Let’s face it, water is an essential and vital component to sustain life, but in order for drinking water to provide its full range of health and household benefits, it often must be treated. The question most often asked is, “which water treatment system is the best?” We wish there was just one answer to that question, it would make it so much easier for homeowners to know what to purchase, however that is not the case.
The type of water you have in your home, as well as the local regulations and your own personal preference will determine which type of water treatment system will work best for you. Today, we are going to look at salt-free water conditioners; their pros, their cons and why they would or wouldn’t work for your situation.
First, we need to understand how a salt-free water conditioner works. Unlike a water softener, which removes calcium and magnesium in the water and replaces them with sodium ions, a salt-free water conditioner leaves the minerals in the water but changes their form so they will not adhere to surfaces.
When homeowners make the decision to treat hard water, it is usually to eliminate mineral buildup in their pipes and appliances which can damage and shorten the life of water using appliances as well as drastically reducing water flow in pipes. A salt-free water conditioner works great in this instance since it breaks up the minerals in such a way that they will not adhere to surfaces. If homeowners want to eliminate the minerals in their water and enjoy the luxurious feel of mineral-free water, then a water softener would be a better option.
The fact that salt-free water conditioners do not remove calcium and magnesium is actually a positive aspect of their features. Numerous studies have been done that tout the health benefits of both calcium and magnesium. In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) did an in-depth study of why calcium and magnesium should be left in our water.
Inadequate intakes of calcium have been associated with increased risks of osteoporosis, kidney stones, colorectal cancer, hypertension and stroke, coronary artery disease, insulin resistance and obesity. Low magnesium levels have been implicated in hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mellitus and metabolic syndrome. When left in drinking water, it is much easier to get adequate amounts of both these beneficial minerals.
Another consideration to take into account is how your water treatment decision affects the environment. A salt-free water conditioner not only does not waste any water, it also eliminates the addition of sodium into groundwater. Sodium has been declared as one of the biggest contaminates affecting water supplies in the nation and around the world. It has become so prevalent that it is beginning to destroy crops and affect groundwater across the globe. In fact, many states now have communities which have banned the sale of some types of regenerative water softeners since they flush sodium back into the ground.
As we said earlier, there are many factors to take into consideration before choosing a water filtration system. The best way to start the process is to have your water tested to see what issues you need to address. Next, do your research; evaluate each water treatment system on the market to see which one fits your needs and the needs of the environment while still providing the best tasting, healthiest water possible.