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Little Girl, Big Problem

BY MICHELLE RUCKS & TOM KINNANE Feb. 25, 2019 LITTLE GIRL, BIG PROBLEM Dealer installs custom system to address child’s health concerns Some times you meet someone and just do not know where the story will go. Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning was fortunate to be allowed to set up a table and sign at a local home and ranch store in suburban Denver. We had the opportunity to speak with some locals about their water quality. One young woman we spoke with was concerned about her water quality—specifically hardness—and we scheduled a time to come speak with her.  During our presentation a few weeks later, I determined her water characteristics to be the following: Total dissolved solids (TDS): 133 ppm;  Hardness: 5 grains per gal;  pH: 7.5; and Chlorine: 0.2 ppm.  At first glance, aside from the hardness, the water was not challenging. After my tests and our discussion about how we could address the water issues, it became clear to the customer that the system would not only soften the water, but reduce certain metals. She shared that her young daughter is not able to excrete metals as most of us do, and the metals build up in her body. She also has cerebral palsy, so the elimination of any unhealthy variables always is beneficial.  We are an authorized Hague Quality Water Intl. independent dealership and Hague’s equipment, specifically its technologically advanced design features, allows us to customize our systems to address specific water quality issues. The customer focused on this fact and asked us to modify one of our standard configurations to address a broader spectrum of metals. The compartmentalized design of our systems allows us to use multiple media in a single tank to address a number of issues. This generally is not possible, but can result in significant space savings and reduce client costs. The customer asked me to research ways to reduce other metals in their water supply. Since moving to Colorado from Indiana, her daughter’s metals test results had returned much higher than previous tests. I began to research how different media could reduce different metals.  Once my research was complete, I sent the customer a proposed design that would reduce a wide spectrum of metals, including copper, lead, barium, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, molybdenum, strontium and vanadium. The Trouble With Metals In “Toxicity, Mechanism and Health Effects of Some Heavy Metals” by Monisha Jaishankar, Tenzin Tseten, Naresh Anbalagan, Blessy B. Mathew and Krishnamurthy N. Beeregowda, the authors state that heavy metals “[i]n small amounts they are required for maintaining good health but in larger amounts they can become toxic or dangerous. Heavy metal toxicity can lower energy levels and damage the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition and other important organs. Long-term exposure can lead to gradually progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that imitate diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and muscular dystrophy. Repeated long-term exposure of some metals and their compounds may even cause cancer. The […]

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Preparing For Water Softeners In New Homes

Imagine moving into your new home only to discover that the water is so hard that if you don’t soften it all of your fixtures and water using appliances will be ruined! There are also the effects of hardness on your hair and skin. Now, imagine that you are told that–absent what amounts to a new construction project and additional expense–you can’t put in a water softener. Moreover, the problem may not just be hard water. You may be one of the many with sensitivity to chlorine or chloramines that might be used as a disinfectant by your water utility. Or maybe you just don’t like the water’s taste or smell. While not our first time encountering it, we here at Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning have had recent, back-to-back experiences where the installation of a whole-home water conditioning system is not feasible due to the layout of the walls, ceilings, plumbing and utility rooms. In both these homes a major construction project would have been required to install a water softener to remove hardness throughout the home. In both examples no one shared the water quality with the new homeowner–or even if they were somewhat aware of the problem–no one shared that a water softener–a relatively simple fix for the water’s hardness–would be prevented by the home’s construction. Both of these instances could easily have been addressed prior to the home’s completion, but were not. Water quality is frequently taken for granted. If the prospective homeowner has not lived somewhere before with water quality issues they may have no idea if they need to be concerned. Often people moving from a different locale have no idea what kind of water quality they may or may not be moving into, whereas buyers from nearby areas may at least be aware of rumored concerns. Even with an awareness of the problem, the vast majority of people don’t know what the installation of a water conditioning system entails–that leads to the hardest problem to solve–installation. Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning can provide a water softener, or other type of whole-house water conditioner, but without access to the water supply, a drain and electricity the installation of the water softener or water conditioner is not feasible. Simply precluding access to any one of the three requirements will prevent installation. So, you might wonder, why don’t home builders or Realtors tell you about the problem in advance so it can be addressed? It probably comes down to wanting to sell you the house. Why create an objection that might kill the deal? Moreover, if the water meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water quality requirements–which do not regulate hardness, taste or odor–then there is no material or legal reason to disclose or discuss the issue(s).  Often, they may not be aware just how easily and inexpensively water quality problems be addressed. The average home price in the Denver, CO metro area is about $500,000. The cost of a water conditioning system–depending on just what is sought […]

