Do Water Softeners Add Sodium to Household Water and Is It Safe To Consume?
When it comes to soft water, there are no hard questions.
Water is classified as “hard” when it has high levels of minerals including dissolved magnesium and calcium. Some of the problems of hard water is the minerals can dry out your hair and skin. They also build up inside common appliances like laundry washing machines and ice makers – which can shorten the lifespan of these.
Water softeners can solve a variety of these hard water problems. But, when people learn salt pellets are used in the softening process, many question if it adds high levels of sodium to the drinking water from the tap and if it safe to consume.
It is absolutely safe to drink!
How Much Sodium is in Soft Water?
We occasionally hear from people with questions about if water softeners will increase the amount of sodium in their water.
The fact is, they do add a small amount of sodium to your water—but not salt.
The amount of sodium in softened water depends on how hard your water initially is. The harder your water supply, the more sodium is released because it’s roughly a one-to-one exchange. With even the worst hard water problems, the added amount through the softening process is very small when compared to many other things we drink and eat regularly.
By the numbers. For example, you have what is considered “hard water” measuring greater than 15 “grains per gallon.” The water softener system will release and add about 448 milligrams of sodium per gallon of water through the softening process. This equals about 28 milligrams of sodium added to each 8 oz. glass of water you drink.
(448 mg of sodium per gallon = 28 mg of sodium per cup)
To put that in perspective, an 8 oz. cup of milk contains 122 milligrams of sodium – more than 4x the sodium in a cup of softened water. A single plain egg contains approximately 59 milligrams of sodium, twice as much as the cup of softened water.
Naturally water contains some sodium, about 9.4 mg per cup, according to the USDA. So, you’ll see that having a water softener system do increase sodium levels, but only a little.
When compared to the foods we consume every day, sodium in soft water doesn’t even compare. We eat and process far more sodium from dairy products, bread, snacks, and other popular food items.
Do Water Softeners Remove Healthy Minerals from Water?
The water softener’s primary function is to remove magnesium and calcium from the water supply to protect your home, hair, and skin from nuisances and damage. We are sometimes asked if a water softener will remove the other important and healthy nutrients in water.
Calcium and magnesium in hard water are inorganic minerals which are from the bedrock of the Earth, and make their way into our homes. These are hard for your body to absorb and process directly from your drinking water because they are not the correct type. For example, the magnesium and calcium that are found in plants like vegetables and grains have transformed into an organic state – and this is much easier for your body to utilize.
If you are health conscious about getting the essential minerals in your diet, drinking hard water doesn’t do much good, but eating a healthy supply of greens will!
Softened Water Health Concerns
Water is arguably the most important thing we consume and it’s only natural to be concerned about how much to drink and what is in our water supply. Fortunately, the softening process used by our Evolve Series water softeners has minimal effects on any health concerns. Rest assured, the trace amounts of sodium found in soft water is far below levels considered harmful.
Of course, if you have a health condition which could be worsened by any increased sodium, we recommend you speak with your doctor. If they are concerned, you can still take advantage of the benefits of softened water while avoiding additional sodium. Check out these options:
- Using a Bypass Faucet: You can have an extra, untreated drinking water faucet installed in your kitchen. You then get original, untreated water to use for drinking and cooking while your household appliances receive the softened water and the many benefits of it.
- Installing a Reverse osmosis (RO) System: The RO system filters out sodium and other contaminates a water softener doesn’t remove. The ClearFlo RO and the certified UltroWater RO systems mean your entire home get the benefits and protection of a water softener and your drinking water is clear and purified.
Whole Home Water Health and Safety
If you have any questions or concerns about the water quality in your home, give us a call to speak with one of our water treatment specialists. Our goal is to get you specialized water testing, professionally interpret and the results, and recommend a system that fits your unique needs and budget.
Whether your water comes from an urban municipal system or from a private well, it’s always a good idea to test your home’s water to see what it contains. Your friends at Futuramic’s Clean Water Center are here to help and we can design a system that specifically meets your water goals and needs. Give us a call at (402) 453-5730 or visit our website https://omahawater.com/ for a no-obligation consultation today.