Finding the Best Shower Head to Handle Well Water Issues

If you’re relying on a well for water supply, your home needs a shower head that can filter out common well water impurities. Here’s why!

Finding the Best Shower Head to Handle Well Water Issues

If your home relies on a private well for water supply, you are likely very familiar with the unique aesthetics, smells, and side effects that untreated well water can have during bathing and cleaning tasks.

Unlike municipal water sources which are rigorously filtered, tested, and disinfected, well water comes straight from underground aquifers and tends to carry far more dissolved mineral content, gases, microorganisms, and other contaminants that can make showering unpleasant.

However, installing an advanced shower head for well water designed specifically to remove common well water impurities can make a dramatic difference in your bathing experience!

Specific Well Water Contaminants and Their Effects

Unfiltered water from well have contaminants that may cause serious problem to our health.

Unlike municipal water supplies, private wells do not undergo centralized filtration, additive treatment, rigorous testing, and consistent federal regulation before emerging from your faucets. Instead, cistern water is purely groundwater that has percolated down through layers of soil, sand, and rock where it picks up an assortment of dissolved, suspended, and microbiological contaminants before being pumped back up for home use.

Some of the most problematic well water contaminants you may experience include:

Hardness Minerals

Calcium and magnesium are very common minerals washed out of stone subsurface layers into groundwater. Water hardness affects about 85% of the US population relying on well water. Levels exceeding 120ppm begin to cause nuisance issues like:

  • Scale buildup on plumbing fixtures, pipes, and appliances leads to decreased efficiency over time.
  • Soap scum formation due to poor lathering ability requires more products to clean.
  • Mineral dust and staining especially in bathrooms.
  • Dull, dry skin and hair due to soap buildup on the body.

At very high levels, magnesium can also act as a laxative for some sensitive individuals.

Iron & Manganese

These metallic water additives can give well water a bitter taste while also staining laundry, sinks, showers, and toilets a dingy orange, black, or brown color over time. Manganese in particular can feed bacteria growth in pipes and wells. This leads to a worsening of other issues like rotten egg odors.

Sulfur, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Sulfate Reducing Bacteria

The rotten egg smell typically associated with well water is caused by two sulfur contaminants. First, hydrogen sulfide gas which bubbles out when first drawn from the tap. And second, hydrogen sulfate created by specific bacteria that thrive on sulfur in the water.

These annoyances can become concentrated in water heaters and plumbing dead ends. In addition to bad odor, sulfur can corrode metal pipes and fittings and even blacken silverware.

Bacteria & Microorganisms

While bacteria are a fact of life, high counts from fecal matter or high nutrient levels can infiltrate well systems. This becomes a health issue causing gastrointestinal illness from pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, shigella, or Campylobacter.

Viruses and protozoan parasites can also be present. Issues are more prevalent after flooding or heavy rainfall which washes contaminants through the soil into aquifers. Even using well water just for showering and cleaning carries some degree of risk without disinfection.

Inorganic Contaminants

Heavy metals can be picked up from the erosion of natural rock deposits or introduced from mining, industry, or farming practices. Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and selenium for example can lead to negative health consequences when consumed over long periods even if acutely safe for showering and sinks.

Agricultural fertilizers and waste runoff also add high levels of nitrate-nitrogen which carries health implications for children and expecting mothers.

As you can see, well water can harbor quite an assortment of troublesome contaminants. Now let’s explore how adding a filter specifically designed for these issues to your shower head can help mitigate the problems.

Benefits of Adding a Shower Filter to Well Water

Purify water with these shower filter to prevent water contamination.

The easiest way to tackle many impurities plaguing home well systems is right at the point of use with a shower filter. Unlike treating entire water systems entering a home which carries a large price tag, shower filters earn their keep with affordable cartridge replacements.

Here are some benefits a shower filter can provide for individual health, pipes, and appliances:

  • Remove odor sources like hydrogen sulfide gas and hydrogen sulfate precipitation product
  • Filter out scale-causing calcium, magnesium, and other hardness minerals to minimize equipment damage and improve efficiency
  • Oxidize and control concentrations of troublesome iron, manganese, and sulfur using media like KDF
  • Trap organic contaminants that could irritate skin conditions
  • Soften water to improve lathering for better hair and skin health
  • Prevent some corrosion and staining issues on metal pipes and surfaces over time
  • Provide bacteriostatic properties to inhibit mold, fungi, and bacteria inside showers and pipes
  • Improve chlorine extraction if shocking well systems to control bacteria
  • Reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that evaporate from water into shower steam
  • Lower aesthetic issues that cause many to drink bottled water instead of filtering sinks & ice makers

Now that you know the major benefits, let’s explore what specific traits to evaluate when picking the best shower filter to tackle well water problems at their source.

Key Features of Effective Well Water Shower Filters

These key features of water filters to have a quality well water.

The best filtration media, components, and design features differentiate shower heads built for municipal water from those truly suited to handle the gamut of well water issues. Here’s what to look for:

Large Filter Surface Area

Look for shower heads featuring enlarged filter chambers, ribbons, or loose media beds to house enough cubic volume of filtration media to allow a reasonable lifespan between replacements. Standard small cartridges in municipal units need frequent changes – not ideal with the higher contaminant load in well water.

High Flow Rate Options

Even while removing impurities, your new shower filter still needs to keep pace with regular shower flow rates. Seek out units that allow 2 gallons per minute or higher, especially for low-pressure well systems. Multiple flow restrictors help adapt any model to varying pressure levels.

Easy Maintenance

Loose filtration pellets quickly clog and require messy media swaps, so replaceable filter cartridges are highly preferable. Easy quarter-turn exchanges or cartridge sleeve replacements make maintenance straightforward.

Metal Free Construction

Since plastic housing won’t corrode or contribute to bacterial growth, seek ABS and silicone materials over metal components. Also, ensure any plastic is shatterproof.

Adjustable Arm

Swivel elbows and arms allow directing the water spray for personalized use, while some feature arm extension options. Consider the range of motion needs when evaluating options.

Self-Cleaning Spray Face

Nozzles with rubber spray hole covers allow water pressure to regularly clear clogs while reducing mineral buildup over time – a useful trait when handling hardness and iron.

A shower head that can remove well water impurities is an affordable investment for your home.

Shower filters made specifically to treat common well water contaminants like hydrogen sulfide, scale-causing hardness, iron particulates, chlorine, and other impurities can provide an affordable solution right at the critical point of use to improve bathing comfort, hair and skin issues, corrosion damage, staining and more compared to using hard untreated water.

Pay special attention to evaluating not just chlorine filtering claims but also expanded multi-stage media tailored to well water, easily replaced cartridges, bacteriostatic properties, high flow output, durable metal-free construction, and self-cleaning faces during your selection process for long-term satisfaction.

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