The water that comes from under the ground or flowing in a river is vastly different than the water that comes out of your faucet. Natural water contains minerals and other contaminants that impact everything from its flavor to your health. If you’re doing plumbing remodeling, then you might consider improving your water quality, so let’s talk about the difference between water treatment and water softening.
When a person says their water is hard, it means it contains high levels of minerals such as calcium or magnesium. The water traditionally gets these minerals as it’s flowing underground and passes through rock deposits that contain these minerals. As the water passes through your pipes, it can leave deposits that will eventually clog the pipes and cause sewer problems. It can also stain clothing and fixtures. The World Health Organization stated there are no significant negative health effects from hard water, but the impact it can cause on your pipes, clothing, and fixtures makes it a problem that should be fixed.
Water treatment is a blanket term to cover anything that helps improve the quality of your water including water softening. Water softening is only a way of removing the minerals making the water hard. Water softening often uses salts that can adhere to the mineral ions in the water and remove them. More general water treatment, like what’s done to a municipal water supply, uses a wider variety of treatments, such as reverse osmosis. We mentioned earlier how hard water can negatively impact clothing, so many laundry detergents contain water softeners including sodium carbonate to eliminate the minerals from the water during the wash. A good water softening system can help keep you from calling a friendly plumber in the future.
While water softening removes the minerals that cause hard water, water treatment can remove all types of contaminants depending on the type of treatment. There can be heavy metals in your water including lead and mercury or even radioactive elements such as radium. Cities and municipalities use complex water treatment systems to remove many of the contaminants, but take our plumbing advice: remove additional contaminants with an in-home water treatment system.
Hansen’s Plumbing is available to help you with hard water or water treatment. Let us provide you with systems that improve your water quality.