How to Buy Water Treatment Equipment

Millions of consumers have made the choice to improve the quality of their water. Instead of "being content" with the water from their tap, they have chosen to improve the water used in their home to the level and amount desired. But how did those consumers reach their decision?

It is certain that there are many more consumers who are considering purchasing water quality improvement. Those consumers might want to consider the following before making a purchase.

Aesthetic And Health Related Water Contaminants

The first question a consumer must answer is: Is the water satisfactory? In general, if the water tastes good but has an objectionable smell, odor, or color, then that consumer is faced with an aesthetic problem. Hard water, another aesthetic characteristic, can pose an economic hardship for the consumer because hard water could cause damage to the home's plumbing system and significantly higher use of chemical cleaning products.

If the consumer feels that there may be a dangerous contaminant, such as lead or radium, that is considered a health-related matter. Aesthetic and health-related water problems are handled in different manners. Most aesthetic problems are obvious to the consumer. A water quality sales professional will be able to assist the consumer in handling these types of problems.

For a municipal water user or for the consumer who is serviced by a private well and believes that there might be harmful health effects in the water, it is recommended that the water be tested by a state certified laboratory.

Once the consumer has identified the problem, the next step is to meet with a water quality improvement professional who will be able to suggest the appropriate equipment at a cost that is within the consumer's budget.

In-Home Water Testing

Many dealers conduct a water test in the consumer's home as part of their sales presentation. These types of tests are legitimate because the salesperson is testing to match the appropriate equipment with the consumer's specific problems. Most in-home tests determine water hardness, pH, iron, manganese, total dissolved solids and color. None of these characteristics are health-related. Most health-related testing is done by a state certified or other reputable laboratory. Try to avoid doing business with someone who tries to "scare" the consumer into buying a system with some of his testing methods.

Finding The Right Dealer

The goal of any consumer is to do business with a reputable dealer. Consumers might want to look for a dealer who can furnish references of customers who have had equipment installed. Make sure the dealer has a reputation for quality service, but if the consumer has any doubts, the consumer may want to contact a local Better Business Bureau or the state Attorney General's office, Consumer Affairs division to see if there has been a history of complaints about the specific company. Membership in the Better Business Bureau and other organizations such as the Water Quality Association is on a fee basis and does not necessarily mean that the dealer subscribes to these organization's code of ethics. Ask about the dealers educational and professional background, how long he has been in business and about the facility from which he conducts business.

Consumer Tips

Buying a water treatment product is a big decision and, in the end, it's the consumer who makes the final choice. Here are some suggestions for anyone considering purchasing water treatment:

  • Beware of a salesperson who tells the consumer that public water is unsafe. Municipal or community water systems are monitored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and are required to report contaminants that are in violation of the federal requirements to its users. If, in fact, there is a problem with the centrally treated water, be sure to determine that the equipment considered will solve it.
  • Unless the salesperson is selling the consumer a system that is specifically designed to make the water bacteriologically pure, the salesperson should not be claiming that their system provides "pure" water. The word "pure" has been clearly defined by the U.S. EPA "to mean that a product must remove/disinfect all types of disease-causing microorganisms in raw water." If the salesperson uses the word, he must also define it and assure the consumer that the product removes 100 percent of harmful bacteria.
  • If the product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The Better Business Bureau suggests "avoiding the quick fix". Fixing the existing water problem is the consumer's primary goal, but don't be eager to settle for the least expensive option. Before buying a product, get a detailed estimate of equipment, installation and operating costs.
  • At the time of the sale, the consumer should confirm that the equipment selected has enough capacity to meet the present and future water needs.

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