Desalination Through Reverse Osmosis

Clean water being poured into a clear glass

February 22, 2019 | Posted in Reverse Osmosis | By

Clean water being poured into a clear glass

Technology used in hard water purification systems is being used to provide fresh drinking water to areas of the world where fresh water sources are scarce. Even though the Earth is mostly covered in water, 97.5% of it is undrinkable due to the salt content. The reason why it is undrinkable is because a human’s kidney is unable to expel that much salt. Salts drain water from the body and cause dehydration. The same technology in the soft water systems used in your household are being used on a grander scale to create drinkable water from sea water.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

An example of this type of technology is the soft water systems that remove the minerals in hard water through reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a process by which a solvent passes through a porous membrane in the direction opposite to that for a natural osmosis when subjected to a hydrostatic pressure greater than osmotic pressure. Simply, it uses pressure to remove impurities through several porous membranes. In households, these systems remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

What is Desalination?

Water desalination is the process of removing the salts from sea water to create potable water. This is water that is safe to drink. Saline is defined as dissolved salts. In fresh water there is less than 1,000 ppm (parts per million) of salt. In the ocean the amount of salt is 35,000 ppm. The Earth’s atmosphere has its own desalination system. This is done through solar desalination also known as the water cycle. This is done through evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

How are These Processes Used?

There are large industrial plants that have huge reverse osmosis systems that are capable of desalinating millions of gallons of water per day all over the world. Although these plants are capable of creating drinkable water, the cost per gallon is more than pumping and treating fresh water. These plants are being built in areas where there isn’t a steady supply of freshwater and along the coasts for future planning. There are many areas that have a limited supply of fresh water or have times of the year of extreme drought. Desalination plants in Israel provide 20% of their water. In San Marcos, TX, desalination plants are used to create chemically compatible water to the Edwards Aquifer.  

What Happens to the Salt?

Once the desalination process has been completed, there is a bunch of salty brine that is leftover. This is usually just dumped back into the ocean and could cause pollution. Recent research at MIT has been able to put the brine through a nanofiltration system and convert it into chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide, that are in turn used to desalinate more water. These chemicals are needed to operate the desalination plant. Essentially, the processes of desalinating water could have very little waste in the future and save the cost of having to pump brine back into the ocean.

The Importance of Water Treatment Systems

The hard water treatment systems that are used in households use the same technology as those used to create drinkable water from ocean water that would be unsafe without those systems. These systems could one day be the only system the entire Earth relies on for clean water. Technology is always advancing in all areas of life from electronics to the water we drink.

Interested in learning more about water conditioning systems? Contact Clear Water of San Marcos, a local company that provides water softening in San Marcos, TX.

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Tips for Finding the Right Water Softener for Your Home

Tips for Finding the Right Water Softener for Your Home

December 19, 2018 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Water makes up 60% of your body and 71% of the earth’s surface. Clean water will make you feel better and improve the cleanliness of your pots, clothing and pipes. Discover 3 tips for purchasing the best salt-free water softener.

What is Hard Water?

Not all water is the same. The water in each Texas town is slightly different in terms of chemicals, colors and odors. Generally, hard water includes high levels of calcium, magnesium carbonate and manganese.

Over time, this hard water is more likely to build up on your pipes, pans and appliances. It makes it more difficult for you to remove bacteria, dirt and deposits during washing. Soft water is better for cleaning.

But, I don’t want to deal with all that salt.

With a salt-free water softener, you can enjoy soft water without the salt. These salt free water softeners might use a physical process called “Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC),” which turns the aforementioned chemicals into hardened crystals. These crystals cannot adhere to pots, pipes or clothing.

So, what should you look for in one of these advanced water softeners? We will provide you with 3 valuable tips here:

1. Testing Water

The first thing that you should do is test your water – get a list of all the chemicals found in each gallon of water. These will list the number of grains for calcium, magnesium carbonate, manganese and so forth. You can choose from either a DIY testing kit or hire a professional water analyst.