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Water Quality Products Dealer Of The Month: No Mountain Too High

NO MOUNTAIN TOO HIGH Colorado dealership blends business & industry knowledge for customized solutions Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning’s service area extends from northern Colorado to an hour south of Denver, treating a diverse array of water quality problems. After vacationing in Colorado three times, Tom Kinnane and Michelle Rucks knew they wanted to leave the East Coast and move to the mountainous region. By combining Rucks’ extensive business background with Kinnane’s more than 10 years of experience in the water treatment industry, the pair opened Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning in Longmont, Colo., in January 2017. “We vacationed in Colorado several times and we really wanted to live out here,” Rucks said. “So this was an opportunity to be in a business that we really enjoyed and saw a lot of value to and live in a great place that that we love to be.” Rucks is the the owner and CEO of Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning. The business’ website highlights the fact that it is “a woman-owned small business,” a point that several customers have commented on, Rucks said. Prior to the move west, Rucks had launched a successful gardening business and Kinnane had worked for a Hague Quality Water Intl. dealer in Maryland. “I’ve been in business for dozens of years, so between the two of us—Tom the master water man and myself for the business end of it—we thought we would start our own company so we could provide the very best water to Colorado,” Rucks said. For the duo, opening a business together was the ideal way to leverage each other’s strengths in the right location. However, starting a business has had its challenges, including navigating the regulatory landscape and establishing a customer base. Building a Business When Rucks and Kinnane launched Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning, their plates were full with tackling details such as regulatory issues, insurance and taxes in a new location, while also working to make a name for themselves in their service area. “When you first start, you almost have to do way more jobs than you’re capable of to get yourself to the point where you can afford to add some staff,” Kinnane said. Through a combination of quality service and rigorous marketing, the pair are approaching the point where they are looking to expand their staff. A large portion of the company’s marketing involves finding unique ways to get their name out in the community, including petitioning local businesses to allow them to set up a booth and sign in front of their establishments and talking with passerbys about their water quality. “Even if you don’t set an appointment or get a lead, it’s important for people to see us and see the name of the company,” Kinnane said. “They might not need something today, but they might need something in six months and see us at another venue or another farmers market and that’s when they come up and decide to talk to us and take advantage of our services.” […]

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HOW HARD WATER NEGATIVELY IMPACTS YOUR LAUNDRY

HOW HARD WATER NEGATIVELY IMPACTS YOUR LAUNDRY Why Does my hard water make my laundry look bad? We would all like to think that we just throw the laundry in the washer and it comes out looking and feeling great. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that.  Your home’s water quality can make a big difference on how your laundry turns out! It is convenient to blame your washer and dryer, but the real problem probably is not originating in your home–it is hard water. It does not matter if you have a well or a municipal water supply, the majority of the water in the US is considered hard. Hard water means that it contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. The presence of things like iron and manganese will make it even worse. Hard water can cause a lot of laundry problems, and problems in other parts of your home. Why Aren’t My Clothes Clean? Dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium, impair the effectiveness of cleaning products like laundry detergent. Soaps and detergent just do not work well in hard water. Calcium and magnesium prevent water from mixing with detergent to form a solution. First, the water has to isolate the hardness molecules before it can dissolve in the water. Thus, you have to use more soap (or shampoo or laundry detergent, or bar soap, etc.). The soap that has to bind up with the hardness creates soap curd. Who doesn’t want to take a bath in soap curd? The resulting soap curd causes a scummy, scale-like residual that sticks to shower glass, shower curtains and YOUR SKIN!  It is also left in the fabric you are laundering resulting in flat (not fluffy) and dingy clothing and towels. It will make your laundry feel stiff and flat. Your laundry will wear out sooner. Clothes Are Dull or Discolored? The soap curd will make your laundry look bad, too. Clothes and towels will wear out much more quickly and will not be as soft. The soap curd build-up in the fabric will cause it to be less fluffy, less soft, less enjoyable. Got lint? Lint is just broken clothes. As the fabric gets harder due to soap curd build up, as your clothes rub together in the dryer, they break down. That is the lint in your lint trap. Do you have other cleaning problems? Are there rust colored stains on your clothes when they come out of the washer? You may have iron in your water. You’ll likely see similar stains in sinks and toilets. You don’t have to have much iron to cause a big staining problem. Why Do My Towels and Sheets Feel Hard and Scratchy? Hard water doesn’t just make your laundry look bad, it feels bad!  Who wants hard, scratchy feeling laundry? If you want soft feeling sheets and towels, shirts and pants, you have to get the hardness out of the water. By the way, that high efficiency laundry detergent you paying extra money […]

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