|Look for December 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
- Agricultural Irrigation
- Crop Production
- Drinking Water
- Lakes / Ponds / Streams
- Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
- Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens
- Livestock Manure Management
- Policy / Law / Economics / Human Behavior
- Stormwater Management
- Wastewater - Domestic Sewage
- Water Basics (groundwater, surface water, hydrology)
- Well and Wellhead Management
A variety of water treatment processes are available to the homeowner, differing in the types of chemicals removed, location within the home, and operating and maintenance requirements.
- Point of Use (POU) systems are installed near where the water will be used-normally in the kitchen at the end of a faucet, plumbed in-line under the sink, or placed on a countertop. These systems typically treat the 3 to 5 gallons per day that an average family uses for drinking and cooking.
- Point of Entry (POE) units are usually placed near where the water enters the home. They treat all or most of the water as it enters the home, generally excluding water service to outdoor taps.
No system is capable of removing all possible contaminants, but several processes are available for home water treatment. Please see these UNL Extension NebGuides PDFs for information.
- Activated carbon filtration
- Water softening (ion exchange)
- Reverse osmosis
- Sediment filtration
- Continuous chlorination
- Shock chlorination
Certification of treatment products is available through independent entities such as NSF or the Water Quality Association (WQA). Testing provides assurance of the effectiveness of devices designed to treat water for both aesthetic and health benefits. Homeowners interested in a particular treatment system can determine if it has been certified by NSF or WQA for the use intended.
Physical (Magnetic or Electrical) Water Treatment Devices
There are a variety of devices that claim to manage hard water scale using primarily magnetic or electrical technology. Manufacturers generally claim the devices utilize energy to alter the behavior of compounds or elements within the water. They do not claim water chemistry is altered. In fact, the hardness of the water before and after treatment is not changed. This complicates assessment of their performance. While protocol has been established to assess the effectiveness of ion exchange water softeners (NSF/ANSI 44), at this time, no recognized agency in the U.S. has established protocol to assess the effectiveness of physical water treatment devices. Therefore, questions remain as to their effectiveness.
Help us help you
We are working to provide the information you need. Your input is valuable in helping us serve you. Please complete a short 6-question feedback form on using the UNL Water Web site.
(No personal data is collected)
UNL Extension Publications
Drinking Water Treatment: An Overview*
Provides an overview of household water problems, causes and potential health effects. The treatment methods listed in this guide are for household water problems requiring prolonged treatment.
Drinking Water Treatment: What you need to know when selecting water treatment equipment.*
This NebGuide will help the consumer sort through water quality and treatment issues for the household.
Drinking Water Treatment: Emergency Procedures*
Guide discusses situations requiring an emergency or short-term drinking water supply and methods that can be used to treat limited amounts of water for human consumption.
Chloromines Water Disinfection: Omaha Metropolitan Utilities District and Lincoln Water Systems*
Omaha and Lincoln public water systems use the disinfection process discussed in this NebGuide.
*Documents are in PDF format. Download the current version of Adobe Reader