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Collections storage areas are frequently placed in attic or basement spaces which are most vulnerable to water damage in the event of a roof or plumbing leak, sprinkler system malfunction or flooding.

Water is commonly used in conservation treatments, and different levels of purity are required for the treatment of different materials.

Tap water

Tap water refers to drinkable water that is from the municipial water supply, and it can be use for certain conservation treatments. Tap water is not preferred for certain treatments because of concerns about chemical compounds added to tap water during the treatment process to adjust the pH or remove contaminants, chlorine to kill biological toxins, and the possibility of dissolved solids like minerals. The most common dissolved mineral in hard water is calcium carbonate, which can leave mineral deposits on materials during cleaning.

CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O ⇋ Ca2+ + 2HCO3-

Hard water and soap solutions can form a precipitate by the interaction of the ions to destroy the surfactant in the soap, which instead of causing the soap to form a lather, it forms a falls out of solution as a precipitate on the surface of the material. (Wikipedia contributors 2012).

CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O ⇋ Ca2+ + 2HCO3-

Distilled water

Distilled water refers to water that has been heated to a boiling point until it vaporized, then the steam is condensed in a clean container and this process leaves the impurities behind in the original container(Wikipedia contributors 2012). Dissolved solids like salts will not be able to vaporize in the water.

De-ionized water

De-ionized water has had cations and anions removed through a de-ionization process.


Wikipedia contributors. 2012. 'Hard Water'. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hard_water&oldid=472728225. Accessed January 24, 2012.

Wikipedia contributors, 2011. 'Distilled water'. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Distilled_water&oldid=473605078. accessed February 7, 2012.