SOFTENING DRINKING WATER (5.1 – 5.5)
Lenntech. “Water Softener Frequently Asked Questions.” (June 13, 2011)
5. SOFTENING DRINKING WATER
5.1 Do water-producing companies always produce softened water?
Although water-producing companies do have the opportunity to produce softened water, they will not always do so. A water producing company only has to add a water softener in its water purification system, to produce softened water cheaply.
But then consumers would not be able to have the choice to drink un-softened water.
Hard water problems are most likely to occur when water is heated. As a result, hard water causes few problems to the water supplying companies, especially when only cold water runs through their pipes.
5.2 Is softened water safe to drink?
Softened water still contains all the natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived off its calcium and magnesium contents, and some sodium is added during the softening process. That is why in most cases, softened water is perfectly safe to drink. It is advisable that softened water contains only up to 300mg/L of sodium.
In areas with very high hardness the softened water must not be used for the preparation of baby-milk, due to the high sodium content after the softening process has been carried out.
5.3 Can salt from softening installations enter drinking water?
Salt does not have the opportunity to enter drinking water through softening installations.
The only purpose of salt in a water softener is to regenerate the resin beads that take the hardness out of water.
5.4 How much sodium does one absorb from softened water?
The sodium uptake through softened water depends on the hardness of the water. Averagely, less than 3% sodium uptake comes from drinking softened water.
Estimates say that a person consumes about two to three teaspoons of salt a day, from various sources. Assuming a daily intake of five grams of sodium through food and the consumption of three quarts of water, the contribution of sodium (Na+) in the water from the home water softening process, is minimal compared to the total daily intake of many sodium-rich foods.
5.5 Will softening drinking water deprive it of essential minerals?
Softening will not deprive water of its essential minerals. Softening only deprives drinking water of minerals that cause the water to be hard, such as calcium, magnesium and iron.