The Water Shed

The Water Shed was founded by Environmental Technologist Stephen A. Burke in 1980.

Celebrating 40 Years, bringing Nova Scotians Clean water

Consecutivley winning the Consumer Choice Award for 10 Years

The Water Shed is the only place in the Atlantic region that offers this unique mix of products and services. Nobody else in Atlantic Canada combines all this under one roof..

We’re Nova Scotia’s largest water testing and treatment company.

As one of our longstanding services, we offer water testing. In addition, we have a water analysis service to assist and reassure home sellers & buyers during real estate transactions

Well Drilling and Well Services

When it comes to well drilling, well assessments and well services, we are at the ready to help whether you need a brand new well, your well needs a repair, your pump needs to be replaced, or your existing well isn’t producing enough water and needs a boost.

Come Visit Our Show Room

The Water Shed carries a wide range of top quality water softeners, water treatment systems, well pumps, and other products..

I have no water. Why does the pressure gauge on my pump or pressure tank say zero?

There are a number of possible reasons for your situation. Here are just a few steps you can take to save yourself time and perhaps some money too.

  1. If you have experienced a recent power outage, your “low level cut-off switch” may have shut your pump off. Look at the pressure switch (usually a grey or black box located near the pressure gauge) and follow the instructions on the side of the box closest the reset lever. No luck?
  2. Make sure the breaker or fuses used to operate your pump are not blown and that you have power to your pump. To find the breaker or fuses, follow the wiring from the pressure switch. Turn off the pump’s power supply and check the breaker or fuses. Got power, but still no water?
  3. Check to see if you have water in your well. This could mean having to remove the crock lid on a dug well and taking a look or it could mean removing the well cap from a drilled well and either taking a look or using a “dip string” with a weight on the end. Deep drilled wells are often difficult to sight because the static water level may be 50 feet or more below ground level. Got water, but still no luck?
  4. You may have a pump problem. If you have a jet pump installed somewhere near your pressure tank, check to see if it is overheating, humming but not turning, leaking, or has a burning electrical smell. If you have a deep submersible pump it is advisable to call a professional.

How to Get Sulfur Smell Out of Water

We read a great article this week and thought it would be great information to share with our followers. The original article can be found at and was written by Chris Deziel.

Here is the gists of the article:

If you smell sulfur when you turn on a tap, the water is probably contaminated. While its smell may be its most offensive characteristic, this compound can cause nausea and tearing of the eyes at low concentrations, loss of smell at higher concentrations and death at very high concentrations, so it’s nothing to take lightly.

Determine Where the Odors are Coming From

Sulfur odors may be present throughout the house, or you may notice them only at particular fixtures.

Whole-House Odours
The presence of sulfur odors at every fixture in the house — including the toilet tanks — indicates a source of hydrogen sulfide contaminating either the water source or a holding tank that supplies the entire house.

If you have a well, the water could be passing through a sulfur source, or it could be contaminated by other chemicals that produce hydrogen sulfide as a byproduct — for example, nitrogen from agricultural sources.

If a test of the well water reveals it to be free of odors, then suspect contamination in the holding tank. It’s probably a buildup of non-pathogenic bacteria that are metabolizing the smelly gas.

If only the hot water smells, the odor-causing bacteria are probably in the hot water tank.

Localized Odors
Smells coming from a particular part of the house, or a single fixture, usually indicate bacteria in the pipes. A common cause of these smells is a “dead-leg” run of pipes, which is one that has been capped off and is no longer used, but which nevertheless contains pressurized water.

If you have a water softener, and the water from outdoor spigots is odor-free, the water softener is probably contaminated.

If you have a whole-house problem, you may need to install a filtration system between the well or the water tank and the house — it’s usually best to install it as close to the house as possible.

One of the most common and effective filtration systems consists of a chlorine feeder and an active-carbon filter. Chlorine oxidizes hydrogen sulfide gas to produce small, insoluble particles, and the filter removes these from the water.

If you have traced the smells to a water softener, replace the filter.
If the smells are coming from the water heater, shock chlorinating the tank should solve the problem. This entails draining the tank of sediment and, as the name suggests, disinfecting the heater with bleach OR better yet give us a call and we will come see what the issue is!

How familiar are you with your salt tank?

How familiar are you with YOUR salt tank? Most people aren’t very familiar so Let’s Talk Salt Tanks!

