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I’m a Hunter, Why Should I Care About PFAS?

I'm a hunter, why should I care about PFAS?

It is hunting season in southern Minnesota, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is warning the public that fish are showing up with high levels of man-made chemicals called PFOS or PFAS, which can be harmful to humans in high concentrations. The agency is currently testing the deer in specific locations to see if they are registering high levels as well. 

Michigan and Wisconsin currently have do-not-eat advisories for deer. Minnesota doesn’t yet, but that could change pending the results of the testing from this season. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency believes the contamination is coming from large bodies of water, like lakes and streams around Lake Elmo, Bde Maka Ska, and Pool 2 of the Mississippi River, which are also large sources of drinking water in the area.

What are PFOS and PFAS?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, were developed back in the 1930s as a way to make people’s lives easier. They show up in many things that people use on a daily basis, including nonstick pans, stain- and water-repellent fabrics, electronics, paints, waxes, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams. They can build up in a person’s body over time causing many adverse health effects, particularly in children.

How are people exposed to them?

People can be exposed to PFAS by eating food that was grown in contaminated soil and water or eating animals that consumed contaminated food or water. Food also can absorb these chemicals from its packaging. Drinking water is a huge source of PFAS contamination, whether you get your water from a municipal supply or a private well. Bodies of water, especially groundwater, become contaminated when these man-made chemicals leach out from industrial facilities where these chemicals were manufactured or where these chemicals were used to make other products. They also come from oil refineries or airfields where PFAS were used to fight fires.

What are the health effects of PFAS contamination?

People who are exposed to these chemicals for long periods of time can develop reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney and immunological problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They can cause tumors, increase cholesterol levels, disrupt thyroid hormones, and negatively impact infant birth weights.

How can I protect myself against PFAS?

The best way to protect your family from ingesting man-made chemicals during hunting season is to only hunt or fish in areas that aren’t under a PFAS warning. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced in September it would be testing samples from wild deer killed by hunters near Duluth and the Twin Cities for industrial chemicals. The biggest concern is animals killed in areas where spills, leaks or industrial sites have contaminated the surrounding bodies of water with these chemicals.

To protect your home drinking water from these same leached chemicals, Haferman Water Conditioning recommends installing a reverse osmosis filtration system to filter out PFAS chemicals. The Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station uses reverse osmosis to clean your drinking water at the tap. It does this by forcing the water that comes out of your faucet through three to five filters that each have a different job to do. The carbon filter removes larger particles of dirt and debris that can damage the reverse osmosis membrane, while other filters take out the volatile organic chemicals and compounds that make your water smell and taste awful.

The reverse osmosis membrane, which is a semi-permeable membrane, removes most of the dissolved solids in your water, anything that is too small to see without a microscope. The K5 with WOW* tank is certified to remove PFAS, salt, lead, fluoride, and chlorine from your drinking water.

Kinetico also offers whole-home membrane systems that can trap contaminants using a semipermeable material that only water can pass through. This system has a high-capacity tank to make sure your household has clean water every day of the year. The membrane can produce thousands of gallons of filtered water per day.

Even homes that get their water from a municipal water treatment plant can benefit from having a point-of-use water filtration system such as the Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station to act as a final barrier of protection. Municipal water systems are not required to treat their water for PFAS. The Safe Water Drinking Act regulates drinking water contaminants but there are no current maximum contaminant levels for PFAS. 

If you want to learn more about how Haferman Water Conditioning can help you keep man-made chemicals out of your drinking water, contact us at 952-894-4040. We are a full-service water treatment company located in the south metro of the Twin Cities, and we have been doing this for nearly 50 years.

*The Kinetico K5 with WOW tank is certified by WQA to NSF/ANSI Standard 58 for the removal of PFOS/PFOA.

Leak Detection 101: How to Detect Leaking Water

In an average household, one person uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water in just one day. That might seem like a big number, but then imagine a whole families’ water usage.

Even worse, imagine the water being wasted if there is a leak you haven’t caught on to yet. On top of the potential mess that might come from a water leak, it’s a giant waste of money too.

Use these tips for leak detection in your home or cabin and prevent wasting money or having unnecessary water damage. Read on to see how you can check for water leaks in your home.

