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.
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.
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.
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.
Water softeners do remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water, and these are minerals that your body needs. However, having them removed from your water won’t decrease your intake of these minerals, since your body does not usually get these minerals from water but instead from your diet. Let’s take a closer look.
Which Minerals Are in Hard Water?
Hard water is typically water that contains significant amounts of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and similar minerals. These are picked up naturally from the areas water has flowed over before it reaches your home. Having these minerals in your water can lead to film-like deposits left on your dishes or other surfaces. These chalky deposits may seem nothing more than annoying on dishes, but they can also build-up in your appliances and eventually cause them to need repairs or replacement.
What Happens to the Minerals?
Softening water does not fully remove calcium and magnesium from your water, but it neutralizes them by changing their form. How this is done depends on what sort of water softener you have. For example, water softeners that use salt utilize a process called ion exchange. This process essentially “trades” the calcium and magnesium for the soft mineral sodium.
However, if you have a salt-free water conditioner, the process is a little different. Salt-free systems are referred to as water conditioners rather than water softeners because they don’t remove hard minerals from water. Instead, they condition water by chemically changing minerals such as calcium and magnesium so that they no longer attach to surfaces and create build-up.
Is Added Sodium Bad for You?
If you have a water softener that uses salt, it will add sodium to your water. The amount of sodium added depends on how hard your water is. Sodium in large amounts can be unhealthy, but luckily the amount added by water softeners, even for very hard water, is incredibly small. If you are concerned about the amount of sodium that’s healthy for you, or if you have a sodium restricted diet, contact your doctor before using a water softener. You can also consider using a salt-free system instead.
Where Else Can You Get Healthy Minerals?
Whether you have a water softener or a salt-free water conditioner, both will leave your water without the original hard minerals it previously contained. Some people worry that because of this they will have an unhealthy lack of these minerals in their body. However, as mentioned earlier, your body does not get its calcium and magnesium from your water. In water these minerals exist in an inorganic state, and your body cannot even digest them.
Instead of worrying about these minerals in water, look at your diet to make sure that you’re getting a healthy amount of them. For example, digestible calcium is found in dairy products like milk. Magnesium is present in broccoli and many other vegetables. As long as you have a healthy diet with a variety of foods, you’ll get the minerals that you need. If you’re concerned about the amount of calcium and magnesium you’re consuming, talk to your doctor about a diet that’s right for you.
If you would like more information about how water softeners and conditioners work, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
It is important to have realistic information about what is in your water. The reality is that the issue is too complex to boil down to something being always bad or always good. That is why we continue to look into the issues surrounding minerals in different types of water.
The Minerals in Water: Magnesium
The added minerals in bottled water normally exist naturally in tap and well water, and they are added simply to more accurately represent what real water is regarding taste and nutrition. These minerals include potassium, salt, calcium, and magnesium. These are all helpful as long as you adhere to dietary guidelines. However, if completely unregulated, hard water can provide far more of these minerals than needed. While these minerals are important, there are negative effects from over-consumption.
Humans do need these minerals though, and huge portions of the United States experience negative side effects because they do not receive the recommended amount of magnesium or potassium. The reality of magnesium is that 80% of Americans don’t receive enough in their diet. This can lead to serious mental health issues, inability to regulate mood especially. However, since the body has a hard time absorbing magnesium from non-organic sources, deficiencies have little to do with the amount ingested in water. If you’re concerned about your magnesium intake,
consult your physician for more information.
The Minerals in Water: Fluoride
The Fluoride Debate
One unique mineral that has had a lot of national buzz recently is fluoride. Fluoride actually exists in some water sources naturally. But the positives and the negatives are not completely cut and dry. Some cities have actually had serious debates as to what to do with the fluoride in the water. Many have removed it, some have compromised by reducing the amount, and some have done nothing. But the history behind the fluoride debate is a long one, and it is not a simple issue.
The Use of Fluoride
The debate about Fluoride began with it being added into the water supply in the 1950’s to promote dental health. The fluoride in water is of course absorbed orally, and has less effect than being applied directly to teeth. It can have subtle benefits to teeth, but not nearly as much as directly applying with toothpaste, of which many contain fluoride. There are a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding the fluoride debate as well, but it would be incorrect to think of these as what is driving the debate against it. For instance, one of these is that it was initially added not for dental health, but for impairing of mental health. The theory goes that the populace was becoming too difficult to control and evading the laws that were being passed. However, there is little if any evidence to support this, and the case against it is reasonably complete without introducing that as evidence.
The Effect of Fluoride
The main argument is that fluoride has no effect on the appearance, taste, or smell of water, and as such does not effect the direct experience of drinking water. In addition, the levels that are in water aren’t enough to actually prevent tooth decay and cavities. The issue being that levels slightly higher than what is needed for dental health are enough to cause intelligence reduction. This effect is actually made far worse when combined with an excess of aluminum, or a deficiency of iodine, meaning that the body has to work extra hard to deal with both of the issues at once. However, it’s important to note that the addition of this mineral does not lead to cancer, based on most studies. There is some evidence it could contribute very slightly to some types of bone cancer, but not by very much.
The debates about what should be in tap, well, and bottled water continues today. Many people choose to regulate their own water somewhat by utilizing a water softener or a water conditioner. If you would like more information about what’s in your water, or if you would like information regarding a water filtration system, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.