The most common problem associated with ground water is hard water, which is caused when there is an abundance of calcium and magnesium. Hard water causes no health problems but can cause soap curds to form on pipes and plumbing fixtures. A water softener usually solves the problem.
A pH test can determine if mineral deposits or corrosion are a problem due to hydrogen. Literally standing for “potential of hydrogen,” the test measures the intensity of the water’s acidity and alkalinity.
A “rusty” taste in water is a result of iron in ground water. It also can stain pipes and clothing. There are several methods of treatment, including installing a water softener. Aeration – the addition of oxygen to the water – can aid in the precipitation of iron, which removes it from the water as well.
A rotten egg smell is often associated with sulfur in water. Sulfides also can cause corrosion to plumbing and darken water. Chlorination, a reverse osmosis system, or a negative ion-exchanger are effective in combating sulfur, while aeration is effective against hydrogen sulfide gas.
Silica comes from the weathering of silicate minerals in the ground. Large amounts can cause scaling in pipes.
Most nitrogen in ground water comes from the atmosphere. However, nitrogen compounds also can reach ground water through fertilizers, manure, sewage, and landfills. The most common forms in ground water are ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. Nitrates can be especially toxic to children under six months of age. There are a number of treatment methods, including reverse osmosis systems with a water softener.