Think Your Drinking Water Is Safe? Think Again!

All of the recent media focus on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and in other parts of the country has many people wondering about the quality of their own drinking water.

Here in Hagerstown, unfortunately, there are some concerns regarding high levels of Trihalomethanes in the water. What does that mean for you and your family? Watch the video to learn more from a trusted plumbing expert


Contamination in Hagerstown Water

Each year, public utilities companies are mandated by the Safe Water Drinking Act to distribute a Consumer Confidence Report, or CCR, that lists the results for EPA regulated and non-regulated contaminants.

According to a recent report, the water in the City of Hagerstown has high levels of Trihalomethanes. The EPA recommends levels of under 80 ppb, but in Hagerstown, the level was 98 ppb.

Currently, Hagerstown is operating under a consent agreement with the State of Maryland while it upgrades its major water treatment plant. While there is no available data regarding how long the agreement has been in place nor are more current test results available, past results dating back to 1980 show consistently high levels of Trihalomethanes.

What Are Trihalomethanes?

According to the World Health Organization, Trihalomethanes occur primarily as the result of the chlorination of organic matter in raw water supplies. Common Trihalomethanes include Chloroform, Bromodichloromethane and Bromoform. Bromodichloromethane causes reproductive effects, including stillbirth, and Chloroform is a known carcinogen.

Ongoing exposure to Trihalomethanes over several years can lead to problems with the kidneys, liver or central nervous system as well as an increased risk of cancer.

How You Can Protect Your Family

The best way to protect your family from the possible harmful effects of Trihalomethanes and other contaminants in your water is by installing a high-quality water filtration system. At Larry & Sons, we sell, install and service a number of excellent water filtration systems and water purifiers.

To help ensure your family’s health and safety, we have deeply discounted all of our water filtration systems. Contact us now to save $115 on any complete water filtration system.

Don’t risk exposing your family to the harmful contaminants found in Hagerstown’s water. Call Larry & Sons at 301-733-5428 now!

Hard Water Problems: The Cholesterol of Plumbing

Solve Your Hard Water ProblemsAside from ice, what is hard water?  All jokes aside, the difference between hard and soft water lies in the number of dissolved minerals your water contains.  Water dissolves the metals and other minerals surrounding it, which means untreated ground-water will typically have higher mineral concentrations in the form of magnesium and calcium ions.

As more and more minerals are added to the water, the number of grains per gallon (GPG) increases.  Water is rated as soft when it contains less than one GPG dissolved minerals, while higher GPG numbers mean harder and harder water qualities.  The highest levels will leave the largest quantities of scale and mineral deposits, as well as being considered the worst tasting water you can find.

Effects of Hard Water

In all honesty, hard water isn’t unhealthy (it may even have some moderate health benefits) leaving taste as the only major drawback for humans.  However, when it comes to industrial settings or any kind of equipment, hard water is the cholesterol of plumbing.  There are far worse things you can have in your pipes, but you’re more likely to find hard water running through the plumbing than any other problem.

Limescale deposits in a pipe.
Limescale deposits in a pipe.

As hard water travels through plumbing it leaves behind mineral deposits (commonly referred to as scale) which build up on pipe walls, filters, and equipment.  Eventually, this kind of build-up can decrease water flow and affect water pressure.  It becomes evident on faucets (clogging the spout) and can even cause problems in appliances such as dishwashers, by coating the heating element, impairing the efficiency of the heating coil and reducing the effectiveness of your appliance.

Beyond the damages to plumbing and appliances, hard water makes cleaning difficult.  The mineral buildup of hard water creates a tough and nasty layer on surfaces.  These hard water stains can take a great deal of effort to remove if allowed to build-up over time.  If you choose not to soften your water, it’s best to clean-up hard water stains frequently, before allowing them to become a cleaning nightmare.

Hard Water Faucet
Calcium deposits left from hard water. Image borrowed from wikimedia commons.

Identifying Hard Water

While it’s best to get your water quality tested professionally, you can also purchase smaller testing kits or examine the results of your water on surfaces.  Hard water stains and calcium build-up on faucets are strong indicators of hard water.  When hard water is used with soap it forms a white scum instead of the regular foamy lather, which is another clear identifier of hard water.

Water Softening

Softer water can come with its own issues (mostly that it’s not as useful for irrigation or watering plants) but it’s much better for indoor plumbing.  Fortunately, if your home is supplied with hard water, there are ways to soften it by lowering the mineral GPG content:

  • Reverse Osmosis Filtration: RO filtration reduces the number of particles in water, typically reducing the GPG of water to below one GPG.
  • Ion-Exchange: Ion-exchange resins work by replacing the magnesium and calcium ions with salts (sodium and potassium). This is a very common and simple way to soften water, but is also a poor choice for irrigation water due to the salts added.
  • Lime Softening: A small amount of lime-treated water is added to soften it. Limewater has the benefit of killing off micro-organisms too, but the cost of disposing and cleaning the waste portion from this process can be expensive.

Whole house treatment systems, regardless of what method you use, are perfect for ensuring that all of your appliances, plumbing, and surfaces stay clean and hard-water free.  Softer water usually tastes better too, leaving you with an overall positive benefit from a water softening system.

