mind that while painting your house can boost your curb appeal, to see a return on your investment you will probably want to do most of the painting yourself. Paying a professional to paint your house can cost thousands of dollars, and while it might attract potential homebuyers, it probably won’t improve the value of your home enough to result in a sizable return. By doing the work yourself, your investment is minimized so you save money and you’ll still reap the benefits that a fresh coat of paint offers.

Update Your Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are the two areas that new homeowners will focus on. If you want to improve the value of your home, it’s a good idea to focus your efforts on updating a dated kitchen or bathroom. Updates to these two areas have a strong appeal, particularly to younger homeowners who are well aware that they may need to update kitchens and bathrooms in any older home that they purchase.

For your kitchen, you’ll want to start by making improvements that are both functional and improve the visual appeal of the space. Consider updating your appliances with new, more energy-efficient models. Installing matching appliances is an added bonus, with stainless steel appliances still carrying a high appeal.

When renovating your kitchen, your countertops are one of the most visually striking upgrades you can make. Installing new quartz countertops can make your kitchen pop, while also offering durability and longevity that will appeal to potential homebuyers.

If your home is older, it will be a good idea to upgrade your bathroom fixtures as well. Fixtures such as your showerheads, sink, and toilet are all easy upgrades that can boost the value of your home. As the baby-boomer generation ages, features that improve accessibility like a walk-in shower can be appealing.

The fixtures and surfaces in your bathroom are particularly prone to the impact of hard water, so in order to keep your new bathroom looking clean, you may want to consider transitioning to soft water. Soft water will reduce mineral deposits and scaling on the fixtures and surfaces in your bathroom, minimizing the work required to keep it looking good and boosting the value that your renovations offer.

Updated Systems

One area of particular concern for first-time homebuyers is ensuring that the fundamental systems and structural components of the home are updated and livable. Most first-time homebuyers will have used the majority of their savings on their downpayment, so ensuring that core mechanical features of your home such as your plumbing, heating, and electrical are updated can have a high appeal and be a major selling point.

Alongside core mechanical systems in your house, it may be worthwhile to replace your roof if you are experiencing leaking or damage. Roof replacement can be an expensive proposition, but it can also be a deciding factor between selling a home and having a buyer walk away from a deal. 

If you are considering making major structural upgrades to your house like renovating electrical or plumbing systems, be sure to prioritize systems that offer reliability. You’ll want to be able to point not only to a new system but a new system that has a reputation for reliability and long-term functionality.

Additionally, making targeted updates to your home that improve longevity can offer a boost to your selling power. Foremost among these is changing out aging carpet and installing longer-lasting hardwood flooring, which has a substantial appeal to many homebuyers today.

If you do plan on updating your plumbing and electrical, it can be a great time to install a water softening system for your whole house. If you live in an area with hard water, then you are intimately familiar with the effects of hard water. One area that hard water has a large impact on is your plumbing. Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits which can reduce the flow of water throughout your house over time. Installing a water softening system for your home while you are updating your plumbing will improve the longevity of the improvements you are making and increase the value of your home.

Closing Thoughts

Today’s homebuyers are likely to be more interested in seeing improvements that boost the efficiency or functionality of your home. First-time homebuyers will be attracted to improvements like updated plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. Additionally, focusing your improvements on your kitchen and bathroom first can boost the appeal of your entire home for potential homebuyers, and represent an area where your home improvements are more likely to raise the value of your home. 

If you are looking to improve the value of your home, don’t forget to address your curb appeal. Clean, environmentally conscious landscaping signals reduced maintenance and ongoing costs to potential buyers, while also improving the visual appeal of your home. If you are doing the labor yourself, it can also be a good idea to put a new coat of paint on or around your house. Not only will this make your home more visually appealing, but it will also protect against the elements and reduce potential costs down the road.

It is important to also protect the improvements you are making. Renovating your bathroom or updating your appliances can be a big investment. In order to make the most of that investment, consider protecting your new appliances and fixtures from the damage of hard water by installing a water softening system. Water softening systems address the impacts of hard water, improving the efficiency of your water heater and other appliances over time while also reducing unsightly mineral deposits and scaling.

To learn more about how a water softening system can improve the value of your home, please contact Rayne Water today to speak with a knowledgeable water expert.

