Well Water Treatment Strategies



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Home > Water Quality > Water Treatment Strategies

It's your water, make it right

Most decisions for choosing a water quality improvement approach are best made with an experienced water treatment professional; some water quality decisions include inspecting and modifying your well. For those in our service area contact us with your water quality needs. 

Here is a chart which provides an overview of some of the approaches we use, and one we won't,  to provide for you well water you can enjoy:

Treatment process

What it does

Contaminants Removed/Altered


By passing water through a cartridge, granular media or other device, contaminants are subtracted from the water to make it cleaner. In some cases this is a "straining" effect; in other cases the contaminants are removed by adsorption- the contaminants have an attraction to the surface of the filter.

Often, minerals such as iron and manganese are oxidized prior to filtration in order to create large enough particles to filter. In addition, pH changes may be needed.

Already have a cartridge filter that requires replacement cartridges? Check out our store WellWaterProducts.com.

Iron, manganese, arsenic, silt, sand, organics, some heavy metals, radon, cysts

Ion exchange (softening, etc)

See how a water softener works

As water runs through a resin in a vessel, charged electrical particles (ions) are exchanged for other ions which are more desirable. Often the resin can be regenerated automatically for years of service.

In industrial settings,  a very similar process is used to make ultra high purity water. Most residential and commercial applications are oriented toward nuisance mineral control though we have had some success reducing arsenic and radium with this method.

Hardness (calcium, magnesium), iron, manganese are commonly removed. Other ions such as arsenic, radium and nitrates can be removed this way.


By introducing oxidizers such as chlorine, ozone, oxygen, or ozone (there are others too), ions' electrical charges change (get more positive). This is often done to prepare for filtration. Sometimes oxidation alone is sufficient to manage hydrogen sulfide (a gas which has a rotten egg smell).


Does not technically remove anything; alters water chemistry.

pH correction

By dissolving an alkaline (basic) material into water, low pH (<6.5 units) can be adjusted to prevent corrosion. Often accomplished with a calcite filter/contactor which uses clean lime to correct pH.

Sometimes high pH's are controlled by acid injection. This may be done for scale control, though very seldom in our service area.

Usually does not technically remove anything; alters water chemistry-except via air stripping (see below). Controlling low pH often reduces levels of leached copper and lead in plumbing systems.

Aeration (air stripping)

By forcing high volumes of air through water, dissolved gases and other volatile compounds are liberated and vented away. (example:if you aerated carbonated soda, it would become very flat)

Radon, volatile organics, can raise pH, hydrogen sulfide


Adding a disinfectant (chlorine, ozone, ultraviolet light) kills or disables microbes to make water safer to drink.


Kills microbes, or in the case of ultraviolet, prevents multiplication

Reverse osmosis (and other membranes)

Untreated, pressurized water is pushed against very fine filter (membrane) under pressure. While clean water is squeezed through, many contaminants are flushed to waste. Often used as a drinking water solution. Typically silt, manganese, iron and hardness are removed prior to reaching the membrane in order to prevent fouling.

Ions: sodium, chloride, lead, nitrates, arsenic, etc.

This process can also be used to extract water from maple sap in order to make the syrup processing more efficient.


By boiling water, vapor is formed and condensed. The contaminants are left in the boiling chamber.

Distillation removes nearly all contaminants from water but is rather energy-intensive.


By surrounding ions with a polymer, they are shielded from posing problems. Often accomplished by injecting a solution into the water. Can also help with corrosion control

Can be used to control mineral staining and corrosion

Magnetic devices

Supposedly alter the structure of water. Some claim that they help with scale control. We have seen no evidence to support these claims.

We have found no practical application for these devices.

561 First NH Tpke || Northwood NH 03261
(603) 942-5671
Licensed || Insured || Qualified || Established 1989