Is There Sodium in Soft Water and Is it Safe to Drink?
There are no hard questions when it comes to soft water. Water is considered “hard” when it has a high mineral content, including dissolved calcium and magnesium. These minerals can dry out your skin and hair. Plus, they can build up inside appliances like washing machines and ice makers – shortening the life of your household investments. A water softener can solve a range of hard water problems that are uncomfortable for you and expensive for your “home health.” But what about soft water and your personal health? Is soft water safe to drink? You bet it is!
Is There Sodium in Soft Water?
Occasionally, we hear from people who are concerned that a water softener will increase the amount of sodium in their water. Water softeners do add a small amount of sodium to your water—but not salt. (Read more about why water softeners need salt to work.) Just how much sodium depends on how hard your water is to begin with. The harder your water, the more sodium is released because it’s basically a one-to-one exchange. But even in the worst hard water situations, the added amount would be very small in comparison to many other things we encounter in day to day life. Let’s run some numbers. Let’s say you have hard water – measuring more than 15 “grains per gallon.” A water softener will release about 448 milligrams of sodium per gallon of water during the softening process. That means installing a water softener will add about 28 milligrams of sodium to each 8 oz. cup of water you drink.
(448 mg of sodium per gallon = 28 mg of sodium per cup)
Now let’s put that in perspective. A cup of milk contains 122 milligrams of sodium. That’s more than 4x the sodium in a cup of softened water. Even a plain egg contains about 59 milligrams of sodium, still 2x as much as the cup of softened water in our example. To be clear, water does contain some sodium naturally - 9.4 mg per cup, on average, according to the USDA. So using a water softener will increase those sodium levels a little. But overall, the sodium in soft water doesn’t even come close to the amount of sodium in many of the foods we eat every day. You get far more sodium in your diet from bread, dairy products, snacks, and other common foods.
Will a Water Softener Remove Healthy Minerals from My Water?
It is a water softener’s job to remove calcium and magnesium from your water to protect your home, hair, and skin from taking damage. Some people worry that they’ll miss out on important nutrients if the water they’re drinking no longer has these minerals. Here’s the thing – the calcium and magnesium in your water are inorganic minerals that come from the bedrock of the Earth. It’s difficult for your body to absorb and process these minerals directly from your drinking water because they are the wrong kind. But when calcium and magnesium are processed through plants (think veggies and grains), they transform into an organic state that’s easier for your body to access. So when it comes to getting essential minerals in your diet, drinking hard water won’t do much good. (But eating your greens will.)
Your Health Concerns and Soft Water
It’s natural to have concerns about how your home’s water system could affect your health. We agree the water you drink should be the very best kind! The good news is that the process used by our Evolve Series water softeners has very little effect on any health concerns you may have. Any extra sodium in soft water would fall well below the levels considered harmful. If you have a health condition that could be worsened by increased sodium, talk with your doctor. If your doctor does express concern, you can still enjoy the benefits of soft water while avoiding any excess sodium. Consider these two options:
Bypass faucet: Some people install an extra drinking water faucet in the kitchen. That way, you get untreated water for cooking and drinking, but your other appliances receive the soft water they prefer for their own well-being!
Reverse osmosis (RO) system: An RO system filters the sodium and many other contaminates a water softener isn’t capable of removing. With an RO system, like the ClearFlo RO and the certified UltroWater RO, your entire home benefits from the protection of a water softener, and any water you drink goes through an extra layer of purification.
Whole Home Health and Water Safety
If you’re concerned about the water quality in your home, talk to a water treatment specialist. They can help you get specialized water testing and interpret the results. Whether you get your water from a private well or a city water source, it’s a good idea to test your water and check your home water safety. An authorized Evolve dealer can design a system that specifically meets your water goals and needs. Click here to contact your local dealer today!