AP&F is proud to be members in good standing with the Water Quality Association.

COVID-19 Updated Service

Hello,

We hope this letter finds you in good health. Like you, we have been monitoring the rapidly-changing recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health departments regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

We are open for business, but have temporarily modified office hours. Currently, we will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for regular business.

We will continue to offer Emergency Service EVERY DAY (including weekends).
Emergency Service includes:
-Well pump service (No Water, Low Water Pressure)
-Significant water leaks
-Filter system failure (if treating for primary contaminant or health concern like
bacteria, arsenic, PFAS and radon).

Non-emergency work will be scheduled on a case by case basis for March. We are currently booking preventive maintenance service appointments for April / May / June.

Call us at 603-868-3212 or email info@advanceh2o.com to schedule service. We will always have someone answering the phone; either our staff during regular office hours or the answering service if the office is closed. Emergencies will be dispatched to the on-call technician.

While we always strive for high standards of cleanliness and safety, we have implemented additional recommended protocols to help keep our employees and customers healthy:

Employees:
-Employees who feel unwell should stay home.
-Employees demonstrating symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness
of breath) must stay home and not return until cleared by a doctor.
-Employees will wash down and sanitize their work spaces (desk or work truck)
multiple times a day. Common areas will also be cleaned.
-Employees will attempt to maintain a six feet distance from one another.
-Employees will take separate work trucks when going to crew jobs.
-Employees will wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon
arriving in the office and throughout the day.
-We are encouraging all employees to practice social distancing in their personal lives.

Coming to our office:
If you would like to purchase any goods or water test kits from our main office, we would be happy to complete this transaction over the phone and we can leave the products for you out on our front porch.

Entering your home:
-If you are ill and/or have symptoms of the virus, please take care of yourself and
reschedule the appointment.
-Please wash your hands before and after we come to your home.
-If you speak face to face with the technician, please keep a 6 feet distance.
-Technicians will wash or sanitize their hands before and after servicing your
equipment.
-Technicians will sanitize the equipment they touch before and after performing
any work.
-All employees will maintain a 6 feet distance.
-Where possible, technicians will enter through a bulkhead or basement door. —–
-Please have the door open and ready for them upon arrival.
-Please make sure we have your phone number, so we can call you to discuss job
specifics while on site.
-Whenever possible, we will ask to have a credit card number ‘on hold’ at the
office. Once the service work or installation is complete, we will review the cost
and only then run the credit card. We can also take an e-check over the phone.

Please remember that Advance Pump & Filter is a small, family run business. We are working tirelessly to do what’s best for everyone, employees and customers alike. We will continue to closely follow the guidance of CDC and WHO. As this is an ever changing situation, we will do our best to communicate any updates as they unfold.

If you have any questions, please call us at 603-868-3212 or email info@advanceh2o.com.

Stay well.

Sincerely,
Cathy & Rob Cartmell
Advance Pump & Filter Co., Inc.
10 Calef Highway
Lee, NH 03861
603-868-3212

Concerned about Coronavirus and drinking water? Here’s a good resource with up to date information:

Click here

Are you taking care of your “four walls”?

A popular personal money manager talks about prioritizing and taking care of your “four walls” first: this includes food, water/utilities, shelter and transportation.

We recommend that YOU take control of your drinking water and make sure that it’s safe. Don’t rely on assumptions or thinking that someone else will monitor it. Test your own drinking water. Call APF at 603-868-3212 to schedule a lab water test.

New Homeowner learns the hard way and shares his story

Regional Water Road Map

Here is a fun resource created by The Water Right Group. In this Blog post we are highlighting the portion of there article that talks about the Northeast. Give it a gander and you can visit the water right groups infographic at the link bellow.

“The Northeastern United States is full of history, from the Statue of Liberty in New York City to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The Northeast is a unique American region. However, it also comes with some unique problem water.

We spoke with two Water-Right experts based in the Northeast about the kinds of water problems they regularly encounter in the field. Regional Sales Manager Kevin Osborn works in New England and New York state while Water-Right Vice President Greg Gruett covers the rest of the region. Both help train our network of expert water treatment dealers in the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

One thing Osborn notes about the difference between the Northeast compared to some other areas of the country is the level of hard minerals (calcium and magnesium) typically found in the water.

“Hardness isn’t always a major issue in New England,” Osborn says. ““Even though when we see hard water, the average hardness ranges from 15 to 20 grains per gallon (gpg) and we do have pockets where it gets much harder, the bigger issues is iron and low pH.  Although Western New York is one place where the hardness is a lot higher, but in those cases so is the pH.”

The magnesium and calcium in harder water raise its alkalinity. However, in areas where the water isn’t quite as hard, the acidity of low pH water can cause problems such as corroded plumbing, pinhole leaks in pipes, and blue-green stains.

lead pipe with water damage

Although the water in the Northeastern U.S. may not be extremely hard, it’s still hard enough to cause issues, and not just for homeowners with private wells. Gruett says our dealers get plenty of calls from people with city water problems, including hardness. Too often people fail to realize that while city water is treated, it is not softened.