Monitor Changes in Your Water Bill

This may not be an immediate solution to identify a leak but it can provide you with valuable information. Look at your water bill over time.

If you don’t have any explainable differences in usage, yet you have a big jump in your water bill, you can guess you have a leak somewhere. This method might not tell you where the leak is. It does, however, tell you to go start looking for the leak.

Water Usage

The Environmental Protection Agency says the average family of four is not likely to exceed 12,000 gallons per month of water.

When you monitor your bill, look at your water usage. If your family exceeds 12,000 gallons per month or suddenly exceeds going from one month to the next, that’s a red flag you have a hidden leak somewhere in your house.

Use Your Water Meter

Your water meter moves when you have water moving. Use this to help you learn if you have a water leak. First, make sure all of the water in your home is turned off. Make sure the dishwasher isn’t running, sprinklers are off and the laundry is done.

Once you are sure there is no water running in your home, take a look at the water meter. If it is still moving, you likely have water running somewhere and it’s connected to a leak.

If the water meter doesn’t appear to be moving, don’t use any water for the next two hours. Then come back and check it again. If you really think you have used no water, then the meter should be in the same spot. If it has moved, then you might have a slow leak somewhere.

Check Exterior Water Sources

Check the exterior of your house for possible water leaks too. Check outdoor faucets and hoses for drips. If you have an irrigation system, walk around your yard.

If you find a spot in the yard that is consistently very wet, it’s likely there is a leak in your system.

Check Obvious Problems Areas

This might seem obvious but don’t forget to look in the most obvious spots. Listen to the toilet that might be running. Check under the sink and watch for moisture, mold, or musty smells. This indicates that water is sitting and collecting.

You also want to watch for faucet drips. While a few drips might seem significant, over time they can add up to a big expense in wasted water.

Get the Leak Detection Protection You Need This Cabin Season

Keeping your home water system running smoothly means careful monitoring for leak detection. You certainly don’t want to waste money or find yourself with a mess that a water leak can create. For more information on water detection services, contact us today. Our experts can help keep your home water safe.

Why Water System Maintenance is So Important

It’s easy to take your appliances for granted and assume they are working properly at all times.

It’s also easy to forget those appliances need regular maintenance, especially your water treatment systems, which are usually hidden in basements or under sinks. However, “out of sight, out of mind” is a risky path. Regardless of the type or age, every water treatment system requires maintenance. So, why is water system maintenance so important?

1. Saves You Money

All water treatment systems have wearable parts that could easily break down. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance on your water system parts could cause a variety of issues such as:

  • Expensive leaks
  • Wasted water
  • Water damage to your home
  • Damage to your plumbing system and appliances
  • Wasted electricity

Finding a problem before it ruins your equipment could save you from having to perform costly repairs or even replacing the system entirely. With proper water system maintenance, you could also catch a minor leak or faulty valves before they turn into expensive water damage problems.

2. Better Performance

Properly maintained equipment simply performs better. For example, reverse osmosis systems have pre-filters that typically need to be replaced every 10 months to 12 months. They will filter out contaminants such as sand, dirt, or other sediments that would harm the carbon filters. If you do not change the pre-filter, it can become clogged and rendered unable to protect the reverse osmosis membranes. By not changing the filters you will notice a decrease in water pressure and the amount of water that is produced. And if maintenance is never performed, the reverse osmosis system will not produce any water. This maintenance can be done yourself or you can take advantage of Haferman’s maintenance plan and they will take care of it for you. Water system maintenance is crucial if you want your reverse osmosis system or other water treatment systems to perform to the best of their abilities!

Here are a few tips for implementing a maintenance plan:

  • Pinpoint Minor Issues: The biggest part of a maintenance plan is pinpointing minor issues that have the possibility of becoming major problems.
  • Know What’s Needed to Maintain your Water System: This could include filter changes, salt, replacing carbon resin, sanitization and more.
  • Stick to Your Schedule: When you have a maintenance plan, stick to it. Don’t procrastinate or push it off.
  • Find a Service Provider: While you might be able to do certain types of maintenance on your own, a professional company will be able to provide you with higher quality maintenance when you need it.

