Hard Water is the most common problem
Hard water is the predominant water quality problem affecting Hagerstown, Maryland and the Washington County area. Municipal waters found in this area range in hardness from about 10-15 gpg, but some residential wells in this county can have calcium carbonate (hardness) levels in excess of 50 gpg. Another common water problem found in this area is iron, both clear (ferrous) and brown/rusty looking red water (ferric) iron.
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Hardness, Iron, and Sulfur are commonly found together in Washington County
Having hard and irony water together is very common and can be accompanied by hydrogen sulfide (sulfur) rotten egg smell. Occasionally a well will also have manganese, a customer will see it’s characteristic black stains start to occur on toilets and fixtures. Acid water is not nearly as common in this area compared to the rest of Maryland to the east. A properly constructed and maintained water softener will solve the vast majority of water problems found in this area but additional treatment for sulfur with air injection may also be necessary.
Cave (Karst) Geology can have a big influence on the water in this area
Diverse water conditions also can be found near Hagerstown and the Washington County area of Maryland. Because of the prevalence of limestone formations up and down the Great Valley, this area is known for it’s Karst Geology. These countless ancient small caves and caverns can have a big influence on the drinking water quality in some areas.
Ground Water Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water (GWUDI)
This is a groundwater source that directly recharges from a close by stream, lake, pond or other small body of water. Wells drawing water from such a source can be turbid, silty and can have pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and other contaminates. The proper water conditioning equipment consisting of a sediment/turbidity filter, water softener, carbon filter, and a ultraviolet disinfection system designed with an intensity monitor is the basic system typically installed.