Is It Safe To Drink Softened Water? 3 Reasons Why It Should be Filtered First

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Whether you like it or not, if you’re in the area with hard water, you might have no other option than to install a water softening in your water supply. The reason for this is because hard water can cause problems on some machines, wrecks havoc to the plumbing systems, or interfere with daily household chores. You will likely have a higher water bill as well because soap is harder to remove. A water softener processes hard water and transforms it into water softening.

One of the most asked questions regarding softened water is if it is safe to consume as-is. Softened water is favored by the majority of people because it can be used for cleaning and washing, unlike hard drinking water. Although it’s good for general stuff, is it safe to drink softened water? Or would it need to be filtered first before it can be safe for human consumption? Continue reading to find out more about softened water and why filters are needed to for its safe consumption.

Understanding How Softened Water Is Produced

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During each ending of the Water Cycle, the evaporated water is being brought back to the surface as soft drinking water through raining. In its purest form, rainwater doesn’t have a lot of minerals and chemicals. However, once it is brought back by raining, it catches all the pollutants that are floating in the atmosphere. Once it reached the Earth’s surface, it will usually go underground, where pollutants are filtered out of it.

During its trip to the underground, the rainwater usually picks up minerals on its way. If it picks up a high amount of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, it becomes what is known as hard water. To turn hard water into “softened water”, it needs to be processed by water softener, which transforms calcium and magnesium ion exchange to sodium intake ions. Although drinking water softeners make your water tastes better by converting ion exchange, other particles are left untouched.

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Three Reasons To Filter Soft Water First Before Consumption

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  1. Softened Water Is Made For Washing And Cleaning

One of the most common misconceptions about drinking water softeners is that these machines also purify the water. Most people assume that because the water is purified, and that’s the reason why it tastes better. However, according to The Telegraph, softened water is only good for general usages such as for washing, cleaning, and laundry, and not for drinking.

It is common for a lot of households to install a faucet that feeds from “unsoftened water” separately. All other faucets in the house will be connected to the water softener for general use. Hard drinking water is generally safe to drink and is actually healthier because of its added minerals. However, it doesn’t mean that it only contains good substances.

  1. Sodium Content Can Cause Serious Health Problems

Another reason why you should filter your softened drinking water first is the fact that it has additional sodium content. If you and your family have high blood pressure, drinking softened water as-is might drive your blood pressure up. You might not even taste the sodium levels in the water tap, but it is there, and it might interfere with your health.

This effect is even more problematic for people who live in locations that have high water depends on the hardness. If your water contains less than 400ppm of calcium carbonate, it is still at an acceptable level. But if the level is already above 400ppm, this might spell trouble. Higher calcium carbonate content means a higher amount of sodium intake needed to soften the water tap.

  1. Filtration Can Remove Other Unwanted Things From The Water

Water softeners will catch all the calcium and magnesium ion exchange in great accuracy. Unfortunately, drinking water does not only contain calcium and magnesium. It can also contain carcinogenic particles such as Trihalomethanes or THM. Softened water can still contain other things such as pathogens that can cause Cryptosporidium or Cholera. Only water filters can reduce the amount of these unwanted particles into acceptable levels.

There are a lot of water filters available in the market right now. According to Aquasana, the most popular water filter with activated carbon. Next in the list filter with Catalytic Carbon which is used for chloramine. A filter called Kinetic Degradation Fluxion or KDF, which is used by taking advantage of copper and zinc particles, is the third most popular water filter on the list.

Things You Can Do To Safely Consume Soft Water

Reverse Osmosis Filters or RO filters are the most popular choice in filtering softened water. It does not only filter out particles and contaminants that can pose serious health problems when consumed by humans. RO filters also reduce the amount of sodium intake which is bad for people who already have existing sodium-related health problems.

You might be thinking, what if we just run depends on the hardness water to filters? The reason for this is because hard water can cause scales to filters. These scales can destroy the water filters itself, or worse, make it ineffective. Fortunately, most Water Softener manufacturers are adding filters in their products to make it more convenient for their consumers.


Water softeners are helpful in neutralizing the high mineral contents in hard water. However, it is not for human consumption. Drinking it directly without any form of filtration might expose you to the usual contaminants and pathogens in treat water. Not to mention that the additional sodium in softened water from water softeners can give you health problems. Getting a water filter is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your drinking water and prevent contaminants from harming you.

And that’s it for this article. For more information about softened water, send a question via the comments below. Additionally, you can read other water safety-related articles on the site.

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