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Water Quality/Faulty water softener and health effects


My friend just moved into a brand new apt. Since moving, her water has been oily to the touch in every faucet (kitchen, bath, and laundry). One faucet keeps clogging. Since moving in she & her husband have both had unusual excessive intestinal gas. After her maintenance man inspected their water, he saw that it was not filtrating properly. He saw the resin beads and that it had an oily residue. He advised that she boil all water before drinking. Well, she has boiled and boiled it but the residue remains in the glass containers that she keeps the water in after it is boiled.  The glass containers have an oily residue. Her husband is growing more generically "ill" with nausea and stomach issues (not normal for him).  She has cooked with the water as well.  In addition, both have had skin breakouts on their heads and faces. I advised her today to stop drinking it, even if boiled.  I told her to stop cooking with it, even though she has boiled it.  Today, I suggested she only buy bottled water until this is resolved. The management (government-owned and subsidized) seems to be taking their sweet time getting this repaired which concerns me greatly. She tried contacting a company online who suggested that it be bypassed until it can be repaired, however the management of the apt building seems unconcerned and are not making this a priority to be repaired. Meanwhile, her husband who never complains is feeling sicker each day.  My question is this: can the resin beads (which are visible to the eye in their water and oily) make a person ill? What are the beads made of and is it toxic? If they have an oily residue I can only imagine what it must be doing to their systemic health. Prior to moving in there they did not have these health issues that they now have. I would sure appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it greatly.

Hi Jan;
Thanks for asking AE. It sounds like your friend has a very serious problem. It would seem that there is some sort of petroleum or petroleum by-product invasion of the water supply. If it is a municipal source it would come under the responsibility of the Public Utilities Dept.handling the water treatment. If it is a "community" well it would be the entity charged with the water quality and its treatment. If the government has drilled a well to serve the government-subsidized housing then the problem is theirs.Your friends best advocates would be the EPA and the local Health Dept..Your friend should contact them immediately! The problem sounds health endangering..almost to the point of being harmful for human use of any purpose!Boiling such water only concentrates the contaminant making it worse! Boiling water for at least two minutes will kill any bacteria because bacteria is a living thing.Bacteria, however ,is not the cause of the problem you describe.It has nothing to do with the inert resins in a conditioner or media in a filter putting anything into the water ! In my experience the only time I have seen a problem such as you describe was when a gas station's underground gasoline tanks leaked. contaminating water supplied by wells nearby. The Gas station and the gasoline supplier had to correct the problem. They had to use massive activated carbon filters. They replaced them monthly! The exhausted filters that were replaced had to be dealt with as hazardous waste.It doesn't sound like an equipment problem to me but rather a water contamination situation which should be brought to the attention of the proper authorities.

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Fred E. Brunetti CWSV


My field of expertise is in domestic water treatment. I am retired and have 28 years of experience in the water treatment field. I have earned the designation of Water Specialist, level five, from the Water Quality Association.I can offer help in the solution for private wells` problems as to `point of entry` and `point of use` treatments. these would include,disinfection,conditioning,and purification for drinking including reverse osmosis technology. Problems concerning well pumps,or plumbing or well drilling are out of my field,as well as commericial,industrial or municipal water treatment. I prefer to limit questions to the average homeowner`s use.Since retiring I have added consultation on the care and ,maintenance of domestic water treatment systems. These include filtration, conditioning/softening,chemical feed, and drinking water systems.


over 28 years testing private wells and application of various water treatment systems for a 65 year old water treatment company.Now retired and doing independent water consulting.BR>
Water Quality Association

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