Sources

  1. https://www.consumerreports.org/home-improvement/8-ways-to-boost-your-home-value/
  2. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/how-to-increase-home-value/
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/juliadellitt/2018/06/29/3-ways-to-increase-your-home-value-in-the-first-year/#3d9dc4d24bf7
  4. https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/

What Is a Water Filter?

Posted by Rayne Water

What is a water filter? A water filter removes harmful contaminants from your water. To remove contaminants, there are different types of water filtration systems. These different types of filtration systems have advantages and drawbacks that make them suitable for removing certain contaminants but not others. Many people question do water filters work.  Let’s dig into what is in a water filter to really understand their importance.

Types of Water Filtration Systems

The three most common methods of filtering water within a residential setting are reverse osmosis, activated carbon, and ion-exchange. Each of these filtration methods has advantages and disadvantages that make them suitable for some applications and unsuitable for others. Understanding how do water filters work can help you gain a better sense of what are water filters and which type of system might be right for your needs.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems use pressure to force contaminated water through a specialized membrane. The membrane in an RO system contains very small pores that allow water molecules through, but contaminants that are larger than the water molecule can not pass through.

One of the most visible uses of reverse osmosis technology is to remove salt from seawater to create freshwater known as desalination. The same technology is how a residential reverse osmosis system reduces the number of total dissolved solids (TDS) from contaminated water. 

Reverse osmosis systems have several advantages. They are extremely effective at removing most contaminants from water. This includes salt, nitrates, or mineral ions. Reverse osmosis systems for home use are also quite small, allowing them to conveniently be installed under a sink or in a tight space.

 

Activated Carbon 

Activated carbon filtration is the most common water filter that you’ll find in a residential setting. Activated carbon is a type of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen, making it more porous and more effective at trapping contaminants. Activated carbon filters trap contaminants through a process known as adsorption. 

Activated carbon filtration will remove contaminants that are attracted to carbon. This includes chlorine, pesticides, industrial solvents, and other carbon-based contaminants. Activated carbon filters won’t remove contaminants that aren’t attracted to carbon, which includes nitrates, sodium, and the heavy metals and minerals that contribute to water hardness.

The advantage of activated carbon filters is that they are widely available, effective at reducing carbon-based contaminants, and capable of removing bad odor and taste from water. The downside is that once the porous carbon in the filter becomes saturated with contaminants it must be replaced. Also, because these filters don’t remove the entire spectrum of contaminants and bacteria they must usually be used with another filtration system.

Ion-Exchange 

Ion-exchange filtration systems are used as softeners for hard water. These systems remove the mineral ions and heavy metals that increase water hardness through the process of ion exchange. These systems rely on a tank filled with porous resin beads that are negatively charged. When hard water enters the system, the resin attracts the mineral ions and extracts them from the water. The mineral ions are replaced with sodium ions, which allow the water to maintain a balanced electrical charge.

Ion-exchange filtration systems are highly effective at removing mineral ions and heavy metals, like lead and arsenic, from hard water. These systems aren’t effective at removing other contaminants. Ion-exchange systems also periodically need to be recharged. One further advantage of ion-exchange units is that they are water softeners for your entire house, which eliminates many of the most common problems associated with hard water.

Closing Thoughts

Filtration systems remove contaminants from water, but there are many different types of water filters available. Water filters in a residential setting typically use reverse osmosis, ion exchange, or an activated carbon filter. Each of these water purification processes has advantages and drawbacks that make them suitable for removing certain types of contaminants and less effective for other types of contaminants.

Many water filtration systems integrate multiple different types of filtration methods. For example, it is not uncommon for a reverse osmosis filtration system to also contain one or more in-line activated carbon filtration systems. With these types of hybrid multi-media systems, it becomes easier to remove a broad spectrum of contaminants while also improving the flavor and odor of your water.

To find out which type of water filtration system is right for you, you’ll want to have your water tested. A water test can let you know what types of contaminants you have. Then you can find the right type of water filtration system for your needs. To find out more about what water filtration options are available, please contact our water specialists at Rayne Water today. 

Sources

  1. Hamers, Laurel. “Drinkability.” Science News 194, no. 10 (November 24, 2018): 18.
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/tapwater-drinking-water-study.html
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/us/pfas-california-contamination-trnd/index.html
  4. https://www.ewg.org/research/toxic-forever-chemicals-detected-drinking-water-supplies-across-california#table
  5. https://www.explainthatstuff.com/howwaterfilterswork.html
  6. https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/question209.htm