Softened Water: A Source of Sodium? Here’s What You Need to Know

Softened Water: A Source of Sodium? Here’s What You Need to Know

Softened Water: A Source of Sodium? Here’s What You Need to Know

Hard water is a problem throughout the Midwest. Water is considered “hard” when it has a high mineral content, including dissolved calcium and magnesium.  These minerals can dry out your skin and hair – plus, they can build up inside appliances like washing machines and ice makers – potentially shortening the life of your household investments. Water softeners replace hard minerals like calcium and magnesium. It does so by using sodium ions, through a process is known as “ion exchange.”

Many of us are health-conscious and carefully monitor what we eat and drink. Because salt is used in the water-softening process, we occasionally hear from people who are concerned that a water softener will increase the amount of sodium in their water. So, softeners do add a small amount of sodium to your water—but not salt.

The amount of sodium in water after it has been through a water softener depends on a few factors, such as the hardness of the incoming water, the size of the water softener, and the efficiency of the regeneration process. However, in general, a typical water softener can add between 10 to 300 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce glass of water. The water-softened water, when compared with other popular foods and drinks, see the chart below:

To put things in perspective, a cup of milk contains 122 milligrams of sodium (more than 4 times the sodium in a cup of softened water). A plain egg contains around 59 milligrams of sodium – twice as much as the cup of softened water.

In general, the sodium levels in softened water are not high enough to cause health problems for most people, but those on a low-sodium diet or with certain health conditions may want to consider alternative water treatment methods. If you have a health condition that could be worsened by increased sodium, talk with your doctor. If your doctor does express concern, you can still enjoy the benefits of soft water while avoiding any excess sodium. Consider these two options:

  • Bypass faucet: Some people install an extra drinking water faucet in the kitchen. That way, you get untreated water for cooking and drinking, but your other appliances receive the soft water they prefer for their own well-being!

  • Reverse osmosis (RO) system: An RO system filters the sodium and many other contaminates a water softener isn’t capable of removing. With an RO system, like the ClearFlo RO and the certified UltroWater RO, your entire home benefits from the protection of a water softener, and any water you drink goes through an extra layer of purification.

What about the “Healthy Minerals” in Water?

Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, iron, and other trace minerals are naturally found in our tap water and are considered safe and beneficial for human health. However, the specific mineral content of tap water can vary depending on the location and source of the water, as well as the treatment process used by the local water provider. Because, as we outlined, calcium and magnesium are the key culprits in hard water and the problems associated with that. It is a water softener’s job to remove calcium and magnesium from your water to protect your home, hair, and skin from damage. Some people worry that they’ll miss out on the other nutrients if the water they’re drinking no longer has these minerals. Ultimately the calcium and magnesium in your original water are inorganic minerals that come from the bedrock of the Earth. It’s difficult for your body to absorb and process these minerals directly from your drinking water because they are the wrong kind. So, when it comes to getting essential minerals in your diet, ingesting hard water doesn’t in reality do much good – but eating your fruits and veggies does! 

Whole-Home Health and Water Safety

If you are concerned about the water quality in your home, talk to one of our water treatment specialists. We can provide specialized water testing, interpret the results, and give professional recommendations on how to resolve any issues you and your family may be facing.

Whether you get your water from a private well or a city water source, it’s a good idea to test your water and check your home water safety. If you are considering a convenient, effective way to get softened water and/or pure, clean drinking water right from your faucet at home, call our water expert team at Futuramic’s Clean Water Center at (402) 453-5730. We will come out for a free evaluation to see which system is best for you.