Most people know that softened water makes life easier. Once you have installed a home water softener, you notice how easy it is to do your routine household cleaning chores, and you’re noticing that your water-using appliances are working better, too. There are plenty of benefits, but one of the most common questions we get from our customers is whether or not they can drink soft water and if it is safe for their family. Summertime means we drink more water, but is this a good thing for people who have eliminated their hard water?

How do we know if water is safe?

Drinking softened water all comes down to your hardness level. It is essentially all in the number. Experts recommend the water hardness be below 400 ppm calcium – and then you can drink it. Our drinking water company can help determine your levels. If your water hardness exceeds 400 ppm, then you will have to install a reverse osmosis water filter to remove the minerals in order to reduce the sodium content in the soft water. That way, you will be able to drink softened water. The water softening process, via the ion exchange principle, introduces a small amount of sodium into the water – every calcium or magnesium ion is replaced by a sodium ion.

So should I get a water softener or a water filter … or both?

Again, this all depends on how hard the water is and then what ends up being the amount of sodium in your drinking water. Softened water can be very high in sodium, which can be dangerous to your health. The sodium minerals replace the calcium and magnesium which were the hard minerals in your water. You may need one of our water filters to then remove or reduce the sodium, making it much safer to consume. Plus, reverse osmosis systems remove more than just sodium – your water will also not contain other dangerous drinking water contaminants, making it taste better and be even safer!

The big decision

Again, you can drink softened water, as long as the range is within the recommendations. If not, then adding on an RO system will make it even better for you by removing excess sodium. Sodium is the major issue in this debate. Too much sodium drives up blood pressure, which can lead to an unhealthy heart. Therefore, the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations sets a 200 ppm (or 200 mg/litre) maximum for sodium content in drinking water. Knowing what is in your drinking water can help you make the best-informed decisions – and each household is different. Our technicians can walk you through the choices and our products to help you choose exactly what YOU need – getting you the safest and highest quality water that your family deserves.