It is becoming more and more popular for well-water users to hook up to a…
I’ve been amazed to find out how many people all over the US, in every state, are well-water users! There’s an astounding number! I’ve also learned over the years that though wells can give you great water, there can also be some serious problems with well-water too. There’s not just one kind of well, so I’ll try to address all of the things that I’ve come across, in hopes to be able to assure all well-water users that no matter what the problem with your water [if any], we can fix it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t use a water ionizer with well water. What they are probably referring to is that you shouldn’t use a water ionizer with well water if you don’t know what’s in your well water. And once you know what’s in it, you can fix whatever it is [if there is a problem] and not only can, but should, use a water ionizer with it. A water ionizer will give you lots of extra filtration and protection as long as you pre-filter it correctly, giving yourself an excellent and healthy source of ionized drinking water:
Do not just hook a water ionizer into your plumbing [if you’re a well-water user] without doing comprehensive testing!
Municipalities, water companies and co-ops test water frequently, and they must report at least once per year the results of those tests. If you belong to a co-op or municipality, you can get a copy of their “water quality report” either online or by calling them. Look on your water bill for the number.
If you own a well, you are probably the only one that tests your well water. And so, you’re responsible to your own health and your family’s to test at least a suggested amount of once per year. Some municipalities will test your water for you if you bring a sample in. However many don’t. The easiest way I know to test your well water if you don’t have someone to do it free for you is to use my Comprehensive Well Water Test Kit. It’s very cheap and easy to do. It’s pretty comprehensive, and is designed for well-water in particular. With this test kit, you can find out instantly how much of each common well-water toxin you have and how this compares with the EPA guidelines. Then you send the test to me: and request a free engineer’s analysis.
What happens, if you have something in your water that could be unhealthy, is that my water engineers will recommend the exact pre-filters you need to fix the problem. Examples of common well-water toxins or problem elements are: arsenic and lead, sulfur and iron, lime and excessive hardness, bacteria, nitrates, and heavy metals. While your regular water ionizer filter gets most of the bad stuff out of your water, it may not get all.
Water ionizers will cause a greater concentration of certain elements in your ionized drinking water [if they’re alkaline], and those elements [if they’re harmful] are the ones you want to focus on for pre-filtration.
The cheapest way to handle bacteria in your well water is to disinfect it with chlorine. I know — yuck! But, of all the elements, chlorine is the easiest to filter out of your water. The cheapest carbon block [charcoal] filter will filter out the chlorine. Chlorine is unstable, bonds with the carbon in the filter, and thus gets removed from the water. Personally, if it were me, I’d use the chlorine, kill the bacteria, and then hook up a cheap carbon block whole-house filter to get rid of chlorine and sediment prior to going into the house. It will get the chlorine out of all of your water. This would be healthier for bath and shower use. When the water is heated, the chlorine turns into gas and you breathe it in. This kind of inexpensive pre-filtering also saves the life of your more expensive water ionizer filter. It is smart to get your sediment out if you have a lot of it. Why have a more expensive filter get all gunked up with sediment when an inexpensive carbon block pre-filter can do the job! Word of caution: Do not disinfect your well-water with chloramine [a mixture of chlorine plus ammonia]! Once the chlorine has bonded to the ammonia, it becomes very stable, and thus greatly reducing any filter’s effectiveness in getting rid of it. Also, don’t use other disinfectants which may not filter out well. Just use chlorine.
If you just can’t stomach putting chlorine into your well water you will need to do something about bacteria and viruses that could get into your well water. I suggest to purchase a UV [ultraviolet} light and use a bacteria .01 filter. The bacteria pre-filter is actually pretty cheap, but the UV light can be pricey. You can get a small UV filter to just use with your drinking water that is pretty inexpensive. They both need about yearly replacement parts. I would personally not use either a bacteria prefilter or UV light all by itself. The .01 filter is designed to catch the bacteria, because the pores of the filter are so small that bacteria are not supposed to be able to get through. But I’d wonder about this. The Jupiter water ionizers have a .01M filter, and the Jupiter engineers still say that the water should be treated before putting it through the ionizer.
This is a poisonous sulfur toxin that can enter a well system unpredictably. You may have no sign of it one day and after a heavy rain all of a sudden have it in your well water! The sign for this is a smell of “rotten eggs”. The only way right at this time to get rid of this is a special sulfur-iron prefilter, which is inexpensive, but needs to be replaced about yearly.
Iron: This is a metal that in large amounts can harm your water ionizer. It’s probably not great for you either in its inorganic form. The signs for it is a yellow color to your water. It’s caused by old cast-iron pipes or other iron things rusting and leaching into your water. Usually you find this situation in older communities or buildings with older plumbing systems that haven’t been renovated, but you can find it in wells. Iron and sulphur are filtered out with the same prefilter.
Sand and Sediment: Your ionizer filters will filter out sand and sediment, but these things can clog up your water ionizer filter and cause it to become less effective prematurely. If your source water has a lot of sand or sediment in it, you are wise to get a sediment or carbon block prefilter. Or there is a small device, called a sand catcher, that you can put into your water line. This has to be emptied constantly though, so that’s a hassle.
Lead: This is found in older homes and communities and is a source of “lead poisoning” so needs to be handled for health reasons, but it can be found in wells too. Lead could harm you of course, but it can also harm your water ionizer by interfering with the electrolysis [due to the fact that it’s a magnetic metal]. If you have lead in your source water, you should use an Arsenic, Lead & Fluoride filter, which is inexpensive.
Heavy Metals: If you have radium in your water or other heavy metals, you can purchase a Heavy Metal prefilter for a fairly inexpensive price. It’s probably a good idea to make sure the label on the filter [or ad] says it filters radium.
Is Your Water too Hard? Hard water could cause your water ionizer to break down prematurely. See the section, below on reverse osmosis if you have either hard water or if you use a water softener.
Too many prefilters needed? I offer three “comprehensive filtering systems” for well-water users. These are the most effective filtering methods for well-water users, because they offer complete filtration of everything listed above. These systems are described in the next section. The first two, Reverse osmosis and nano-filtration, are the systems I suggest for people who have excessive water hardness, excessive TDS, and/or are using a whole-house sodium-based water softener. If you are a well-water user and your water is very hard or has excessively high TDS, my #1 recommendation to you is the Reverse Osmosis System [see below].
Reverse Osmosis: If you really want to get everything out of your water and start fresh with only the right organic plant-source minerals and trace minerals for perfect water ionization, then I recommend the Reverse-Osmosis-with-Remineralizer System, that was designed by AlkaViva water experts especially for use with water ionizers. It’s inexpensive and includes the tank and everything you need! [RO is the best filtration, however there are complications with this: slower water flow, lower water pressure, harder to install, more maintenance, might need a plumber and you will NEED to remineralize it before it’s healthy to drink.] Reverse osmosis also involves using a rubber bladder, so there might be a rubbery taste to the water. RO will remove up to 99.9% contaminants, it also removes salt and 100% of germs and viruses. Because it removes salt, it can be used with a whole-house sodium or potassium based water softener.
What do water ionizer pre-filters look like and how do you install them?
In this video I explain and demonstrate the water ionizer pre-filter. Water ionizer prefilters can be found on my Filters page. Most people don’t realize that water ionizer pre-filters can be beneficial to your health, and your water ionizer’s health. This demonstration shows you an up-close look at a single housing with a pre-filter inside. Housings for pre-filters come single, double and triple for convenience and ease of use. Here’s the video: