Do Water Softeners Add Too Much Sodium for Safe Drinking

Question: Dear Luise: If you have a water softener system does this add sodium to your water? Should you drink the water? Jan

Answer: Dear Jan: It is true that softened water contains more sodium than the hard water before treatment. For most people, softened water is not a significant source of dietary sodium. You may find you consume much more sodium in the foods you eat unless, of course, you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Consult your doctor if this is a concern to you.

If you aren’t sure about the amount of sodium you consume, have your softened water analyzed by your local health department. As a rule of thumb, for every grain per gallon of hardness removed, the softened water will contain an additional 8 milligrams of sodium per gallon over the amount of sodium present in the hard water.

For example, if you drink eight 16-ounce glasses of water every day (one gallon), and if your water is “10 grains hard”, you would be adding about 80 milligrams (0.08 gram) of sodium to your diet by drinking softened water. Compare that with the sodium content of some of the foods you eat.

For drinking purposes there are several options, including bottled water or a reverse osmosis drinking water unit. Some consumers prefer the taste of their hard tap water, yet they appreciate soft water for the benefits of reduced cost for cleaning agents and to prevent hard water deposits in pipes and water heaters, and on fixtures and surfaces.

This information comes from the Culligan Company. I hope it helps. To me, it sounds like you can drink it or not based on your health and your taste but it definitely adds a small amount of salt to your diet. A can of soup can contain 500 to 700 milligrams of sodium, so it’s all pretty relative. Blessings, Luise

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