Even lower levels of hardness can cause problems over time. That’s especially true for the damage lime scale can cause to water-using appliances. Plus, hard water makes those appliances less effective, too. More homeowners in Northeastern states are noticing this because of changes made to the ingredients in common household cleaners.

“They took all the phosphates out of soaps and detergents for environmental reasons,” Gruett explains. “Those phosphates were softening the water, which protected the appliance and made soap products clean better. Now, people are complaining that their dishwashers and washing machines don’t work anymore.”

That means dirty dishes, dingy laundry, and appliances that break down sooner than normal. All of this could be solved with the installation of the right water softener, which Gruett says is becoming essential in the modern home.

Another common grievance about city water in the Northeast region stems from chlorination during municipal water treatment.

“A big complaint we get from homeowners is that the water smells or tastes like a swimming pool,” Gruett says. “That’s because municipalities are increasing chlorine content due to federal regulations.”

chlorine smelling water

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that municipalities have a certain amount of chlorine in the water to ensure it is being effectively treated. Gruett says that while there’s no apparent health danger connected to chlorine levels, the taste is quite noticeable.

Many city dwelling homeowners in the Northeast are turning to Water-Right’s experts to get water softening systems configured for their situation. It typically involves a split media tank, set up with carbon to reduce chlorine, and resin for the ion exchange process that softens water.

Of course, there are plenty of people in the Northeast getting their water from private wells, too. Iron and manganese contamination tend to be common problems, even more so than hardness. Stains on sinks and toilets or drinking water with a metallic taste are telltale signs. Osborn says there’s a unique media used for effective filtration of iron and manganese in the Northeast.

“Manganese actually tends to cause more issues in my region and Green Sand Plus tends to be our go-to media, because it’s also better for low pH waters,” Osborn says. “It’s a catalytic media that oxidizes the water and converts iron from ferrous to ferric while going after slight odors such as sulfur as well.”

A particularly unique issue to homes along the East Coast is salt water intrusion which increases chlorides in the water causing high total dissolved solids (TDS). Salt water intrusion occurs along the coast when water from the ocean makes its way into groundwater or other fresh water aquifers.

“In upstate New York, there are salt mines, so you have wells with high TDS from chlorides there as well,” Osborn adds.

While most people complain about the look, smell, or taste of water, there has been increased awareness about potentially dangerous contaminants you can’t detect with your senses. For example, Gruett says people continue to express concerns about lead contamination in the aftermath of what happened in Flint, Michigan.

“Every mom and dad wants to know if their water is safe for the kids and free of lead,” Gruett says. “All of these East Coast towns were built before World War I. So, there are old pipes everywhere and they’re not tearing up the infrastructure to replace them.”

Gruett says positive test results are happening more frequently because lead tests are now being taken using a “first draw” method. That means the water doesn’t run before a sample is drawn, and that makes it more likely that lead will have leached from old plumbing. Learn more about lead contamination here on our blog.

In most cases, Water-Right believes water is safe for human consumption and we don’t want to raise unnecessary alarm. However, for homeowners who want more peace of mind about their water, we recommend installing a reverse osmosis (R.O.) drinking water system.

An R.O. system will also remove other potentially harmful contaminants that may be present in the Northeastern U.S.

“In New England, we definitely deal with arsenic and uranium, and there can be issues with radon in the water as well,” Osborn says. He goes on to say that getting your water tested by experts is the best way to know it is safe.

“Honestly, most people only test their water when they have an aesthetic problem. If harmful bacteria like E. coli were purple, then you’d have everybody calling because they could see it. There’s a field test for nearly everything, but testing for some of the more serious contaminants should be done by a state certified lab.”

Water-Right’s network of dealers has access to the state-certified Clean Water Testing laboratory, and our experts can help whenever you have questions about water quality.

“We’re dealing with Mother Nature and she is unpredictable,” Osborn says. “If I could control nature it would be 70 degrees outside all the way until November. Homeowners need to understand that their water quality can change due to the environment as well as because of local construction. Just because you don’t have a problem today doesn’t mean there won’t be a problem tomorrow.””

Blog Post from the Well Right Group

A Day in the Life: Servicing a Small/Large Water System

Why you shouldn’t Mix Salt Pellets with Coarse Solar Salt in your Brine Tank

Constant Pressure Systems

I’ve been hearing about “Constant Pressure Systems”; what does that mean? What do they do?

In the context of a residential water supply system, “Constant Pressure” refers to a combination of well, pump and control components designed to provide water to the home at a pressure that remains close to a chosen “set-point”, e.g. 60 psi, regardless of the amount of water (flow rate) being required at any one time.

