4) What is the expected useful life of their system and what are their system’s maintenance requirements and costs? Who is responsible for maintenance—you or them? Do they offer a service contract, and if so, what does it cost and what does it cover?
5) What chemicals (e.g., other mineral elements) does their system/method add to the water and at what concentrations? They may add nothing, but some systems add significant amounts of constituents (e.g., chlorine) that may cause an entirely new set of problems.
6) Ask potential water treatment providers to allow you to contact other customers using their system. Visit these other installations of this provider’s system to determine whether their products, services and warranties are as good as advertised. Run from any water treatment provider not willing to provide you this information.
Caveat Emptor: “Buyer beware!” Unfortunately, the field of water treatment is filled with an abundance of people and companies willing to sell water treatment systems of every size, shape and treatment method, whether your water needs treatment or not, and whether their method actually works or not. For those wondering about the effectiveness of one or many of the supposed treatment methods an interesting and helpful website is available to untangle most of the wild and bold water treatment claims. It is entitled: “H20dot con: Water-related Pseudoscience Fantasy and Quackery” and is available here. The site was developed by Dr. Stephen Lower, a retired Chemistry professor at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Lower developed and writes at the site to help consumers sort out which of the many water treatment methods actually have scientific merit and which ones are most likely hype and/or downright quackery. Most water treatment methods offered to solve purported bad water problems in commercial dairy farms were first available and/or sold to homeowners and consumers. To quote from the website about Junk Science in the Market Place:
“Magnets and “catalysts” for softening water, magnetic laundry balls, waters that are “oxygenated,” “clustered,” “unclustered” or “vitalized” (purporting to improve cellular hydration, remove toxins, and repair DNA), high zeta potential colloids and vortex-treated waters to raise you energy levels, halt or reverse ageing and remove geopathic stress—- all of these wonders and more are being aggressively marketed via the Internet, radio infomercials, seminars, and by various purveyors of new-age nonsense. The hucksters who promote these largely worthless products weave a web of pseudoscientific hype guaranteed to dazzle and confuse the large segment of the public whose limited understanding of science makes them especially vulnerable to this kind of exploitation. The purpose of this site is to examine the credibility of these claims from the standpoint of our present-day knowledge of science. The latter, of course, is always evolving and is never complete, but it makes an excellent “B.S. filter” that is almost always reliable. It is hoped that the information presented here [at the web site] will help consumers make more informed decisions before offering up their credit cards to those in the business of flogging pseudoscience.”