Basic Water Types

In general, water for drinking and cooking should be wholesome. It should be both portable and palatable. It must be bacteriologically and chemically safe for drinking and be good tasting. It should be clear, colorless, and have no unpleasant taste or odor.

In our present-day world, we need at least three basic types of water of somewhat different quality, depending on the requirements of each use:

  1. Utility Water. Water which is suitable for use in sanitation and lawn sprinkling; adequate in quantity, bacteriologically safe, but not necessarily treated to the highest quality. Each city has different regulations for what is in their utility water. Utility water comes from your cities water source which means you will also have to pay a water bill. Homeowners often purify their utility water to remove contaminants and make it more suitable for drinking water.
  2. Softened Water. Water which is optimum for bathing, shampooing, personal grooming, laundering, and dishwashing. Since many of these uses demand hot water, fully softened water produces better results with minimum soap and detergent usage, and, in addition, provides conservation of energy required for water heating. If water is not softened and contains many minerals such as calcium and magnesium, it is considered hard water.
running water

Hard water causes many problems throughout the home by leaving scaling on water appliances. Over time when the scale becomes thicker and thicker, the appliance will use more energy to heat up because of the thick scale build up.

This is why softened water is recommended to prolong the life of many appliances in the home. Hard water leaves spots on dishes and leaves bathtubs with film and soap scum. Have you ever noticed when the sprinklers hit your car it leaves very noticeable spots? This is because it is very hard water that has not been treated.

Soft Water – Less than 1 gpg (grain per gallon)

Slightly Hard – 1-3.5 gpg

Moderately Hard – 3.5 – 7 gpg

Very Hard – 7-10 gpg

Extremely Hard – Over 10 gpg

  1. Drinking Water. Water to be used for drinking and cooking must be of high quality. It must meet or exceed the bacteriological and chemical requirements of both the EPA Interim Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Regulations. Since the amount of water used for drinking and cooking is only about 1/2 of 1% of the total water supplied by a community, this amounts to 0.875 gallons per person per day of the 175 gallons per person per day furnished by the community. The remaining amount (over 174 gallons per person per day) is used for a variety of purposes such as sprinkling lawns and irrigation, flushing toilets, fighting fires, cleaning streets, as well as utility commercial, and industrial uses within the community. The Safe Drinking Water act gives individual states the opportunity to set and enforce their own drinking water standards.
  2. Of course, many commercial establishments (laundries, beauty salons, car washes, etc.), industries (for rinsing and specific processes), and institutions (hospitals, for example for laboratory use, hemodialysis, etc.) will want to provide extremely high-quality water of different types for specific applications at the point of use.

Today, more than ever before, water is what we make it - not only for community water supplies but also for individual water supplies. Point-of-use water treatment today is an extremely viable and readily available means by which water of extremely high quality can be provided. Moreover, since the treatment takes place just before the water is used, point-of-use water treatment also provides distinct and unique advantages in that only the amount of water needed for each specific purpose or application is treated to the desired quality and also that there is virtually no opportunity for recontamination of the water from the distribution system after treatment.

It is important to understand the different types of water and their relation to water quality. This can help to understand the different purposes they are used for. You will not want to water your lawn with purified water or you will not want to be drinking the same water coming out of your sprinklers. Nowadays water sources are more contaminated than before and it is important to have a purification system for your drinking water. Purified drinking water is the most important water to be contaminant-free since it is the water you are putting in your body. Most heavy metals cannot penetrate the skin through showers but can be harmful if they are consumed. It is highly recommended to make sure that the water your family is drinking is being purified and is contaminant-free. Not only will it taste great, but you will also have peace of mind that your water will not cause you or your family any harm.


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