Acidic water – water that has a pH level of less than 7 – can eat away at copper pipes and leave your faucets and plumbing fixtures with blue-green stains. The normal pH level for surface water is 6.5 to 8.5, so if your water has a lower level, it could be corrosive. One effective way of raising the pH is to add calcite, a natural alkalizing agent, to the water.
A backwashing calcite filter includes a tank, calcite media, and a control valve. When untreated acidic water flows into the tank, the calcite is slowly dissolved into the water, making it more neutral. This treated water can then flow into your home for everyday use. Under normal conditions, only enough of the mineral is dissolved into the water to bring the pH up to a more neutral level, so there’s no risk of over correcting the problem.
The US Water Matrixx pH Balancing Backwashing Calcite Neutralizer System designed to raise the pH of the water supply
Calcite water treatment can be very effective to correct acidic water, but water with a pH of less than 5.8 may benefit from a blend of calcite and magnesium oxide. Extremely acidic water with a pH of less than 5 may need a proportional pH neutralizing system that uses soda ash instead of a calcite filter.
Calcite is simply one natural form of the mineral calcium carbonate (CaCO3), a common antacid and food preservative. Calcium carbonate is the main component of limestone, chalk, marble, pearls, and oyster shells. This mineral reacts with hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water to make it more neutral.
Acidic water can not only cause unsightly blue and green stains on your plumbing fixtures, it can actually corrode your pipes, causing minerals to leach out and into your water. It’s particularly damaging to copper piping. This is an issue because exposure to high levels of copper can cause gastrointestinal problems and other adverse health effects. Highly acidic water may also have elevated levels of other potentially dangerous metals like lead and cadmium.
A calcite filter can neutralize your water, helping to prevent damage to pipes and unsightly stains. Acidic water can also have a sour or metallic taste, which will also be eliminated. Calcite is a common mineral, making this form of water treatment simple and affordable. And because calcite is self-limiting, it won’t over correct the problem and make your water too alkaline.
Calcite filter systems from US Water Systems have a number of helpful features to make the water treatment process even easier. Our tanks include a fill port at the top, so you never need to disconnect the control valve to refill the tank. The tank is translucent, making it easy to see how much media you have by shining a light through the side. The controller is simple to set and has only one internal moving part. The whole system operates on a 12 volt electrical system and there is no danger of electrical shock.
Because a calcite filter works by dissolving the mineral in the water, more of the media does need to be added periodically. You’ll need to check the level of the tank regularly to make sure that the system can still do its job.
The system will also need to perform a backwash cycle every so often. When this happens, water is pushed through the tank in the opposite direction, taking the system offline temporarily. Backwashing is necessary to prevent the calcite media from becoming too packed down and to resettle it so that it can work correctly.
When you add calcite to your water, you will increase its hardness level. Hard water can cause a buildup of limescale in your pipes and appliances, shortening their lifespan. It also makes detergents less effective and can be hard on the skin. Many people choose to incorporate a water softener into a calcite water treatment system to remove excess calcium once the pH level is corrected.
While calcite is very effective at neutralizing the pH in water, if your levels are lower than 5.8, you will likely need additional help. The Certified Water Specialists at US Water Systems can create a customized blend of calcite and magnesium oxide to help ensure that your water treatment system is effective. Simply let us know the pH level of your water when you call to place an order, or include this information in the “comments” section of our online shopping cart.
If your water is extremely acidic, a proportional injection system may be a better treatment option. This type of system uses a feed pump to automatically inject a precise amount of soda solution (usually a form of soda ash) into your water. This type of treatment is very effective and does not increase the hardness level of your water, but it’s also more expensive than a calcite filter system.