A conventional design uses a pump, a tank with an air pre-charge in it, and a simple pressure operated switch. When the pump operates, it does so at its full rated power to drive water into the tank until the rising pressure causes the switch to shut it off. As you continue to use water, the pressure falls back down to the point where the switch turns the pump back on for another run cycle. This “pressure spread” is designed to be 20 psi. Tanks must be large enough to allow the pump to run for long enough to dissipate the heat in the motor generated by each startup (ideally about one minute).

A constant pressure system replaces the simple switch with a control (commonly called a Variable Frequency Drive, or VFD) and pressure sensor that together work to operate the well pump over a range of speeds, but always just fast enough to maintain that set-point pressure at the flow you happen to be using at the moment. All this is done electronically, in real time.

Why is this better?

In a nutshell, you get a stable pressure in the house, without the up and down cycling you experience with a conventional system. Many water using devices are happier that way; your shower, for example, but especially in-ground irrigation systems. But that’s just the beginning.

VFD controlled pumps use a 3-phase motor design (think industrial strength) that is inherently more efficient than single phase motor/starter designs. The control starts the motor “softly” to avoid the shock and heat inherent in the “full-on” start of a cycling system. Even better, the strategy of running “just equal to the demand” uses less power overall that the start/stop scheme. The reasons are complicated (maybe for a later blog) but in a nutshell, less power = less heat; less heat = less waste and less strain and wear on equipment. The net result is lower operating cost and better reliability.

For more information about the benefits of constant pressure systems and whether it could be right for you, call us at 603-868-3212 or visit us online at http://www.advancepumpandfilter.com/nh_pump_filter_constant_pressure_systems.php

What to do about PFC’s in my home’s water?

News reports about PFC’s being discovered in both public and private wells at several locations well above the levels in the EPA’s Provisional Health Advisory have raised the level of concern among many home owners about the potential for such contaminants to be in their own wells. Recent reports of similar findings in surface waters and streams have heightened such concerns.

PFC’s, also referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), include a number of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAA). Two of these, perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfate (PFOS) occupy most of the media attention, and are the specific subject of the Health Advisory. PFC’s have the useful property of repelling water and oils, making them very appealing to various industries. They are found in such diverse products as stain-resistant carpet and fabrics, waterproofing for fabrics and leather, some non-stick surfaces, and fire-fighting foam.

Both PFOA and PFOS have been shown to be widely distributed in the environment. They are persistent and do not degrade easily; they are also water soluble and are commonly detected in drinking water sources. The pathways for PFC’s to reach groundwater sources are many, and the understanding of the subject is very much an emerging science. They are associated with numerous health effects in humans, and developmental effects in infants.

How do I know if these contaminants are in my water?

PFC’s are not detectable through ordinary senses: taste, odor, color. They must be identified through testing by a qualified laboratory. The relevant concentrations are extremely small, in parts per trillion; that’s about one nano-gram per liter of water (ng/l). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed Provisional Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS at 70 ppt total, and are currently developing Lifetime (chronic exposure) Advisories.

So, I ran the test and I have some in my water – what do I do (if anything)?

We subscribe generally to the idea that guidelines developed by the EPA, and by extension State agencies, represent the best resource available to the public for evaluating the health risks associated with various contaminants. We do not, as a practice, make recommendations to treat contaminants that do not exceed EPA guidelines.

That said, we recognize that the maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) for most health related contaminants represent a risk/cost/benefit assessment, and not a point below which no threat exists. Our belief is that each home owner should consider all available sources of information and weigh the reliability of each one. Essentially, it is the homeowner’s decision as to what level of contaminant is acceptable to them, and we understand that some may want to treat even for very low levels considered under the EPA limit. We are fully prepared to provide solutions to treat the issue.

How can PFC’s be removed from my water?

The treatment industry has been exploring a wide array of treatment alternatives. The consensus (and our own view as well) is that for residential treatment applications, there are two approaches appropriate for most scenarios:

  • Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) is the go-to choice for both whole-house and point-of-use (drinking and cooking only) solutions. We follow the EPA/DES recommendation to use a pair of treatment vessels in series with a testing port between them to detect contaminant breakthrough while the second vessel is still effective. Size and specific choice of GAC type are application specific.
  • Reverse Osmosis Systems, which also include activated carbon elements in the treatment path, can be an option where there can be an additional collateral benefit, such as salt reduction, nitrate, or arsenic remediation.

So what’s the bottom line?

Any decision as to what to do about PFC’s in your water source has to start with the question “are they in there?” The tests involved are not inexpensive, so start by investigating whether your location is within a known contamination source or threatened by one. State resources, e.g. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), may have that information; in some cases they may provide the testing if you are part of an area they are monitoring.

If, however, you “just have to know” then by all means have the testing done. One cost effective source we have located is Absolute Resources in Portsmouth, NH.

If you uncover a situation that merits treatment, for reasons satisfactory to you, call us! We will be happy to evaluate it, and recommend a cost effective solution suited to your needs. Click here for more information about our water testing services.