Fortunately, with an annual water system maintenance plan in place, you can prevent the most common issues, which saves you money and headaches in the future. At Haferman Water Conditioning, we’re all about service! Our licensed technicians can perform a variety of services, including filter changes, repairs and more. Call us today to ask about our water maintenance plan!

Benefits of a Home Drinking Water System

Woman drinking a glass of purified water in a kitchen

Are you and your family drinking more water during quarantine?

Having a water system eliminates the need for bottled water and ensures that you are drinking the best water at home.

With stay-at-home orders, it’s more important than ever to venture out as infrequently as possible. If you have had to search for bottled water, you know it’s not always easy to find at this time.

At Haferman Water Conditioning, we believe everyone should have access to high-quality water. We have many drinking water systems that will be able to remove harmful contaminants such as arsenic and lead from your water and provide your family with purified drinking water.

Here are three compact water systems that deliver clean, high-quality water:


The MACguard is a single-stage system that fits and operates under your sink or in your basement to conveniently deliver you purified drinking water. It utilizes a carbon filtration system that cleans water to make it taste and smell better. After it is filtered, the water will be dispensed from a lead-free faucet. The “MAC” stands for Metered Automatic Cartridge, meaning this system will measure the amount of water the unit has already filtered and will shut down when it reaches 500 gallons. After 500 gallons, the MACguard filter will need to be changed, which is easy and hassle-free.

AquaKinetic A200

The Aquakinetic drinking water system uses a reverse osmosis system that has three stages. First, the water travels through a high-capacity pre-filter. Next, the water goes through the main filtering process, a high-performance reverse osmosis membrane. Lastly, the water goes through a carbon post-filter. This filtering process is highly effective and removes a wide variety of contaminants from your drinking water. The system has a compact size and design and will fit easily under your sink, in your basement, or even in your garage.

Kinetico K5

The Kinetico K5 provides the best of both worlds and is certified to remove more contaminants than any other reverse osmosis system on the market! By using the same technology of the MACguard and adding in the reverse osmosis filtering, you won’t have to worry about your water. Having to buy bottled water will become obsolete because the K5 delivers a steady stream of purified drinking water all day, every day. In addition to high-quality water, there are other benefits to the K5:

  • It is customizable, offering optional filters that successfully tackle your specific water filtration needs.
  • This water system can go under your sink or be run to your utility room or basement. Either way, maintenance will be a breeze. It only needs a filter change every year or every 500 gallons of water usage.

Whether you have questions about the right water system for your home or if you have a water system and need us to ship filters, please call Haferman Water Conditioning! Curbside pickup and technician appointments are also available!

Pros and Cons of Chlorine in Water

Chlorine is an efficient disinfectant, but it is also the No. 1 contaminant in drinking water. Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or distribution pipes might contain. Because of this, billions of people drink chlorine contaminated tap water every day. When chlorine was first introduced to the water supply, it brought a rapid decline in the spread of disease and other water-borne illnesses. Now, however, we worry about the adverse effects chlorine can have on our health.

At Haferman Water Conditioning, we want to make sure that you know the pros and cons of putting chlorine in the public water systems.

Why chlorine?

The addition of chlorine in drinking water began in the 1800s and turned into the standard water treatment in 1904. Before the addition of chlorine, people battled a variety of ailments that were spread through water, including diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, and cholera. After scientists found that adding chlorine in small amounts to drinking water could kill bacteria and stop the spread of disease, it quickly became popular. Now chlorination is the most common water treatment method worldwide, especially in the U.S.


Due to its high toxicity, chlorine can effectively kill disease-causing bacteria in public drinking water. Chlorine is an ideal sanitizer and prevents much waterborne illness and disease every day. 


While chlorine does an excellent job of destroying most toxins in the water supply, it also introduces other types of toxins, such as trihalomethanes (THMs). THMs from when chlorine is introduced into the water supply and reacts with other naturally occurring elements. If THMs make their way into our bodies, they can cause asthma, bladder cancer, and heart disease. Other issues associated with chlorine in your drinking water are: 

Bad smell and taste 

Dries skin and hair

Fades clothes 

Dries out rubber seals in appliances, shortening their lives


Chloramination is the process of adding chloramines to drinking water to disinfect it. This kills or inactivates bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful organisms in the water. Chloramine is an inorganic compound created with a combination of ammonia and chlorine. Chloramination is sometimes used as an alternative to chlorination for disinfecting public water systems because chloramine retains its effectiveness longer.  