Call Larry & Sons for professional water treatment installations and water softening systems.

Whether you need a home zoning solution, are interested in sustainable energy solutions like geothermal, or are simply looking for a new high-efficiency air conditioner, look no further.

We’re happy to answer all of your questions! Just give us a call today at (301) 733-5428.

We stand behind our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and are committed to providing top quality HVAC installation and plumbing services in Hagerstown, Frederick MD, and the surrounding areas.

We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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Know the Water You Drink! Install a Home Water Filtration System

As a consumer, you may prefer bottled spring water to tap water. You’re able to drink with the peace of mind knowing that the water you’re putting into your body comes from the purifying waters of natural streams or springs. Well…maybe. Probably not.

whole home water filtration purification

Besides the possibility of spring water contamination, as just occurred with Niagara Bottling, the water in your water bottle is less regulated and tested than the water flowing from your tap.

Tap water is better regulated

If you think the standards of purity are higher for bottled water, think again. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA, whereas city tap water is regulated by the much more stringent EPA. The FDA doesn’t monitor things like E.coli or force brands to submit water quality reports, unlike the EPA. In short, you can be more confident with the quality of your tap water than with the quality of your bottled water.

E.coli Contamination in Niagara Bottling Water

ABC US News | World News

The latest incidence of contaminated spring water involves Niagara Bottling where evidence of E. coli was discovered in one of their spring sources. Since bottled water brands aren’t regulated for E.coli, Niagara Bottling voluntarily recalled their own bottled water products. The company issued a voluntary recall for all bottled water manufactured in Pennsylvania between the dates of June 10th-18th.

States impacted by the recall include:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

The “best by” dates on the affected water bottles are:

BEST BY 08DEC2016  to BEST BY 16DEC2016

The affected water bottle brands are:

Acadia Spring Water
Acme Spring Water
Big Y Spring Water
Best Yet Spring Water
7-11 Spring Water
Niagara Spring Water
Nature’s Place Spring Water
Pricerite Spring Water
Superchill Spring Water
Morning Fresh Spring Water
Shaws Spring Water
Shoprite Spring Water
Western Beef Blue Spring Water
Wegmans Spring Water

For Wegmans Spring Water Only:

A1 BEST BY 13JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 10JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 15JUN2016
A3 BEST BY 16JUN2016
A4 BEST BY 15JUN2016
A4 BEST BY 16JUN2016

For more information on the recent Niagara Bottling recall, visit You can also contact them directly at (888) 943-4894.

Water Testing for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

Although tap water is better regulated, you may have internal contamination sources, which is why it is important to have your water tested at least once. The best time to test is when you first move into a home. Water testing will help you decide if you need a water treatment system and which system is best for your individual needs. The different systems and subsystems available to you are meant to address specific water quality issues, like chemicals, metals, and sediment. Your choice should be based on what’s in your water and a professional testing is the only way to find out.

Home Water Filtration and Softening Systems

We base our home water treatment systems, including softeners, filters and treatments on the report you get from having your water tested. From simple to whole house, we have the home water filtration system for you. No matter your needs, we promise to meet them.

You’ll benefit greatly from a home water filtration system – that’s a promise. You’ll love your new water filtration system so much that you’ll never want to drink manufactured bottled water again! Not only will you prefer your tap water, but if you get a whole-house water softening system, your appliances will last longer, your skin will be healthier, and you’ll have zero limescale, white spots, and mineral buildup on your fixtures and dishes.

Other home water filtration benefits include:

  • Purified water to drink
  • Extends the life of your appliances, such as fixtures, faucets & pipes
  • Keeps out heavy metals
  • Filters out chlorine & other chemicals
  • Saves you in instances where your local water supply becomes polluted
  • Eliminates stains, tastes & odors

Say goodbye to bottled water forever and hello to a healthier home and family!

If you’d like to find out more information on home water filtration systems, feel free to give us a call anytime: 301-733-5428

We’re committed to providing the best home water filtration systems to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Frederick Plumbing Question: Why Do I Need Water Filtration?

Like most Frederick homeowners, you’re probably asking yourself why you need water filtration – what exactly happens to your water that makes it necessary to install an entire new system in your home to keep it clean? There are a few things that might be an issue here and your specific circumstances will determine which affects you the most.

 Common Water Contaminants

While most homes don’t suffer from all of the following, there is a good chance you will have at least some of these contaminants in your home:

  • Sediment
  • Bacteria
  • Chlorine
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Nitrate
  • Sulfate
  • Viruses

This is only a partial list too – there are a number of other, more exotic substances that might be in your water. Now, this doesn’t mean your water suffers from all or even most of these problems. Many homes only have one or two contaminants.

The only way to combat these problems is to have a good water filtration system in place. Specifically, a water treatment system that can remove all of these contaminants through an advanced chemical process.

 Testing Comes First

To make sure you have the right system in place to tackle your water contamination problems, make sure you first contact someone to perform full water testing on your home’s drinking water. Because some of these contaminants must be treated with chemical infusions through pumps or special cartridges, it is important to know in advance what you’re up against. For more information about installing a water treatment system in Frederick and the surrounding area, give Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning a call!