Myth #1: All the salt dumped into a water softening brine tank goes into the water.
The idea that all the salt in a brine tank will end up in your water is simply not true. To the contrary, a very small percentage of the salt that you put in a water softener actually ends up in the water. The bottom line is, the salt in the tank has very little to do with the water’s sodium level.
But if there is sodium in the water, what about people who are concerned with sticking to a low-sodium diet? The reality is, very few people drink large amounts of tap water. If you do happen to drink a large amount of tap water, however, keep the following general numbers in mind: in our area, the average hardness range is around 9 grains per gallon. That results in around 220 milligrams of sodium per gallon of water, which is equivalent to about two slices of white bread. (In areas with extremely high amounts of calcium, sodium levels may be notably higher.)
If you’re aware of the amount of sodium in your water, and you pay attention to how much tap water you actually drink, you’ll be able to get a good idea of how much this contributes to your overall sodium intake. Of course, for someone who has a drinking water system (e.g. reverse osmosis), it becomes a non-issue because all the sodium is removed from the water anyway.
Myth #2: Soft water is corrosive.
All things being equal, there is nothing about soft water that makes it especially corrosive. There may be other things in the water that make it corrosive, but softness alone (not containing calcium) is simply not going to contribute to corrosiveness. Low pH level is one factor that will cause water to be corrosive. Another factor is if the TDS (total dissolved solids) level is low. The TDS is actually higher in soft water than it is in hard water, which is another illustration of how soft water is simply not corrosive in and of itself.
Myth #3: We should try to drink water that has at least a little bit of hardness in it so we can take in the minerals.
This is another widely perpetuated myth that is simply untrue. By eating a varied diet with adequate nutritional value, we should be taking in all the minerals that we need. The bottom line is, we drink water to flush out our bodies and stay properly hydrated. The cleaner and more pure the water is, the better off we are.
The next time you hear someone make a claim about the water we use every day, ask yourself if there is actually evidence to support and demonstrate the validity of that claim. Is there documentation or factual information confirming these myths? If not, it’s wise to remain unconvinced. I would suggest that you find a reliable resource such as the Water Quality Association (WQA), which has a tremendous amount of information and facts on their website.
If you have any plumbing-specific questions, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing today by contacting us online or giving us a call at 540-483-9382.