Aesthetic Concerns

Aesthetic Concerns

Well water issues such as hardness, odor, staining & discoloration, bad taste, and corrosive water are classified by the EPA as secondary drinking water standards. These secondary water concerns do not pose a direct threat to your health but are a noticeable nuisance. They can damage appliances and equipment, corrode the plumbing, and reduce the effectiveness of water treatment systems designed to mitigate primary health concerns, like arsenic, radon, or uranium. Don’t turn to bottled water as a permanent solution – this can cost over $700 a year! Read more about each of these aesthetic concerns and how to remove them from your water if present.


Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium minerals found in groundwater. If found in water at high concentrations, you have "hard water." If you're noticing scale buildup on plumbing fixtures and appliances, your clothes aren't getting clean, dishes & glasses are spotty, or you're having a hard time lathering your shampoo in the shower, you likely have hard water. A whole-house water softener can make a big difference for your appliances, clothes, skin, and hair!


A strange odor coming from your well water can be unsettling. Common culprits include hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg odor), manganese (oil or asphalt odor), and iron or sulfur bacteria (cucumber or sewage odor). There are a variety of treatment options to consider, like aeration units and water conditioners.

Staining & Discoloration

The common elements known to cause staining or discoloration include manganese (light brown), acidic pH levels (blue-green), tannins (yellow), and iron (rust-colored). You may have high concentrations of these naturally occurring elements if you have noticed a slight discoloration to your clean laundry, dirty looking dishes or glassware, or stains on the tub and water fixtures. There are a variety of media-based filtration options depending on the cause of the staining.

Bad Taste

Many naturally occurring elements could have an impact on the taste of your water such as manganese or iron (metallic taste), sodium chloride or sulfates (salty taste), alkaline or high pH levels (bitter taste), or algae growth in your well (earthy or musty taste). While these don't pose a health risk, nobody wants to drink bad tasting water! A Reverse Osmosis system or Carbon Filtration unit are popular options to remedy the taste.

Corrosive Water

The common corrosive water culprits are acidic (low) pH and sodium chlorides. Blue-green stains on appliances or plumbing pipes indicate acidic water pH and a salt-like taste. White scaling is a sign of elevated sodium chlorides which create a brackish "saltwater" effect throughout your home. If left untreated, corrosive water can lead to water pipe corrosion and reduce the life span of your home's water appliances and equipment by 50%. Treatment options include a whole-house Acid Neutralizer unit for acidic pH and a whole-house Reverse Osmosis system for sodium chlorides.

Well Water Testing

Because water changes over time, it’s important to remember to have your well water tested annually, even after installing a treatment system, to be sure the original issues are controlled and to be aware of any new contaminants. Contact us to schedule your water test or help you find the right solution for your home!



    More than 50% of Maine homeowners have a private well, but less than half have been tested for harmful contaminants.


    1 in 5 Maine homes is affected by high levels of radon in water. You can't see, taste, or smell radon, but it poses a serious health risk.


Dunbar Water's Maine State Radon Mitigation License Registration Number is SMC212.