What is a Water Softener?

A water softener is a filtration system that works to remove high concentrations of chemicals in water. When water flows through a water softener, the system filters out these hard water minerals and the softened water then leaves the water softening system to flow through plumbing. Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals, namely iron, calcium and magnesium. Over time these minerals build up into something you can actually see, for example, the crusty residue on your shower head! In fact, “hard water” got its name from the hardened mineral deposits this kind of water leaves behind. Over time these deposits can accumulate, clog, or even corrode pipes and cause major plumbing problems. Hard water deposits can build up in boilers and hot water heaters, making them less efficient and more expensive to use. To make a long story short, hard water can leave lasting, negative effects on every surface it runs on, over or through.

To understand how a water softener works, you have to understand that opposites attract. No, we are not talking about romance! Like magnets, the idea of a positive and negative attracting is central to how a water softener works. Calcium and magnesium, the two key culprits of hard water, are both positively charged molecules. And, as the hard water pumps through the softening system, it passes through a filter filled with negatively charged resin beads. The positive and negative attract to catch these minerals and pull them from the water passing through.

Drinking Water

Drinking enough water every day can help keep the doctor away - but not if you have lead in your water. As one of the most notoriously toxic chemicals on the market, lead is also one of the most silent criminals. It’s next to impossible to tell if lead is present since there are virtually no signs of it in water. It’s invisible, odorless, and even tasteless. So, what should you do about lead in your water?

Here’s everything you need to know about lead in your water and how you can remove it

The most common way drinking water is exposed to lead is through aging pipes and plumbing infrastructure. A holdover from the days when the dangers of lead were not as well known, many of the country’s pipes and fixtures still contain the chemical or contain portions of plumbing infrastructure that hasn’t been updated properly. As a result, drinking water is now the largest contributor to lead poisoning in the U.S. In general, homes built before 1986 are more likely to have plumbing components containing lead. That said, newer construction should not be excluded since federal regulations around acceptable lead levels have fluctuated over the years. Even new, “lead-free” pipes may still contain up to 8% lead. So, what does lead in water mean for your home and family? When it comes to lead in water, health effects are the main concern. This is especially true for children. Most often, lead poisoning is the result of lead in water. Effects can include infertility, kidney dysfunction, lower IQ, and even pregnancy complications. To reduce the health risks, considering testing your water for the presence of lead, among other contaminants. Since you wouldn’t be able to see, smell, or taste lead, the best and only way to rule out lead in your water is to have it tested.

Alamo Water Softeners recommends reverse osmosis drinking water systems for those who want the highest quality water for their families. It gives you high quality water now, and protects you and your family from any mistakes the city may make with our water system.

Alamo Water Softeners utilizes WaterMaker Five reverse osmosis systems. These systems are manufactured in the USA and produce high quality drinking water quickly and easily.

Problem Water

Problem water refers to water that holds specific water contaminants. This can include high concentrations of iron in water, which can cause staining, or sulfur in water, which can give water a rotten egg smell. Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are also possible water contaminants in problem water and can be extremely harmful to ingest. Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium. It is classified as “hard” when calcium carbonate concentration is generally 61 milligrams per liter and above. While drinking hard water with a moderate concentration is relatively safe, the taste may not be ideal. It also does have a greater impact on your working water. Working water is the water you use to bathe and clean with. Signs that you may have hard water running through your pipes are dry skin, sticky or dull hair after a shower, as well as mineral residue left on dishes after a dishwasher cycle. If you think you might have a hard water or problem water issue but aren’t quite sure which one it is, call Alamo. We’ll figure out exactly what’s coming out of your faucet and provide a customized solution to help you enjoy quality water throughout your home.

Water filtration

Water softener systems are designed to remove minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, that can leave deposits on dishes and plumbing fixtures while water filtration systems are designed to remove contaminants and foul odors found in drinking water. You may have hard water if you are experiencing: stiff laundry after the cycle, dry hair and skin after showers, mineral spots on dishes after running through the dishwasher, and mineral spots on fixtures and appliances that use water. You may benefit from filtration if you are experiencing off-putting odors or flavors from ice or drinking water.