Newbie: Water quality numbers, what do the numbers mean?

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Newbie: Water quality numbers, what do the numbers mean?

Postby tikithed » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:37 am

I live in Fort Worth, TX. and I have gotten the 2004 water quality report but I do not know what it means. Please help.

I am using Ozarka spring water for now because our tap water tastes like plastic (new subdivision). Also when does the plastic taste go away?
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Postby BillyBock » Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:12 am

Hi there...welcome to the forum!

As luck would have it, I just moved from Fort Worth and still have the 2004 water report. You want to pay attention to the numbers on page 5, in the table called 'Additional Parameters'. As a brewer you're interested in the following: Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Sodium, Sulfate, and Bicarbonate. The numbers listed are the expected range, so use the average to get a good line on what your water is compared to others.

It's important to note that Ft Worth uses chloramines to disinfect the water supply instead of chlorine. Chloramines are more difficult to get rid of than chlorine. The subject of chloramine removal is a rather lengthy topic by itself--the short story is you can get rid of it by adding campden tablets (1 crushed tablet per 20 gals) or granulated active carbon (GAC) filtration with a low flow rate. I ran tests with campden tablets and it appears to work. In practice I used GAC filtration--an Omnifilter CB3 cartridge to be exact. It's 0.5 microns and has a flow rate of 0.5 gals/minute--so it takes a little bit to fill up the vessels :-)

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

v/r
Bill
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Postby tikithed » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:09 am

OK next question: Should I only use the Ozarka spring water until I get a GAC filtration system? Those go under the sink, right?

Thanks
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Postby BillyBock » Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:00 pm

I'm not sure how long it'll take for the plastic taste you mention to go away or even what caused it. Maybe it's due to new PVC--although I've never heard of this. You might try installing the filter and see if it removes it. If it's not objectionable then consider brewing with it. Or just wait it out and see if the plastic taste goes away with time. Incidentally, I remember talking with the folks at the water plant in Ft Worth and they mentioned that Ozarka was just carbon filtered Ft Worth water...

I forgot to include this earlier, but for a quick primer on water chemistry go to http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-1.html
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