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Retreating to your family’s cabin in the woods or cottage by the lake is a relaxing way to spend the summer. It’s a special place with all the comforts of home, yet you are miles away from the daily grind of everyday life.

Of course, as close as it is to heaven on earth, it’s not perfect. There may be a few mosquitoes to swat and all that time outdoors makes it hard to avoid a little sunburn. Another annoyance many owners of cabins and cottages deal with is water quality.

You probably notice differences in the way water at the cabin tastes, smells, and looks. It may also cause some issues with cooking and cleaning. The difference in water quality may be especially noticeable for people who have municipal water at home and a private well at their vacation home.

Depending on where you live, and what type of water treatment equipment you have at home, the water at your cabin is likely much harder than you’re used to. But, there could be other factors impacting water quality, too.

Here’s a look at common complaints concerning water at cabins and cottages as well as what you can do to make your water right.

Hard Water and Showering

After a long day of hanging out on the beach, swimming in the lake, and hiking through the woods, there’s nothing like a refreshing hot shower to get rid of sun screen, sweat, and bug spray. Hard water can ruin your showering experience, however, leaving you feeling less than completely clean.

That’s because hard water doesn’t play well with soap and shampoo. The hard minerals (magnesium and calcium) in unsoftened water prevent you from getting a nice, sudsy lather. It also means the soap on your hair and skin is harder to rinse off, which leaves soap residue behind.

These hardness minerals are a product of the environment the water travels through before entering your cabin. So depending on how far you travel to reach your home away from home, the water quality will vary based on the landscape. Water that is just slightly harder than you are used to can make a big difference.

If your hair looks limp and your skin feels itchy when you’re at the cabin, it may be more than the bugs and humidity. It could be your water. Installing a water softener at your vacation home creates water that is better for bathing, and helps you look your best, because you’ll want everyone looking sharp for that family photo!

Find out more about how water softeners work.

Rural Water and Cleaning

Hard water problems will also make it harder to keep your summer home clean. While cabins don’t have to be impeccable, you don’t go on vacation to do extra housework.

Notice lots of spots on your wine glasses when you want to enjoy some Sauvignon Blanc at sunset? Are you constantly wiping away soap scum in the showers? Do your sheets and towels come out of the dryer stiff and scratchy compared to laundry at home? These irritations can be eliminated with basic residential water treatment. Installing a water softener helps you impress your guests with how clean and comfortable your getaway can be.

Another water quality issue at many cabins and cottages comes from high levels of iron in the groundwater. This leaves rusty-looking stains in porcelain sinks and toilets, and iron stains are difficult to remove. You may also notice slimy orange stuff in the back of your toilet tank. That’s bacteria that feeds off iron in water.

Hard water and iron problems can be solved with the right water treatment and filtration solutions.

Drinking Water at Your Vacation Home

woman drinking waterStaying hydrated during summer vacation is important for the whole family. But, if your water tastes or smells unpleasant, it’s unlikely people are drinking straight from the tap.

You’re probably hauling large cases of bottled water every time you make a trip to your cabin as a result. That’s extra work and extra garbage or recycling to deal with. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could fill up with refreshing water at the kitchen sink?

A reverse osmosis system is an excellent way to get quality drinking water at your cabin. An R.O. system uses carbon filters and a special membrane to remove the things that make water taste or smell bad. Plus, it greatly reduces potential contaminants in your drinking water that are health concerns. R.O. water is also better for cooking and even makes a better-tasting cup of coffee!

You could have an Atlantic Blue expert install an R.O. system right underneath the sink. That gives you peace of mind and one less thing to remember to pack. Find out why your water smells strange, and check out our infographic that helps you determine your water quality problems.

reverse osmosis drinking water system

A typical R.O. system installation

Discolored Water

If you turn on the hot water for the first time in spring or summer and it looks murky, you may simply need to let it run for a few minutes. This is probably happening because of corrosion in your plumbing. Iron and manganese in water can cause water to look a brownish-orange as well.

Yet another common reason for discolored well water is tannins, which are decomposed bits organic matter found in the groundwater supply. Tannins can give water a tea-like appearance. There’s usually nothing dangerous about tannins, but it can be off-putting to drink and may stain your laundry.

If your water looks cloudy, you could have high turbidity. Turbidex™ is another unique media available through Atlantic Blue that produces clearer well water.

A sudden change in the color of your water is a good reason to have your well water tested, which is something you should be doing at least once a year anyway. The quality of well water is always changing, which is why having a reliable, local water treatment expert can be so valuable.

Get Better Water for a Better Vacation Experience

Little things like soft water and great-tasting drinking water can make your family’s trips to the cabin much more enjoyable. Better water quality also means you spend less time cleaning and more time having fun.

While you may view your cabin as a rustic getaway, ideal water quality is a necessity, not a luxury. Your vacation home is a major investment that you’ll want to protect.

Not only can issues like iron stains ruin plumbing fixtures, hard water will wear on your appliances, causing them to break down sooner than expected. There are also hard water plumbing problems to consider as limescale buildup can clog copper pipes.

The experts from Atlantic Blue can test the water quality at your summer home and explain the best way to fix things. Our Testing facility, a state-certified laboratory that can check for more serious contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and fluoride levels. Coming soon!