Soft water is treated water in which there will be the only ion that is, sodium. Water softening in the ion exchange method which introduces a little amount of sodium into water. That is, every magnesium and calcium ion is exchanged with sodium ions.
Is Soft Water Safe to Drink?
Is it safe to drink soft water? it will depend on the hardness of your water. If your water is too hard then the large amounts of magnesium and calcium will be replaced by sodium ions, which give the maximum sodium level by regulation. First, let us know What is Soft Water.
What is soft water?
Soft water is the surface water which has a low concentration of ions and in particular, soft water is low in ions of magnesium and calcium. Soft water is also described as the water that is been produced by water softening process. As soft water has fewer calcium ions, there is no soap scum formed in normal washing. In water heating systems, soft water does not produce any calcium deposits. Soft water is also called as treated water which does not contain a major amount of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
Hard water Vs Soft Water
Generally, hard water contains major amounts of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. As the rain falls the water is naturally soft. As the water goes on and makes its way through the ground and into other waterways then it picks up the minerals like lime, chalk and especially calcium and magnesium. Since the hard water contains the minerals, it is sometimes preferable as drinking water. It not only gives health benefits but also the flavor. Whereas the soft water tastes salty and is at times it is not apt for drinking.
The main difference between hard water and soft water can be seen best while doing household works. Hard water is responsible for dishes with spots and deposit, bathtubs with lots of soap foam and film, clothes look unclean and even the hair washed in hard water feel like sticky and also looks dull. Hard water use up more energy and even fee on all the household appliances. All these are negative factors with the elements present in hard water and even soap has less effective with hard water as its reaction with magnesium and calcium. The soap suds is not so rich and bubbly.
Soft water performs the tasks more efficiently compared to hard water. With soft water, soaps will give better lather and the items will be left very clean. Hair will be healthy and glasses will sparkle with soft water. Skin and clothes are left softer. The shower will be left scum free. In turn, it saves money as less soap and detergents are used. With soft water, appliances have to work less so that the life of water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers are prolonged.
With water softeners, the energy bill will be noticeably low. Soft water is not suggested for the people with heart or circulatory problems and others with a low sodium diet. In the softening process, most of the minerals are removed and the sodium ions increase. Research shows that water with more mineral content will lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore soft water offers more advantages over the hard water because it does not have negative effects like mineral deposits on items which are used at the house.
Level of hardness in water is determined by the number of minerals present in water and is measured in grains per gallon or milligrams per liter. Water that contains more than 17 mg/l up to 60 mg/l is considered as slightly hard, and water with 60 mg/l- 120 mg/l is considered moderately hard. General hard water ranges between 120-180 mg/l and the water with the amounts greater than 180 mg/l is considered very hard. Whereas soft water has dissolved minerals less than 17 mg/l or 1 grain per gallon. Soft water does not have a mineral taste like hard water. Also, it doesn’t leave any deposit on dishes, skin or appliances.
Is it safe to drink soft water?
The answer to this question will depend on the hardness of your water. The more the hardness of water the more sodium ions are replaced in water in the place of magnesium and calcium. And it is not recommended for the people with low sodium diet.
A water softener generally adds 46 mg/l of sodium for every 100 mg/l of hard minerals taken out of water. For example, if the hardness of water is 200 mg/l then softener will add 92 mg of sodium for every liter of water. Usually, 400 mg of sodium equates to the pinch of salt. According to the government statics on an average, we consume around 3.1 grams of salt or 3240 mg of sodium every day. Therefore if the hardness exceeds 400 mg/l then water softener pushes the sodium level above the threshold which is not safe to drink.
It is safe to drink soft water if the water hardness is below 400ppm of calcium carbonate where the softened water is used as drinking water? There are two situations where the drinking of soft water is not advisable:
- For infants where water used for mixing the powders, soft water will affect their nutritional balance
- For people who are on a low sodium diet.
Is soft water safe for pets to drink?
If you are using the water softener at your home then the minerals in water are replaced with sodium ions. The amount of sodium added to the water depends on the hardness of water at your home. Whatever the amount of sodium added will be very minimal in general.
However, still, if the veterinarian recommends low sodium diet for your pet then this is something which is to consider. Some pets also do not like the taste of soft water. So if you give them the soft water then they may refuse to drink the soft water. Then, you need to check for an alternative so they stay hydrated and healthy.
Though the sodium level is minimal in soft water it is a significant concern if you have an elderly pet or one with heart or kidney problem. In these cases, your pets may be on a strict diet where the small amounts of sodium in soft water are also very considerable.
Soft water contains a greater concentration of sodium when compared to hard water. Little more sodium in a pet’s diet will be typically a big deal. Also, it is harmful to pets whose breeds have a tendency of developing cardiovascular problems. So, how far is Soft Water Safe for Pets to Drink? It all depends on the individual pet to drink soft water or not according to their own health issues. To know more useful information, keep visiting our Best Water Softeners portal.