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!

Efficiency

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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Water And Health: Your Water And Your Skin

Water And Health: Your Water And Your Skin

April 16, 2018 | Posted in Health Benefits | By

You’ve probably heard that hard water isn’t the best thing for your skin, but what makes water hard? If you pour two glasses of water, one containing hard water and one containing soft water, you aren’t going to be able to tell much of a difference just by looking at them. What makes the difference is the mineral components that are found in the water. The amount of minerals depends on the source of the water. For example, Central Texas has a higher mineral content than the majority of the United States. The higher the mineral content, the more damaging the water is to your skin.

Effects of Hard Water on Your Skin

Why is hard water bad for the skin? Hard water contains the minerals calcium and magnesium, and these minerals dry and irritate the skin. Calcium and magnesium could also form free radicals that can damage healthy skin. The major issue for your skin caused by hard water is that soap is unable to form a lather. The richer the lather, the easier it is to rinse off of your skin. Because hard water doesn’t allow this rich lather to form, soap scum will build up on your skin just like it does on the walls of your showers. Soap scum clogs pores causing skin conditions such as acne and eczema to worsen. Healthy skin will become dry and itchy because the layer of soap scum prevents natural oils that help to lock in moisture from being produced. Overall, hard water isn’t a friend to the skin.

Effects of Soft Water on Your Skin

When compared to hard water, soft water does make the skin softer. This is because the lack of harmful minerals allows the skin’s natural oil producing processes to function correctly. When used with soap, the ability to lather is not restricted. This means soap scum does not build up on the skin. When you get out of the shower, your skin should feel smooth and slick, contrary to the belief that you should be ‘squeaky clean.’ That squeaky noise is the sound of soap scum left on your skin and potentially clogged pores.

Options for Homes with Hard Water

What do you do if you have hard water? There are a couple of options available for making water safe for your skin, such as water softeners and salt-free water conditioners. Water softeners use a salt based filtration system that removes the negative minerals. Salt-free water conditioners use a process called template assisted crystallization that converts the minerals to a crystal that is unable to bind to surfaces. There is still a mineral in the water, but its structure doesn’t allow the damaging processes to occur.

If you notice that your skin is feeling dry and itchy, you might want to examine the quality of your water before trying various skin products or investing in a dermatologist appointment. Now that you know the difference between hard and soft water, you have the option to decide if you need a water conditioning system to help achieve healthier skin. To speak with a professional about water conditioning options for your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.

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Tips For Homeowners Dealing With Hard Water

February 16, 2018 | Posted in Hard Water | By

For homeowners in the Central Texas area, having hard water in your home is almost a certainty without intervention. Hard water can cause all kinds of havoc in a home, including damaging appliances, leaving stains on dishes and clothing, and building up mineral deposits in faucets and shower heads. Below are a few suggested ways to limit or repair the issues caused by hard water.

Vinegar

The first solution is to use vinegar. This is because vinegar can help to loosen some of the mineral deposits. This means that it can get out of the stains on the bath mats, chrome faucets, shower heads, and coffee pots. You can also use the vinegar inside of your dishwasher and washing machine by just running a cycle with nothing in it. It might help to remove stains and disinfect if you spray the surface of the shower doors, sinks, and toilets with the vinegar. All you will have to do is to wipe down these surfaces and if the stain is very bad, you might have to scrub it a little bit.

Baking Soda

The second solution is to use baking soda. This is one of the best things that you can use when you have a lot of hard water buildup that is just not going away. This is because it is going to be a little more abrasive to all of those stains. All you have to do is to sprinkle the baking soda on the stain so that it can sit for a few minutes and then scrub it with a scrub brush in order to remove the stain. This is going to work best if you have already used vinegar on the stain. After applying the baking soda, you’ll need to add water. Water will cause the baking soda to become a paste that you can quickly wipe up, leaving a cleaner space.

Cleaners with Chemicals

There are a lot of chemical cleaners that you can use that will help you to remove the mineral stains and hard water buildup in homes. You will need to need to pick a cleaner that has acids in it like phophoric, hydrochloric, or hydroxyacetic acids. You are going to need to be very cautious about the more abrasive cleaners and brushes that can scratch the surface of the fixtures. It is important to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to make sure that you are using the cleaners properly. For some cleaners, protective gloves should also be worn.

Colored Stains from Hardwater

If you have a red or reddish brown stain from iron, then you might consider using cream of tartar and water. This is going to create a paste that you can let dry and rinse off, leaving a cleaner surface. If you have a brown or black stain from manganese in your water, then you can make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Lastly, if you noticed a green or blue stain from copper or water that has a lot of acid in it, you can use a mixture of soap suds and ammonia to lighten it. Just let the mixture dry and then rinse it off.

Salt-Free Water Conditioner

For a more permanent solution, consider having a water softener installed in your home. A water softener greatly lessens the impact of hard water on your home and appliances, and many of these devices are made to last for years. Another option to consider is a water conditioner, which has a slightly different process than a water softener, but which still solves your hard water issues. Many homeowners turn to salt-free water conditioners because they require very little maintenance and are built to last you and your family for years.

If you would like more information about dealing with hard water, or about installing a salt-free water conditioner, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.

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