Ecowater, yea or nay?
October 1, 2008 3:14 PM   Subscribe

Ecowater--thumbs up or thumbs down? We have unbelievably crappy water and are considering buying a whole-house system from them (water softener, reverse osmosis system, and prefilters). I would appreciate hearing your experiences with them.
posted by HotToddy to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Could you expand on what "unbelievably crappy" is for you? I live in a place where the wells are all filled by surface water and can be contaminated or not from day to day (mostly not, but there's no way to be sure. The water smells and tastes of sulfur, is hardhardhard, and all pipes, basins, containers turn orange from iron-eating bacteria.

None of those things could all be handled adequately by a system you mention, and any filters would need to be changed very very frequently.
posted by reflecked at 5:01 PM on October 1, 2008

oops... make that Iron Bacteria. :) They combine dissolved iron or manganese with oxygen, leaving rust-colored deposits and brown slime.
posted by reflecked at 5:08 PM on October 1, 2008

I have an RO unit and while my tap water is fine enough, the water that comes out of the RO is pristine. It beats the hell out of delivered water economically, and the cost for the unit was $300, self-installed. It has a sediment filter, two carbon filters, the RO unit and a carbon block finishing filter... 5 stages. I think by the time it comes out of the spout, it's nothing but H20. Filter elements last a minimum of two years, and I bought the replacement parts when I bought the unit. I expect to get 4 to 6 years out of the package.

I only use that water for direct consumption, and the rest of the house is served by a single stage sediment filter, only. It's adequate for the water conditions in my area, and neither of these two items has excessive cost or inconvenience.

Softeners and potassium permaganate iron removal units are a PITA. The chemistry takes a lot of work. I sure hope you don't have iron issues, as the latter is the worst. Softeners just use salt and replace calcium with sodium ions, as I understand it. Water tastes a little saline, too.... just barely. (I had one of these in west Texas back in the 80's, and it worked, but I did not like it. I also have one on my current house, which does not even need it and I have it on permanent bypass.)

If you have no other choice, use whatever you have to use. If your water isn't that hard or iron rich, use a sediment filter and an RO unit. You may want to investigate installing a cistern and capturing and processing rain water. If you have adequate rain fall annually, it might be a viable alternative to your usual supply.

Good luck.
posted by FauxScot at 6:43 PM on October 1, 2008

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