The benefit of a water analyst is that he can help you interpret the results. He might also be able to explain any historical events that might impact your Texas water.

2. One Application or Full House?

You can buy a water softener for one room or for the full house. Perhaps, you want to concentrate on your bathroom. With a full house water softener, you can also reduce the deposits within your pipes.

3. Calculating Total Operating Costs

Determine how much it will cost you to operate your water softener, each year. Generally, water softeners should last at least 10 years. Therefore, you can take the total cost of the purchase, divide it by 10 and depreciate its value, each year.

Also, include extra costs. With a salt free water softener, you still might need to replace the filters. Experts suggest that you replace the filters every 6 months – it depends on your water quality and usage.

Compare different water softeners; you can ask the advice of experts, who have used both. Water softeners provide many hidden functions. But, these are still very important because they provide clean water for your entire family.

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Water Softening And The Environment

Houseplants lined up on a window ledge above a sink

October 17, 2018 | Posted in Health Benefits | By


How do Water Softeners Impact the Environment?

People are becoming more aware of the effects that water softeners have on our environment. They love their soft water but are more conscious of how healthy it is for the environment, themselves, their pets, and their plants. If you live in an area with hard water, then you know the problems it can cause. Stains on the sinks and tub, dull laundry, and more. Traditional water softening systems are a good solution but not for the environment.

Most traditional systems use ions to add sodium that removes the minerals that make the water hard. The problem is, too much sodium can be harmful to your health and to the environment. Traditional water softeners discharge sodium chloride as run off into the environment, potentially contaminating rivers and streams. In addition, water softeners automatically clean out by flushing the system regularly with water. This uses a lot of salt and water and is wasteful. Many neighborhoods are now prohibiting water softeners that use sodium chloride because the water treatment plants cannot handle the load.

Finding a Solution

Luckily, for environmentally conscious homeowners who are still dealing with hard water in their homes, there are alternatives to traditional water softeners. Many water treatment systems have found new ways to condition water without having to use salt in the system. Below are just a few of the options for treating your water without harming the environment or wasting unnecessary water.

Salt-Free Water Conditioning System

Water softening is a process of ion exchange that removes the minerals (magnesium and calcium) that make water hard and harmful to appliances in your home. This exchange is usually done with sodium chloride. A salt-free water conditioning system does not use salt or remove the minerals. The system instead changes the minerals chemically so they don’t stick to surfaces and appliances in your home instead. This is water conditioning and is not harmful to the environment.

Magnetic Water Treatment Systems

Magnetic water treatment devices have no sodium chloride in them and do not harm the environment. They are designed to treat hard water for residential and commercial use. There are many benefits to this alternative when the device is installed properly. Strong magnets are placed inside the pipe along with a steel frame to magnify the flux density inside the pipe. This results in better water and a better environment.

Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner

An Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner is installed on the outside of the pipe leading to your water tank. A simple coil is wrapped around the pipe and connected to microprocessors and signal processors. This method creates a frequency modulated waveform. Then a fluctuating electric field is directed into the water churning the water molecules to release carbon dioxide and causing precipitating calcium bicarbonate. This precipitation causes the crystals to stick to other natural ions in the water. These ions stay suspended in the water until dispensed down the drain. Then the water dissolves scale deposits and carries them away, cleansing the water system without harmful chemicals or sodium.

Looking for a better solution to hard water? Contact Clear Water of San Marcos, a water softening company that offers many hard water solutions including salt-free water conditioners in San Marcos, TX.

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Getting Soft Water In San Marcos

Glasses in a dishwasher washed with soft water

August 15, 2018 | Posted in Tap Water, Water Conditioner | By

Water is something that we use every day without thinking about where it is coming from. Many times one just knows that it comes out of a faucet while providing the many advantages of water in modern homes and businesses. Below are a few options for obtaining the very best water from your current home plumbing system.

