Well Water Treatment

describe the image

Connecticut Basement Systems Radon (CBSR) has been involved in the water treatment industry since 1988. We have successfully improved water quality for a multitude of homeowners and some schools and manufacturing concerns.

Having an intimate knowledge of water treatment is crucial to providing comprehensive waterborne radon removal services - and vice versa - this is something we pride ourselves on and feel is one of the many benefits of doing business with us.

Water treatment / conditioning can be a very challenging endeavor. Our water treatment division is constantly evolving. We have a WQA Certified Water Specialist managing our water treatment division to help deliver the best possible treatment advice and solutions for your water quality issues.

Being a member of the Water Quality Association also gives us the ability to have access to all the latest technological advancements in the industry.

Whether you are a homeowner or seller, experiencing problems with staining, odors, off taste, or illness from using the water in your home, interested in buying a home with a noticeable problem, or would just like to see if your water quality could be improved further, call us for a free consultation. We're here to help! Call 1-800-319-8867.


System Descriptions

whole house filters


A whole house backwashing filter system typically consists of a media tank & control valve. The tank may contain various types of media depending on the contaminant to be filtered out or the quality of water to be achieved. The control valve automatically backwashes the media bed on a preprogrammed basis, flushing out the collected contaminant particulates.  The backwash process also helps to reposition the media bed to ensure that the influent water has sufficient contact with all surface areas of the filtering media.  Examples of whole house filters are; aerator/precipitators, filter AG, BIRM, "depth or layered", manganese greensand, and  neutralizers.

Regardless of the media type, whole house filtration systems function in a fairly similar manner.  Raw water typically enters the unit at the top by means of a control valve.  The water is directed down through the media bed, then, up through the distributor tube that runs vertically through the center of the tank, and out of the unit.  As the water travels through the media bed, filtration occurs throughout the media bed in varying degrees depending on media type, bed depth, flow rate, etc.

Placeholder Image

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a separation process whereby water is forced under pressure through a semi-permeable membrane, leaving behind dissolved solids.  This filtration process offers the very highest degree of removal of dissolved solids.  While water in nature is never really pure, water that has been processed with RO & ultra violet light is as close as you can come to pure water.  These systems are most commonly applied as a "point of use" technology, however, we also have  "whole house" or "point of entry" systems available.

water softener


The three major components in a water softening system are the Media or Resin Tank, the Control Valve and the Brine Tank. The control valve which is mounted on top of the media tank, directs hard water down into the media tank that is packed with softening resin beads. When hard water contacts the beads, the hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) are exchanged for the sodium ions that are held on the surface of the beads. This process is called "Ion Exchange". The hardness ions that are taken from the water during this exchange are temporarily held on the beads and the sodium ions replace them in the water. The soft water then leaves the media tank through a vertical distributor tube that runs up through the center of the tank and back into the control valve where it is directed into the plumbing system, ready for use throughout the house.


UV image

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet light is a natural component of sunlight.  Specific wavelengths of UV have the unique ability to destroy microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, cysts etc. in water thereby eliminating their ability to cause infection or illness.  Municipal supplies in this area of the country typically rely on chlorine for sterilization purposes which leads to a chlorine residual in the water as well as disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes which are known carcinogens.

The UV systems we typically install consist of a stainless steel cylinder that contains a quartz tube in which is an ultra violet bulb.  As the water passes through the cylinder and around the quartz tube, it is exposed to UV rays emanating off the bulb.  The rays instantaneously disrupt the DNA of the microorganisms which renders them harmless while leaving no chemical residuals or byproducts


Water Contaminants

New England wells provide some of the toughest combinations of contaminants to remove. Connecticut in particular has a vast array of varying water qualities that keep life interesting for us as water treatment experts. The following is a list of some of the more common contaminants that can be found in your well water and possible treatment solutions:

AL = Allowable limit or MCL = Maximum contaminant level

Arsenic: (AL is 10 ug/l) Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that behaves like a metal.  It is found in natural deposits in the earth's crust, but is also a byproduct of certain types of manufacturing and can also be found in herbicides, pressure treated lumber, and other manmade items.

Activated Alumina & specially formulated resins are the most common forms of treatment.  Also, reverse osmosis for point of use.

Chlorides: (AL is 250 mg/l) When chlorides are present in concentrations greater than 250 mg/l, it can lead to water becoming more corrosive to plumbing and heating systems and impart a salty taste to the water. Sources of chloride contamination can be run off from road salting and improperly maintained water softeners.

The most practical treatment is reverse osmosis.

Color: (AL is 15) Color in water is most often caused by iron, manganese and dissolved organic matter (tannins). Its' presence is mainly objectionable from an aesthetic standpoint. Most common treatments for color removal are: Chlorination / Filtration, (GAC) Granular Activated Carbon Filtration, Aeration / Filtration, Reverse Osmosis.

Coliforms: (AL is none) Coliform bacteria is non pathogenic meaning "not disease producing". This bacteria strain is generally harmless and is most often used as a barometer to indicate the potential presence of more serious or pathogenic bacteria such as E-Coli. If E-Coli is present, it usually means the well is being subjected to contamination from human and/or animal wastes.

Chlorination and ultra violet light filtration are the most common treatment solutions.

Copper: (AL is 1.3 mg/l) The most notable byproduct of an elevated copper concentration is the blue-green stains it leaves in sink basins, bathtubs, and shower stalls. It may also cause a metallic taste. The cause is typically due to a low PH level of the water running through copper plumbing and can also be caused by the homes' electrical system not being properly grounded, causing electrolysis.

The most straightforward solution is to neutralize the PH or have an electrician check for proper grounding.

Hardness: (A level over 26 mg/l indicates some degree of hardness. Levels exceeding 180 mg/l indicate "very hard" water conditions.) Hardness in water is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium. Hardness will retard the cleansing capabilities of detergents and when hard water is heated, it will develop a scale on inner walls of hot water heater tanks or heating coils. Very hard water can even clog plumbing pipes over time.

The most effective treatment solution available is a water softener.

Iron (AL is .3 mg/l) Iron is one of the most prevalent heavy metals found in the earth's crust and therefore, is often found in well water supplies. It will leave orange to reddish to brownish stains on plumbing fixtures, as well as bad taste and odor. At very high levels, iron can clog plumbing lines.  Iron is commonly found in two forms

Treatment techniques abound for this very common producer of stains. In general, at lower levels, clear water iron is best removed by a softener. Otherwise treatment typically involves some form of oxidation process followed by filtration.

Lead (AL .015 mg/l) Lead leaches into water from the solder joints of copper plumbing and from the brass in fittings and faucets. At elevated concentrations, lead in water consumption can lead to lead poisoning in children.

Reverse osmosis and carbon block filters are most common treatment methods.

Manganese: (AL is .05 mg/l) Manganese is often found in conjunction with iron. At levels exceeding .05 mg/l, Manganese will leave brown to blackish stains on plumbing fixtures, laundry, etc. Removal techniques are virtually the same as for iron.

Nitrates: (AL 10.0 mg/l) The presence of nitrates indicates potential contamination from agriculture/lawn fertilizers or waste disposal. Nitrates affect the blood's ability to carry oxygen, causing Methemglobinemia, or "Blue Baby Syndrome."

Common treatments are either reverse osmosis or anion exchange.

Odor: (AL 2 units) Odors can be caused from dissolved gasses and foreign matter such as organic compounds. Odor essentially makes the water undesirable, therefore the AL of 2 is based on aesthetic values.

Aeration and GAC filtration are the most common means of treatment. Some severe cases may even require additional chlorination or ozone.

PH: (Most waters in the northeast range between 4.8-8.5) PH is the measure of acidity or alkaline content of water. The actual PH scale runs from 0 to 14 with 7 being "neutral" or "basic." Most labs report PH to have an AL of 6.4-10. This is misleading in that a level under 7 is acidic in reaction. Acidic water is corrosive to plumbing fixtures and piping. Blue-green staining is the most common indicator of acidic water.

Neutralizers and soda ash or potash feeders are the most common form of treatment. Aeration will also elevate PH levels to varying degrees depending on the particular water source.

Radium (AL 5 pCi/l) Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element and is part of the uranium decay chain. Ingesting radium bearing water can increase the risk of bone cancer.  A standard softener can be highly efficient at removing radium.  Reverse osmosis is also practical for point of use treatment.

Radon (AL proposed 300 pCi/L for municipal supplies with alternative maximum contaminant levels proposed, as high as 4,000 pCi/L) Radon is a naturally occurring gas created by the decomposition of radium. As water is used in a home, radon out gasses from the water and becomes inhalable.  It is the second leading cause of lung cancer. (A small portion of internal cancers are related to ingestion of radon laden water.)

Aeration and GAC filtration are the two most common treatment methods.

Sodium (AL 28 mg/l) Sodium is typically present in water when a softener that is regenerated with sodium chloride is in line or from run - off from road salting. Generally speaking, only people on salt restrictive diets need be concerned with the sodium content of their water, as it accounts for a very small portion of total sodium intake when compared to soda, soft drinks and prepared foods.

The most effective means of removal is with reverse osmosis.

Sulfates (AL 250 mg/l) Sulfates have no beneficial effects in water. At concentrations over 300 mg/l, sulfates can lead to taste deterioration, and at higher concentrations (greater than 1000 mg/l), will have a laxative effect.

Reverse osmosis is the most efficient means of removal.

Turbidity (AL 5 NTU) Clay, silt, and organic matter suspended in water constitute turbidity. For aesthetic reasons, levels over 5 Nepthelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) are considered objectionable and are best removed by coagulation and filtration.

Uranium (AL 30 ug/l) Uranium is a naturally occurring element that can be found in certain types of rock and soil. An increased risk of cancer exist when uranium is present.  Anion exchange and reverse osmosis are the two most common forms of treatment.

VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) (AL varies depending on which VOC) Generally speaking, VOC's are found in well water as a result of farming and the manufacturing industry. See aeration for a list of individual VOC's.

Aeration and GAC are the most common forms of treatment.