Salt or brine solution is an essential part of the ion exchange process in a water softener. Salt is what regenerates the ion resins of a softener. We thought it would be helpful to tackle a few of the commonly asked questions associated with maintaining a brine tank (the plastic tank that sits next to a water softener).  Here we go:

#1. How often should I have to add salt?

Water softeners and conditioners work effectively with either sodium chloride (commonly referred to as salt) or potassium chloride (actually a type of salt also but much much more expensive).  How often you’ll have to add more salt to the brine tank will depend on factors such as:

  • The size of your brine tank
  • How hard the water is in your area?
  • How many people live in your house?
  • And how much water your household consumes

For example, a larger family will most likely consume more water which will cause your softener to regenerate more frequently, and so more salt will need to be added more often.  The valve control panel on our water softeners and conditioners will do all of the calculations for you regarding when to regenerate.

#2. How much salt should I have in my brine tank?

We recommend keeping your brine tank at least one quarter full of water softener salt at all times, and no more than four to six inches below the top of the tank for optimum efficiency. Make sure that the salt level always remains a few inches above the water level. Before you add new salt pellets to the brine tank, be sure to loosen up any encrusted salt that may be sticking to the edges of the tank and make sure to break up any large pieces of salt. If the salt has formed one solid chunk (known as bridging), manually break up the salt block by pouring hot water over it—making it easier to break up and remove.

#3. How much salt should my water softener use?

How salt is used depends on water usage and system size.  If a softener is sized correctly, a residential system will use approximately ten to twelve pounds of salt per week, or 40-50 pounds of salt per month. Be sure to check your salt and water levels at least once each month.

#4. There is always water in my brine tank, should there be? If so, how much?

There will usually be several gallons of water in the bottom of the brine tank, but usually is never more than twelve inches high.  We recommend that you check the salt level in your brine tank at least monthly.  The more often your system regenerates, the more you’ll need to check and add salt to the tank.

Still have questions? Just call us at the Water Shed!

Is it time for a new pressure tank?

Do you know when you need a new one?

Your well pump forces water to the surface. Without a pressure tank, the well pump would need to turn on every time you opened a faucet in order to maintain water pressure. Your well tank acts as a water storage container giving your well pump a much needed rest in between cycles. When air pressure inside the well tank decreases due to water usage, a pressure switch automatically activates telling the well pump to fill the tank. This assures an ample supply of well water will be on hand the next time you need it.

Troubleshooting guide
If it appears that a bladder tank is not operating correctly, check the tank’s air charge:

  • Disconnect electrical power to the pump.
  • Drain the tank by opening the closest faucet.
  • Check the tank’s pressure by placing an air pressure gauge on the air charging valve on the top of the tank.
  • Add air if the pressure is more than 2 psi below the pump cut-in pressure. Use caution when using an air compressor or air pump.
  • Release air if the pressure is 2 psi above the pump cut-in pressure (lowest pressure in the operating range).
  • Check for leaks in the air charging system by dripping a soap solution on the air charging valve.
  • Re-start the pump and run through a normal cycle to verify the setting. If tank pressure drops abnormally, the bladder inside the tank may have a tear or hole in it.

Is it waterlogged?
You should also check a bladder tank to determine if it’s waterlogged. A tank is waterlogged if it is completely filled with water or has too much water to function correctly. Waterlogged bladder pressure tanks contribute to the following problems:

  • The pump motor cycles too often. Frequent cycling can shorten the lifespan of a pump.
  • Because waterlogged tanks can contain stagnant water, there can be unsatisfactory coliform samples or taste and odor complaints.
  • Premature tank failure: The inside walls of a waterlogged tank can corrode and weaken from the exposure to water.

It may often be most cost-efficient for the customer to simply replace a waterlogged tank.

Reasons for waterlogging
Bladder tanks can become waterlogged for many reasons. Some of the more common reasons are:

  • Sediment, such as iron and manganese, can coat the surface of the bladder, causing it to harden and become less flexible.
  • Sediments can plug the fill or draw line, preventing the tank from filling and emptying normally.
  • Excessive levels of chorine can damage the bladder, causing it to become brittle and less flexible.
  • Tanks sitting directly on the ground or on another surface that is continually moist can rust and lose structural integrity.
  • Chlorinators can give off corrosive vapors that cause the tank to rust.

When working with bladder pressure tanks, always be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s safety warnings.

Have any questions? Contact us at The Water Shed at 1 (800) 667-5566.

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