February 14, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Water Services FAQ

Q: Isn’t water just water?

A: Actually, there are three types of water: Utility Grade Water, Working Grade Water and Drinking Water. Utility grade water is water suited for watering your lawn and plants. It usually requires no water treatment. Working Grade Water needs to be higher quality because it runs through your plumbing, fixtures and water-using appliances. To make these essential household systems last longer and save you money, treated water is needed. Drinking Water is a key component of our lives. Since 70% of the human body is water, the water we drink and cook with must be of the highest quality.

Q: What is hard water?

A: Hard water refers to the presence of mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium. Hardness is measured in PPM (Parts Per Million) or GPG (Grains Per Gallon). Most tap water is naturally hard in virtually all parts of Canada and the removal of these minerals is not part of your local municipality’s water treatment process. Consumers are responsible for purchasing their own water softening systems. OFWA offers FREE in home water evaluations so you can see exactly what’s in your water and get the right solution to treat your water.

Q: What does a water softener do exactly?

A: Water softening is a technique that removes the mineral ions that are causing “hardness” in your water supply. Softening Water is an Ion Exchange Program, as the hard water passes through a water softener the calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged with the soft sodium ions contained in the water softening unit. The materials causing the hardness are thereby “trapped “in the water softener, allowing only softened water to pass through your pipes.

Q: Why is it important to have soft water?

A: Our water softener system from Environmental Water Services has many benefits to homeowners. It drastically reduces scale build-up in pipes so your home’s plumbing systems and appliances that use water will enjoy a much longer life span and require fewer repairs. Having soft water translates into real cash savings over time. You will use up to 75% less laundry detergent, shampoo, hand soap, cleaning agents etc. You will have spotless glasses, dishes, healthier hair, and much cleaner tubs, sinks, and showers. Say goodbye to soap scum and no more dry, itchy skin!

Q: What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?

A: Reverse osmosis (RO) technology is what Environmental Water Services uses for its water purification for Drinking Water and Cooking Water (Life Support Water) because it is the most effective method of water purification on the market today. We use 5 Stages of Filtration. Stage 1, Sediment Filtration, Stage 2, Carbon Filtration, Stage 3, Carbon Filter, Stage 4, Reverse Osmosis Membrane, Stage 5, Polishing Filter. Water first flows through a sediment/carbon pre-filter which removes organic contaminants such as chlorine. Next, it flows through a tight reverse osmosis membrane which acts as a filter removing dissolved solids as well as chemical impurities. The system is powered by water pressure, not by electricity so it is energy-efficient. The purified water is now ready to be safely enjoyed by the whole family.

Q: What kinds of contaminants does RO remove?

A: There are simply too many to list here, but some of the most common ones include: Aluminum, Arsenic, Asbestos, Atrazine, Benzene, Chlorides, Chlorine, Copper, Cryptosporidium, Cyanide, Fluoride, Giardia, Lead, Mercury, Nitrates, Radium, Radon, Silver, Sodium, Sulfide, Trichloroethylene, and Total Trihalomethanes.

Typical Reverse Osmosis Membrane Rejections Rates

Contaminant %Rejection* Contaminant %Rejection*

Aluminum 96-98% Ammonium 80-90%
Arsenic 50-90% Bacteria 95-99%
Borate 30-50% Boron 50-70%
Bromide 90-95% Cadmium 93-97%
Calcium 93-99% Chloride 92-98%
Chromate 85-95% Copper 96-99%
Cyanide 90-97% Fluoride 92-95%
Hardness (as CaCO3) 93-97% Iron 96-98%
Lead 95-98% Magnesium 93-98%
Manganese 96-98% Mercury 94-97%
Nickel 96-99% Nitrate 90-95%
Orthophosphate 96-98% Phosphate 95-98%
Polyphosphate 96-98% Potassium 92-96%
Radioactivity 93-97% Silica 90-98%
Silicate 92-95% Silver 93-96%
Sodium 92-98% Sulfate 96-99%
Thiosulfate 96-98% Zinc 96-98%

*Rejection rates vary depending on many conditions. This chart is for reference only and is not intended as a guaranteed analysis of water produced by any system purchased from Environmental Water Services.

Environmental Water Services is not liable for any damages or losses caused by misapplication or misinterpretation of any information presented in the above chart, or for any damages or loses directly or indirectly related to the information given.

Q: What is an ultraviolet system? How does it work?

A: Ultraviolet water purification system is the most effective method for disinfecting bacteria from the water. Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate harmful pathogens in your home’s water and destroy illness-causing microorganisms by attacking their genetic core (DNA). This is extremely efficient in eliminating their ability to reproduce. Disinfecting your water with Ultraviolet light is exceptionably simple, effective and environmentally safe. UV systems destroy 99.99% of harmful microorganisms without adding chemicals or changing your water’s taste or odor.

Q: Is Environmental Water Services member of the Canadian Water Quality Association?

A: Yes, we are always determined to treat customers respectfully and honestly, we adhere to the CWQA Code of Ethics.

Q: Do I need water treatment for my well Water?

 A: If your home’s water is supplied by a private well, you, and only you, are responsible for the water’s quality and any water treatment. Essentially, water that is in the ground is brought into your home and used for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. Most well water is hard, but it can also contain other contaminants that make water unsafe to drink, smelly, bad tasting and or leaves behind red/yellow staining.

Q: What’s causing these ugly orange stains in my sinks and bathtubs?

A: Iron in your water is the most likely culprit. It stains faucets, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, appliances and even clothing. You can usually remove the iron with a water conditioner or Iron Filter, based on the iron and amount.

Q: My tap water smells like rotten eggs. What causes that? Can it be fixed?

A: If its smells like “rotten eggs” you have Hydrogen Sulfide in your water. Water absorbs this gas as it passes through the ground. When you turn on your faucet, you actually vent the gas from your tap water. Hydrogen sulfide can be treated with oxidation and filtration. Oxidation turns the gas into elemental sulfur which can then be removed via filtration. Normally, an aeration system injects air into the water to oxidize the gas. The water then passes through a filter that removes the sulfur. The result is water free of the “rotten egg” smell you describe. No matter your water problem or budget, Environmental Water Services has an answers for you. In fact, we’re so sure that we offer the most reliable, effective and efficient water treatment systems. We also encourage you to reach out to us for a FREE water evaluation so you can fully understand the water issues in your home. We will recommend answers tailored to your family, your home and your budget.