My personal water treatment story by Emily Niebuhr. I'd like to share with you how I know when it's time to change my filters. I know a lot of people wonder when they need to change them. Here is my less than scientific way to tell, with the background on my water and how I chose my system.
I decided to write this now because I know that I'm overdue for a filter change (roughly 2 months past due) and I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures of the fixtures in my home so that I can give you a real life example of what I'm telling you.
Let me start with a little background, in 2012 my husband and I purchased a piece of property to build our home. At the time I had just started working for O3 Water Systems and was beginning my water treatment "journey". When we built our pump house we didn't take into account that we may need water treatment. We had been told by our neighbors that our well would produce plenty of water, and that it was perfectly fine and clear. After testing our water the results actually looked like this:
Turbidity: 1.36 NT
Hardness: 11 gpg
Total Iron: .82 ppm
Manganese: .047 ppm
My water was a mess, it was over the limit for turbidity, hardness, iron, and was almost over the limit for manganese and had high pH. I was shocked that this was what my great tasting water tested at. I was glad that I had water treatment options and that my home wasn't completed yet so that I could spare my new appliances and could protect them with PolyHalt and Cascadian Water treatment.
I was fortunate that I had access to the Integrated Cartridge Solutions (ICS) line of products. We had built our pump house without a drain so any automatic system (traditional treatment was OUT! My husband wasn't about to cut through brand new siding so that an automatic system could back wash. We installed the ICS-STP.
Fast forward to 2015, we moved into our home on Christmas Eve after two years of living in a travel trailer, and everything has been great (incoming water to the trailer was treated by the ICS-STP during that time). My ICS-STP is working exactly like it is supposed to, life is good. Now fast forward to March 2016, this is when I began to notice changes in my water. The first thing I noticed was that I seemed to use more soap when doing the dishes, and that the suds in the sink didn't last as long. The next thing I began to notice was that I didn't feel like my hair getting completely clean. I ignored the signs that I know mean I should change my filters.
Now it's April and there are hardness deposits in my sinks and on my fixtures. Manganese staining is starting to show up in my toilets but, I still ignore it because if I clean them twice a week, no one can tell the difference. I have dark sinks throughout my home and where I don't, I have dark water spout like fixtures that the water dries on.
The line in the sand for me is, I can no longer get my hair to not feel greasy; I can't get my hair clean. My hair isn't visibly greasy but, when showering it takes twice as much shampoo to get my hair to feel like it does when my filters are new! I know this sounds disgusting but, it's the truth. I am changing my filters tonight when I go home. After the weekend I will take a picture of how my fixtures look with treated water and will post them so you can compare.
I should mention, if I would have changed my filters at the beginning of March when I noticed the changes, I would have had to use way less elbow grease to remove the hardness build up!
Do you want to know which water treatment system is best for you? One of the best ways to find a treatment system designed for your water is to take this Filter Finder Quiz.