|MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology|
Hi Paula Jo. You asked several questions about silica in you well water. Let me answer them one at a time. Your lab analysis showed 95 ppm of silica. According the US Geologic Survey the ranges of silica commonly found in water are from 1 – 30 ppm. Concentrations up to 100 ppm are not infrequent in some areas. Higher concentrations are found in ground water and are related to rock type and temperature. Silica concentrations in water samples collected and stored in glass bottles may increase owing to solution of the glass. Silica is undesirable in high concentrations in cooling waters and particularly high-pressure boilers where it can form an insulating scale on the boiler tubes. When the stream is used to spin turbines to produce power or electricity. The silica volatilizes with the steam and then condenses on the turbine blades. There are various methods for removing silica from water. Four your situation an ion exchange system would be used. Not a softer though but a combination anion and cation exchanger called a demineralizer. What it would do is take all the minerals out of the water including the silica. Basically make distilled water. This water would be very aggressive and corrode you plumbing unless it was all plastic. If you wanted to for drinking purposes you could use a sink top unit either a demineralizer or a reverse osmosis system just to treat you drinking water. In concentrations found in natural and treated waters, silica or silicates appear to have caused no adverse health effects. I hope I have answered you questions with crystal clarity. Thanks for writing to the Mad Sci Network. Study and Interpratation of the Chemical Characteristics of Natural Water USGS NALCO Water handbook
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