Water works in the SCV

While the Santa Clarita Valley consistently receives high marks for its clean water supply, hard water is also a fact of life for many who live out here.

Depending on where you live and where the main source of water is for your community, the long list of various contaminants in the water can vary from arsenic to tongue-twisting which names for carcinogenic substances, as well as numerous minerals, such as calcium and magnesium — a lot of which aren’t necessarily harmful to us in allowable amounts.

Hard water, for example, isn’t caused by contaminants, it’s a situation created by naturally occurring minerals present, along with chlorine, which gives plumbers a lot of business, and homeowners a screaming depleted checking account, according to representatives from Halo and LifeSource water systems.

The content of our water is why more homeowners are turning to water-filtration systems.

Since salt-based water filter systems are not allowed in SCV (the systems add additional chlorine to the local effluence, which has a harmful effect on crops grown downstream of the Santa Clara River in Ventura County), other popular alternatives are being used, such as simple countertop charcoal-filtered pitchers to full house-servicing systems, like Halo or Life Source, which offer maintenance-free water-softening/de-scaling and purification filtration options.

Putrification vs. reverse-osmosis

Some conditioners leave the minerals in the water, but separated so they won’t adhere to each other, according to various water system companies.

Purification/filtration systems are supposed to greatly reduce the chlorine and other contaminants.

Reverse-osmosis systems, which can be installed under your kitchen sink, are supposed to remove contaminants and minerals, such as Halo RO-6, which can also add the minerals back and balance the PH of the water, as well, leaving contaminants down the drain.

Mineral deposits, such as calcium combined with magnesium, are not the only culprits wreaking havoc with plumbing, according to Shellback Plumbing and Drain owner Gary Borg.

The general overall quality of the water is a considerable factor, like the amount of chlorine. It’s the minerals that stick to each other, especially when hot chlorinated or chloramine water is used that cause scale/mineral (calcium carbonate) buildup. This can cause plumbing to corrode and eventually leak (not to mention bad for your skin and hair). It appears water does not tend to clog copper pipes, but it will to galvanized and steel fixtures.

“The one thing people don’t think about is the chlorine,” Borg said. “It’s actually more harmful on the fixtures than on the pipes themselves. It dries out everything.” The rubber in fixtures start to crack and break and before you know it, you have a leak. It’s one slippery slope from water intrusion to mold.

“The good news is hard water is not unhealthily. The bad news is hard water causes a variety of aesthetic related problems such as, spots on glasses, dishes, build up in appliances, and also decrease the efficiency of some appliances,” explains Kathie Martin, public information officer from Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency.

Martin recommends general maintenance on a hot water heaters including draining it periodically. To help dissolve calcium carbonate buildup, run vinegar through your dishwasher or washing machine on an empty cycle. There are other products on the market like CLR to help with deposits, too. For glass, try Rain-X.

Dan Hillard, VP of marketing for LifeSource, said,” It’s important to protect your home, your family and have that peace of mind.”

For those who want extra assurance regarding what’s in your water, be proactive. Glen Blavet, founder and CEO of Halo Water Systems, boils it down, “It’s not just the hard water, it’s the water quality in general.” Blavet recommends people bathe and drink filtered water to avoid contaminants and carcinogens. “You can be a filtration system or buy one.”

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