What can you do?

While chlorine might be essential at the treatment plant and in the water distribution system, it is no longer necessary once the water reaches your home. There are many systems that can reduce the chlorine in your water, but before choosing one you need to have a water test. A water test will tell you the amount of chlorine in your water to find the best system for treatment. Both a whole house carbon filtration system or a reverse osmosis purification system can remove chlorine and chloramines. 

Whole House Carbon Filtration 

Whole house filtration systems use activated carbon to remove chlorine, organic compounds, chemicals, lead, and other contaminants in a process known as adsorptions.

Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse osmosis systems have carbon filters to remove chlorine and chloramines. Reverse osmosis systems are one of the most popular water filtration systems because not only are they capable of removing chlorine and chloramines but also many other contaminants in your water. 

Kinetico Dechlorinator 

A dechlorinator can attach to a water softener and will remove chlorine with activated carbon. A Kinetico Dechlorinator can be customized to reduce chloramines and many other chemical contaminants. 

At Haferman Water Conditioning, we have a full line of Kinetico water filtration systems that will eliminate the chlorine from your water. If you’re not sure what filter or system is right for you, contact us today for free water analysis and we will be able to select the best treatment system for your home and budget.

Benefits of A Reverse Osmosis System

There are many ways to filter your drinking water, and one of the most popular ways is with a reverse osmosis system.

How Does it Work?

Reverse osmosis is a water filtration process in which water pressure pushes tap water through a membrane to remove impurities. There are many reverse osmosis systems out there but the Kinetico K5 Water Station is a state-of-the-art system, designed to solve even the toughest water quality challenges. The K5 has three stages, with each stage becoming more thorough. Stage 1, which is the prefilter stage, prepares the water for the reverse osmosis process. During Stage 1, the five-micron filter captures particles such as dust and silt and reduces chlorine. (more…)

Bottleless Water Coolers Are Really Cool for the Environment

Plastic Water Bottle Image

Do you know how much you spend on bottled water each year? According to the International Bottled Water Association, on average, one person in America spends about $100 each year on bottled water. Some experts have suggested that buying bottled water is 2,000 times more expensive than drinking directly from the tap. As more and more consumers become aware of the impacts water bottles have on the environment, bottled water is becoming less appealing. With a bottleless water cooler, there will be no need to purchase bottled water and it will eliminate the inconvenience of bottles. 


Why is My Water Softener Not Using Salt or Using Too Much?

Service Professional Checking Essential HR

You might say that, to your water softener, brine is the elixir of life – that perfect balance of water and salt that allows your appliance to transform hard water into soft. So, if your water softener is not using salt, or it’s using too much, things won’t go well. There are a number of possible reasons your water softener might not be using the right amount of salt, and fortunately, most are easy to fix.

Here are some common problems related to salt, along with our tips on how to correct them. (more…)

How to Remove a Water Softener Salt Bridge

Have you noticed your water softener isn’t working as efficiently as it used to? Look inside. If you see a crusty salt buildup in the brine tank, that’s a salt bridge and it’s a common issue. Fortunately, there’s a fix for that, and you can easily do it yourself!

Especially when the humidity is high (hello, Minnesota summer!) or if there is too much salt in your brine tank, salt pellets will stick together, forming a solid crust that creates an empty space between the salt and the water in the bottom of the tank. Now the water softener cannot make brine because the salt cannot reach the water to dissolve. When there’s no brine, the resin bed cannot regenerate effectively. The salt just sits there, and your water is no longer softened. That won’t do! So here’s how to remove a water softener salt bridge. (more…)

What is a Water Softener Pre-Filter and Why Does My System Need One?

You may know that the resin beads in your water softener attract hard minerals and remove them from your water, but did you know that your water softener may also have a pre-filter? And if it doesn’t have one now, should it? What does a water softener pre-filter do, anyway? The answer (and that pre-filter) may lead you to even better water quality. (more…)