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!

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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Soft Water Helps Save Money In Your Home

December 19, 2017 | Posted in Water Softener | By

If you live in the San Marcos area, you’re familiar with hard water. You’ve probably tried everything to get your water to smell, taste, and feel good. If you don’t have a water softening system, installing one can transform your water and save you money.

How Hard Water May Be Costing You Money

Hard water damages appliances and fixtures over time. Water with high iron content, for example, turns tubs and sinks orange and contributes to rusting of water heaters. When an appliance leaks, like the water heater, you also experience flooring damage. Also, nearly 90 percent of homes in the US have hard water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium. This causes scaling which clogs the plumbing and water lines. In addition to the needed plumbing repairs, this causes higher electricity costs. It requires more soap to clean clothes and dishes, and chemicals and minerals in hard water can damage clothing when laundered, causing it to fade and wear more quickly.

How Softening Water Could Save You Money

Soft water reduces your electricity. Without being hindered by the scale caused by hard water, your appliances can run more efficiently. With no scaling, they can last longer as well, leading to fewer leaks and fewer replacements. Fewer leaks also means less repairs to the surrounding flooring. The boilers, pipes, and fixtures can last longer, too.

In addition to extending the life and efficiency of your appliances, you’ll need to buy less soap because it lathers better in soft water. Your laundry detergent can go further, too. Soft water helps your clothes and linens last longer because it helps remove stains better. According to The Salt Institute, soft water cleans dishes 12 times better and it removes clothing stains 100 times more effectively than added detergent or hot water wash.

Types of Water Softening Systems

Several types of filtration systems exist, and each has its own benefits. You can install a water softening or water conditioning system with a well water system or with a municipal water supply feed. The three most popular types of softening systems are:

  • Coal Filtered,
  • Salt-Free Water Conditioner,
  • Salt Filtered.

Salt filtered systems are common, though they can eventually lead to corroded pipes and water heaters. Coal filtered systems are less popular because they use a non-renewable resource, and mining for coal can damage the environment. A salt-free water conditioner is easier on appliances and does not harm the environment, or add any traces of sodium to your water. This type of water conditioner requires very little maintenance.

For a minimal investment, you can have healthy water using a coal-free, salt-free water conditioner. Your water will taste better, clean better, and be gentler on your appliances, helping extend their lifetimes and efficiency. If you are considering installing a water softener or conditioner in your home or would like to speak to a professional about the best option for the water in your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.

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Does Soft Water Taste Different Than Hard Water?

October 19, 2017 | Posted in Tap Water | By

Many people are familiar with the various pros and cons of hard water and soft water. However, many of those interested in installing a water softener or water conditioner in their home may still be curious about the differences in the two types of water. One subtle difference between hard water and soft water is its taste. In order to understand how the taste of water can change, it’s important to look at what a water softener or water conditioner does to hard water.

How Does a Water Softener Change Your Water?

Pure water is naturally soft. However, when water travels the sometimes great distances to reach home taps, it picks up materials on the way. The materials picked up in water include a variety of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are also necessary for human health, the traces found in water are inorganic, and cannot be used by the body like the minerals in food can. Still, these small amounts can significantly damage household appliances.

Because of this, many homeowners install water softeners or water conditioners to combat the effects of hard water. The two installations work in slightly different ways. Traditional water softeners use salt for a process called “ion exchange.” During this process, magnesium and calcium ions are essentially exchanged for sodium ions, making the water soft. Salt-free water conditioners don’t remove the hard water minerals, but instead change their form so that they can no longer bind to surfaces.

The Taste of Hard Water vs Soft Water

Knowing how water softeners and water conditioners change water from hard to soft, the next question is often how the homeowner’s water experience is going to change. It is commonly known that soft water feels slicker than hard water, and that soft water dissolves soaps and detergents more quickly, resulting in more suds with less product. However, sometimes the taste of water can change as well.

For some people, the difference in the taste of softened water as compared to hard water is barely noticeable, but still present. The reason for the difference in taste is due to the minerals in the water. The minerals in hard water react to the tongue’s taste buds, giving hard water its taste. These minerals are not present in soft water, and so the reaction doesn’t take place, resulting in the slightly different taste people experience. Many people report finding soft water to taste more “refreshing.”

The Taste of Beverages that Use Water

Because the taste of soft water is slightly different from the taste of hard water, the flavor of any beverages made with that water will be slightly different as well. Such beverages could include homemade lemonade, tea, and fruit flavored drinks. In general, beverages made with soft water tend to have a stronger, clearer flavor, since the taste is not altered by the presence of minerals, such as those found in hard water.

If you would like more information about the beneficial effects of a water softener or a water conditioner, or would like information about installing one in your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.

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Signs That You May Need A Water Softener Or Conditioner

August 12, 2017 | Posted in Water Conditioner | By

How can you tell if your home would benefit from having a water softener or a water conditioner installed? Below are several signs and symptoms that you can indicate that a water filtration system might be right for you.

Strange, Smelly, Or Unpleasant Tasting Water

One symptom that you need a water conditioning system for your home is that the water tastes unpleasant or strange. It can also have an unpleasant smell in addition to an unpleasant taste. The bad taste can come from too much iron, which creates a metallic taste. Sediment, corrosion from pipes, and hydrogen sulfide gas can also give your water a bad taste or smell. Get a water conditioning and filtration system to eliminate these issues.

Staining Of Plumbing Fixtures And Soap Scum Accumulation

A good indication that your water is hard and needs to be softened is that your plumbing fixtures, such as the faucet, sink, and toilet bowl, get stained. Depending on the minerals present in your water, you could have orange, reddish, or grayish stains. Soap scum accumulation in your shower is another sign that your water needs to be softened. Hard water makes it that much more difficult for soap to become dissolved. Hence the accumulation of soap scum in the bathtub and shower.

Clogged Shower Heads, Weak Lathers, And A Soapy Feeling After A Shower

All of these are symptoms of hard water that should be conditioned. Minerals from hard water accumulate and form scale on the shower head. This clogs the head as well as the plumbing, leading to reduced water pressure. Hard water also makes it more difficult for soap to lather. In addition, hard water makes it more difficult to wash away and dissolve soap that you apply to your body. This is what causes that soapy or filmy residue feeling after showering with hard water.

Clogged Pipes, Worn Out Appliances, And Clothes That Don’t Get Cleaned

Hard water creates scale buildup which builds up overtime and will clog pipes. If you have an older plumbing system that uses steel pipes, then this problem will be especially severe. The scale from hard water will also wear out appliances that use water, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, and even refrigerator. This will lead to needs for repairs, cleanings, or even replacements that can cost you a lot of money.

If your clothes don’t seem to get cleaned or feel rough and faded after you put them in a washer then this is a good sign your water could some softening. Hard water will make your detergent less effective. It can also stain your clothes.

Introducing A Salt-Free Water Softener And Conditioning System For Your Home

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your home, then it is time for you to get a water softening and conditioning system. Clear Water of San Marcos can install a salt-free water softener in your home that will require no salt and no back washing that wastes precious water. Call Clear Water of San Marcos today at 512-757-1731 to get a water softener system installed in your home to eliminate scaling, soap scum accumulation, and staining from your water.

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