Cottages are a getaway. They're supposed to be a break from the worries and stresses of modern urban life. But for many cottagers, managing a private water supply is anything but stress-free. In this article we have a look at the common water issues facing cottagers, and provide some quick-and-easy ways to remedy them.
Water issues are diverse, and it can be pretty intimidating to try and tackle them all at once. The easiest way to approach cottage water treatment, is to look at water issues category-by-category. Here are the most common water problems encountered by cottage owners:
Hardness / Iron
Living Organisms (aka microbiological contamination)
Sediment is any particulate matter that is found in the water. The most common sediments are silt and sand. Silt is a general term referring to soft materials that are usually from an organic source like very small bits of soil or aquatic vegetation. Sand is ground-down stone making it inorganic in nature. Sediment is a problem for a number of reasons:
clogs appliances and faucet aerators
makes water cloudy and unsightly to use
particles can harbour dangerous microorganisms
The great news is that sediment is really easy to remove. Cartridge filtration is by far the easiest and most cost effective way to accomplish this.
Hardness / Iron
For cottages that get their water from a well, hardness and iron can be a real issue. Hardness and iron deposit on virtually every surface of the cottage - sinks, faucets, appliances, showers, and many more. If hardness and iron levels are too high, they can quickly destroy these fixtures and make even a new cottage look decades old. Hardness is removed using a water softener. Water softeners can usually remove a moderate amount of iron as well.
For water sources that contain too much iron a dedicated iron filter is required.
Bacteria, viruses, and other organisms like Giardia (Beaver Fever), and Cryptosporidium are common in many rural water sources. Usually lake water is more contaminated than water from wells, but this is not always the case. Living organisms in water are the most serious form of cottage water contamination since they have the potential to create immediate and sometimes life-threatening illnesses. There are a number of different water treatment technologies available to negate the risk caused by these organisms. They are chlorine treatment, physical straining, and ultraviolet (UV) systems. Of these three, UV treatment is the easiest to use and maintain, destroys the greatest range of organisms, and makes your water the safest to consume. UV is best used for the entire dwelling to make both your drinking water and your utility water safe to consume.