Water in San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos obtains raw surface water from the Guadalupe River and from Canyon Lake. These bodies of water are the result of a number of springs and other groundwater sources. The water is treated by the new City of San Marcos’ water treatment plant which was established in January of 2000. When the raw surface water from the Guadalupe River arrives at the treatment plant it goes through a series of treatments to ensure San Marcos customers receive water that is clean and safe to drink. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) is responsible for watershed resource management. Their goal is to assure a safe, sustainable and reliable water for all users.

The Effects of Hard Water

Dealing with hard water build-up can be expensive, as well as time-consuming, for both homes and businesses. Not only does hard water affect plumbing but it can also affect water heaters, laundry equipment, ice makers, and other appliances throughout a building that use water. Mineral build-up in these appliances can reduce the flow of water and increase the overall cost of energy for running appliances. If scale build-up because serious enough, it can even cause water blockage in appliances.

Using a Water Softener

Unfortunately, San Marcos water contains hard manganese, iron, and hard minerals. Exposure to hard water often results in a buildup of these minerals in plumbing and appliances. Hard water can also reduce soap lather, cause water spots, and other problems. A regular water softener will remove manganese, iron, and various minerals from the water and replace them with potassium or sodium. However, a water softener will not remove existing hard water build-up.

Using a Water Conditioner

An alternate option is salt-free water conditioners. This product is not a water softener but rather a water conditioner. Salt-free water conditioners retain the calcium, magnesium, and other minerals present in water while converting them so that they no longer stick to surfaces. Whether you have regular plumbing or a septic system, a salt-free water conditioner will protect your plumbing as well as soften your water which makes it possible to save money on soap and other cleaning products.

For more information about hard water solutions, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, a water treatment company in San Marcos, TX. We’ll be happy to test your home water, or to help you determine which type of water conditioner would work best for your home.

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What Size Water Softener Do I Need?

Pristine soft water

June 18, 2018 | Posted in Health Benefits, Water Conditioner, Water Softener | By

If you’ve recently found out that your home has hard water, and want to do something to soften it, you may be wondering what size of water softener you will need. The size of water softener that your home needs depends on several variables, which we’ll look at below!


When shopping for an appropriate water softener to use for your home, you’ll want to find one that has a high efficiency. Efficiency generally has to do with how much salt a water softener uses. The most efficient water softeners can remove a high amount of hardness using as little salt as possible. This can save you both money and effort since more efficient softeners will not require salt to be replaced as often.

Hardness of Your Home Water

You will also need to know how hard your home water is, or how much dissolved calcium and magnesium is present in your water. There are test kits available that will let you determine your water’s hardness level yourself, or you can have a professional test your water for you. You may also be able to get the hardness level from your water utility service if you use city water. It’s important to have this level available in order to choose a properly sized water softener system.

Daily Water Consumption

After the water hardness level, the next thing you’ll need to know is your household’s amount of water consumption. There are two common ways to find this amount. One is to check the consumption amount shown on your water bill. The total amount is often shown per month, but you can calculate how much that amount would work out to per day by dividing the total by the number of days in the month. However, if you do not have a total consumption amount available from a water bill, you can still get an approximate daily consumption estimate. To do so, multiply the number of people in the household by 75 gallons. The resulting number should be an approximate estimate of your household’s daily water consumption.

Softening Requirement

To make the final decision about what size water softener your household needs, you’ll need to know an estimate of how much water hardness (usually expressed in grains) that it needs to remove per day. To get this estimate, you’ll use the hardness level you had tested, and your daily water consumption amount. Multiply the number of grains of hardness your water has by the number of gallons of your household’s daily water consumption. The resulting number will be the number of grains your water softener needs to be able to remove from your home water per day. This number will help you choose a water softener of an efficient size for your home.

Don’t want to deal with the salt? Consider getting a salt-free water conditioner for your home! For more information about what type of water softener or salt-free water conditioner would benefit your home, or to schedule a consultation, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.

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