Does soft water have any health risks?
If a typical diet consists of food rich in calcium and magnesium there are probably no health risks in consuming water that has low concentrations of such minerals. If a regular diet lacks some nutrients, taking calcium or magnesium supplements or a multivitamin may be sufficient for a person’s daily needs. Soft water may cause an issue for those who have high blood pressure since they are prone to the effects of drinking water that is high in sodium such as a raise in blood pressure.
Some individuals that have high blood pressure are advised not to use salt in their food so; they can also be advised not to drink soft water. It is more likely for soft water to capture lead from the inner portion of older water pipes that was not treated to block the draining of lead.
What are the advantages of soft water?
Soft water is the preference for cleaning because it doesn’t cause mineral stains and soap scum. It is more efficient in cleaning so more money is saved on the water bill since there is no need to rewash dishes and clothes or take longer showers to rinse completely and feel really clean.
How does a water-softening system work?
A water softener works by letting hard water run through a resin, which is a sticky substance from some trees and plants that is covered with sodium ions that have a positive charge. These molecules have a net electric charge. Sodium concentrations take the place of magnesium and calcium in water.
Water softeners need to be continuously maintained and sodium pellets should be added so the resin remains electrically charged. A number of systems use potassium pellets rather than sodium. Others use citric acid, magnets or other ways to reduce the concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water.
Are there any risks associated with water softening?
Bacteria and fungi can develop on the system’s resin that is why it is important to clean and maintain the equipment to keep water safe. Adding sodium to drinking water can be a bigger safety issue. People who are on a low-sodium diet should ask the manufacturer of the system about the amount of sodium that is being added to the water.
As an alternative, they can look for a system that makes use of potassium rather than sodium to soften drinking water. Those with other health concerns can consult a cardiologist to know how a water softener can affect blood pressure. Homeowners with an old and untreated plumbing system can have their water tested for lead, among other contaminants. A lot of public water utilities are willing to test home water for free or reasonable amount.
A lot of people drink hard/soft water without experiencing any side effects. Soft water with higher sodium levels can pose a risk for some people but this can be addressed by choosing a potassium-based softening system. For people whose concern is the sodium in soft water, they can drink bottled water and use soft water for other purposes like bathing, dish washing and laundry. Those who like to soften their water can look around and ask a plumber how the system will affect their home’s plumbing. Before getting one, they should understand how it is maintained.