Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Thought I would give you a run down on what our experience of the blue water syndrome and the SofterWater Conditioner has been.
We built the first part of our house and installed our bore at Dulguigan near Murwillumbah in April 1998 and moved into the main house in early 1999. We used bore water for all our household water as the testing showed it to be excellent quality (only slightly high in salt and calcium).
In February 2001 we had the water tested again because we had been getting blue staining in our vanities and toilets and it tasted bitter. We also had problems with water marks on the tiles and shower screens that no amount of cleaning seemed to remove. Tests showed we had raised levels of copper at 1.26 mg/L which is above the Guideline aesthetic value of 1.00 mg/L. We investigated what might be able to help (filters, softeners etc.) but no one could give us any valid help.
The following year we moved away for 3 years (rented the house out) and by the time we got back the staining was much worse and the water not drinkable. I started looking into blue water syndrome further and came across the SofterWater Conditioner on the net. After discussions we thought it was worth a try even if it only softened the water a bit which might help the taste (the water was not particularly hard but we were getting pretty desperate as the staining was very bad).
In June 2006 just before we installed the SofterWater Conditioner we had the water tested again. We tested 3 samples – 1) from the first tap after the bore which meant no copper pipe work, 2) the cold water kitchen tap, and 3) the laundry hot tap (the hot water pipes were the worst for staining and the laundry was the furthest from the hot water heater).
This test confirmed our suspicions – the bore water was perfectly fine (copper = 0.03 mg/L). The problem had to be in the copper pipe work and the hot water heater. The cold water kitchen tap result was now 2.10 mg/L and the laundry tap 3.37 mg/L. The Guideline health value is 2.0 mg/L so our kitchen tap was now over that level. The technician at the lab who tested our water could not identify anything in our water that would affect the copper pipes but obviously there was some problem with them.
FYI – The same day we had the SofterWater Conditioner installed we also changed the old gas storage hot water heater to an instantaneous (they use less gas but this also meant less copper that at least the hot water would come in contact with).
The first afternoon after installing the SofterWater Conditioner I thought to myself that the water felt “softer”. I thought it was probably my imagination but then when my husband got home and after he had his shower he said the same thing to me (I hadn’t discussed my thoughts with him).
After the SofterWater Conditioner was installed we still had blue staining occurring but the water marks on the tiles and shower screen (which I had finally managed to scrub off with a few different products and brute force) did not build up nearly as quickly as it had been prior to the SofterWater Conditioner. I also thought that the blue staining might have improved a little but it was hard to tell because we were still having staining and it is a bit subjective (and I had also discovered some easier ways to clean it off).
In March 2007 we moved out of the house to our new property in Queensland. The Dulguigan property was empty while we tried to sell it although we came back for weekends now and again. Around May we were back every couple weeks finishing some painting etc. as the property had sold. Over the time we were away I thought the blue staining had reduced dramatically. On one occasion we had been gone for a couple of weeks and when we came back my husband noticed the bath tap had a slow drip (not turned off properly). There was virtually no blue stain. If this had happened before we would have had deep blue stain.
So just before we settled the property in early July we had the water tested again. I tested the bore tap again and the kitchen cold water (I didn’t worry about retesting the hot water because we had changed the heater anyway). And my suspicions were confirmed again. In just over 12 months the copper levels in the water from our kitchen tap had reduced to 0.99 mg/L, just on the Guideline aesthetic limits but well below the Guideline health limit. I also think that the “softening” of the water also helped to prevent the copper that was still in the water from staining the porcelain ware. (The bore water level was again virtually non-existent at 0.07 mg/L).
I have no doubt that the SofterWater Conditioner helped to reduce the amount of copper leaching or flaking (or whatever it was doing) from the copper pipes. Our problem had been getting worse and worse over the years and the SofterWater Conditioner has obviously helped to partly reverse the problem. Our case was quite severe so if anyone were starting to have problems with staining the SofterWater Conditioner might well prevent it from getting as bad as our did and possibly reverse it. Because no one could tell us what had caused our copper problems it is not possible to say what the SofterWater Conditioner might actually be doing that reversed it. But it might certainly help other people who are having problems with copper in the water. And it was a lot cheaper than the filter systems we were recommended that didn’t work!!
Earl, thank you very much for your support and advice.
All the best with your product.