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Old 01-13-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Water Profiles

Okay, has anyone else had any trouble getting a water profile from their area? I recently requested a water profile, as based on the charts I've seen online, and there were a couple of things that were different.

#1) They don't have individual Ca & Mg numbers. They combine them into 1 number. (How am I supposed to use that?)

#2) They do not measure alkalinity by using HCO3, but, rather, CaCO3.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can use these numbers to get a proper water profile?
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #2
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Some of those numbers may be convertible into units brewing software can understand (see Palmer's book for details). You can also ask to speak to one of the water quality people directly, who have access to this information.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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Total hardness isn't much help, you need to know how much of it is what. I had to call my local water dept to get the numbers. The water here also varies a lot depending on what part of town you're in, so I was able to get more accurate info by speaking with the water dept directly. It takes them a while to return calls here, but I was able to get instant info by stopping by in person.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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I was looking into my water quality last week, and had trouble getting the information I needed from the city's website. I made a call to the water department and spoke to one of the water quality analysts, who was able to give me almost all of the information I needed, and then some. For instance, I found out that my city mixes water from two sources. In the winter, they use one source. In the spring and summer, they add a second source that has almost triple the hardness of the first source. Basically, I found out my water can be quite variable throughout the year. Anyway, give the water dept. a call and they'll probably be happy to help out more.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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Except I got this information directly from the water company.

ETA: I sent them off another email. I mean if they have the total hardness, they should have the raw data somewhere right?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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All government operates under a simple rule - give everybody the minimum information necessary to make them go away. How do you know if you did? Well....did the person go away? If yes, then success!

Seriously. I work for the government. If you need more information you need to contact them and tell them. They'll do whatever is necessary to make you stop calling.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:42 PM   #7
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Don't call the Water Department unless you are calling for a number to the Municple Water Lab. The Water Department only cares about your bill.

The Municiple Lab has the numbers you need. However, you'll still likely have to convert HCO3 from Toatal Alkalinity as CACO3. There are online calculators. there is even one that takes pH into consideration which means a lot.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:23 AM   #8
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I work in the plumbing industry and we sell water treatment products from several manufacturers. Many things can vary in your water source. Is it municipal or a well? Some communities/areas have shared wells. Some even source water from other areas. When water is from a municipal source the water you get from your tap will vary. When water is sent out to the public, the closer that you are to the source(water treatment plant),the higher the presence of chemicals that are used to treat the water. They have to send it, sometimes over long distances, to reach customers. Over those distances the chemicals dissipate so it is spiked at the source to be able to still meet EPA requirements at the end of the line. Your best bet is to have a water sample sent off to be tested. Make sure if you have a water softener or a filter unit in place that you take a sample at a source like a outdoor hose to get a true reading. Search out a company called Cuno. They can be found at a reputable plumbing distributor. You can send them a sample of your water and they will send you back (free) a print out with what your water looks like and any contaminants or possible problems.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
All government operates under a simple rule - give everybody the minimum information necessary to make them go away. How do you know if you did? Well....did the person go away? If yes, then success!

Seriously. I work for the government. If you need more information you need to contact them and tell them. They'll do whatever is necessary to make you stop calling.
You win!

I sent them another email saying I need them to break out the total hardness. It took an extra day, but I got the rest of the information.
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