Water on Whidbey

Whidbey Island has specific water issues.

Whidbey Water
The well water on Whidbey Island comes from rain and ground water in glacial deposits. In general, the water in the fields and the towns is less ridden with minerals than the water along the beaches, which are often heavy with iron; the water in the forests often contains tannin as well. Whidbey soil is mottled with iron and heavy in calcium and manganese. Consequently the water is hard, and in most areas of the island there is noticeable staining on the water fixtures such as the sinks, toilets, tubs, showers and laundry. While the white calcium deposits can be scraped off, the gray or black stains from manganese are more difficult, and the brown and orange stains from iron are most difficult to clean off. If these minerals are removed from the water before they enter the main part of the house, there will be no odor, no color, no staining, and the water will taste pure.

Aqua Alternatives
Aqua Alternatives has been installing water treatment systems in Clinton, Langley, Freeland, Greenbank, Coupeville, Oak Harbor and the San Juan Islands since 1977 with noticeable success. Dean Petrich, with Aqua Alternatives, is licensed, bonded and insured.

The best way to treat water on Whidbey Island and vicinity is with oxygen or ozone.  Sometimes water is so bad that ozone treatment needs to be supplemented with one or several of the following: a water softener, tannin resin, pH stabilizer, ultraviolet sterilizer, granular activated carbon (GAC) filter, compressed carbon block, a reverse osmosis final filter, or an arsenic filter. Now that the permissible arsenic level has been lowered from 50 to 10 parts, there is an increased concern for filtering arsenic as well. Because arsenic is considered a toxic element, the removal of arsenic often requires a special system. The oxygenation system will treat all of these issues in one installation, all for the same cost.


1. Free Consultation

  • Because every location is unique and specific, it is wise to call for a free consultation.
  • Have Dean come to your location for a free consultation and estimate.  Call (206) 324-5055 for an appointment.

2. Find out what is in your water.

  • While the free Island County water test checks primarily for bacteria, it does not provide information on mineral content or other contaminants.
  • For a thorough analysis, have a water test done by a professional lab. Here are your options: You can take and deliver your own sample to a lab. Fill a sample bottle and take it to B&W Pumps in Freeland, Department of Health in Coupeville, Island Water in Oak Harbor, or Edge Analytical in Burlington.
  • Call Shelley Ess, with Essential Water Services, at (360) 929-1116. She will come to your home, take the sample, and deliver it to Edge Analytical lab in Burlington. Shelley’s minimum testing charge is $35.00. The lab fee for each individual analyses is $22, with exceptions; you can request a general test or you can test for specific items. The results will be available within two weeks.
  • Otherwise, Dean will send in a water sample to his lab for free. Specifically he will test for iron, manganese, tannin, pH, and hardness, which are the primary issues for most of the water on Whidbey. If you opt for the oxygen system, we will test nearly 150 items in your water for free, and use the results to customize a system to solve each issue at no extra cost.

3. Decide what to remove from your water.

  • Once we know what you want and what you don’t want in your water, we can determine the best technology to remove each element. Each system is customized for size, flow rate, contamination levels, and use.
  • Decide if you want to treat all the water in your whole house, or simply filter water at a sink or shower.

4. Decide which technology is most appropriate for your situation.

  • Compare the differences between filter cartridges, aeration systems, ozone systems, and oxygen systems.
  • Look at long-term maintenance costs as well as initial up-front purchase cost.

5. Order your customized system.

  • After your system has been designed and you are happy with the plan, then the equipment is ordered.
  • Installation can take one to two days, depending on the complexity of the project.
  • Once your water system is installed and operating, Dean will personally explain every part and will talk you through how to troubleshoot, maintain and operate this nearly maintenance-free system. While you should be able to maintain everything yourself, Dean is local and accessible by cell phone 24/7 and will help you long-term. You are not just getting a system: you are receiving long-term dedicated local service.

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