Water softeners conduct a process of water softening by making use of a sodium based agent to remove all the calcium and magnesium deposits away. This process is proven to be very beneficial since it eliminates the possibility of experiencing lime scale and water spot problems which are usually caused by these elements. And while Fleck water softener systems are primarily designed to produce soft water for external use, some residents can’t avoid drinking it since they also get their drinking water from the same source. This practice has raised a lot of issues in the eyes of health experts as too much sodium intake can lead to hypertension and kidney diseases.
Is it safe to drink soft water? How much salt in soft water is acceptable for human consumption? How much is ‘too much’? These are some of the questions we are going to give answers in today’s article so you will be properly informed about the use of water softeners and the positive impact it can bring to our household.
Salt In Soft Water Is Not Really An Issue:
For the benefit of those who don’t know, water softener devices use sodium chloride to recharge the media resin after a service cycle. A service cycle is the entire process where the trapping of calcium and magnesium deposits take place. These minerals are trapped in the beads where the sodium ions are found. Basically, the sodium ions are released in the water once the impurities are trapped in the beads. In other words, these 2 elements are switching places to improve the quality of water and make it soft. Such exchange is commonly referred to as ion exchange.
So based on this process, we can safely say that the amount of sodium or salt added in the water depends on the hardness factor (the amount of impurities found in the liquid). But you also have to bear in mind that the TOTAL amount of salt in water is not based on the amount of sodium added after the treatment alone as hard water already contains traces of salt minerals before the softening process take place.
Now it seems like we’re already talking about too much salt here, don’t you think? Not really.
The amount of salt being discussed here is based in Grains per Gallon (GPG), that is 113.7 milligrams (approx.) per gallon. And to put it into perspective, the amount of sodium found in a glass of soft water is much less than the amount of salt found in a piece of bread or a can of diet soda in that case which is already considered as a low-sodium type of drink.
So if we go back to our questions posted above: YES it’s very safe to drink safe water and the amount of salt added is well within the normal boundaries of acceptable sodium intake for human consumption (500 milligrams – 2300 milligrams). As for the question regarding ‘too much’ salt in soft water, well the answer really depends on the hardness of water found in your area. So be sure to determine how hard the water is in your area as partially discussed in our water softener purchasing tips article.
The amount of sodium found in soft water is very low (almost second to none). But if the idea of salt in softened water still bugs you, then you can always go and use salt-free water softener devices as these devices make use of potassium to treat hard water and it still produces the same end product as salt based water softeners do. Hopefully, you have learned something from what we have discussed today.