Softened Water: What it is and Why It’s a Good Investment

Softened water is a type of water we often hear about, but few people really understand what it is. For areas prone to or afflicted by hard water, soft water can be a saving grace. Free from the harsh minerals found in hard water, softened water is easier to drink, better for your home and comes with a variety of benefits. With a little help from our team of water experts at EcoWater, we’ve put together a quick, helpful read to educate you on exactly what softened water is and why you should look into it as a solution for your home.

What is the purpose of softened water?

Well, to explain softened water, we first have to start with describing hard water. Hard water is water that flows into your home with a high mineral content. These minerals generally consist of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates and sulfates. Aside from drinking in a lot of potential toxins, hard water also is the culprit behind soap scum and spotting on glassware, and it makes washing yourself and the items in your home difficult. Softened water refers to water that has gone through a process to remove the metals, making the water safer to drink, reducing the speed with which soap scum builds up and easing the washing process.

The benefits of softened water, in detail

EMThere are a number of health and practical benefits to having softened water in your home. We spoke with some of our water experts here at EcoWater, and here’s what we learned from them:

Improved Kidney Function

Our kidneys are constantly working to filter out toxins and other unnecessary substances from our bodies. Hard water, with its excess of minerals, forces your kidneys to work overtime. All those carbonates and sulfate salts found in hard water go right into your system, which can lead to abnormally high levels of calcium and magnesium in your urine. This greatly increases the chances of forming kidney or urinary stones. When you’re drinking softened water, these
issues are far less likely to occur.

Better Hair and Skin

As we mentioned above, hard water makes it difficult to clean things, and that includes our own bodies. The heavy mineral count found in hard water makes it hard to even attain a lather with your soap or shampoo. It can cause your hair to dry out and increases the prevalence of dandruff. With softened water, your hair can more easily shine while your scalp maintains its health.

Hard water also gives your skin a beating. When working with soap, instead of producing suds, in creates more of a film-like substance that can actually build up on your skin, increasing the potential for a variety of skin issues, like blocked pores (and therefore breakouts), scaliness and outright eczema. Softened water gives you that rich lather you need for a true clean.

Greater Fertility in Men

Studies have shown that the heavy mineral count in hard water can alter the production and appropriate levels of reproductive hormones in men. Plus, excessive dietary calcium can lower a man’s overall sperm count. So softened water isn’t just healthy for men — it’s a great way to improve the odds of starting a family.

Reduces your Cleaning efforts

Soap scum and spotting on glassware are just some of the issues that come with hard water. This buildup of excess minerals is easily seen on your fixtures, dishes and glassware, making it hard for them to ever be truly clean. Hard water can also wreak havoc on your laundry, as it can dull the color of your clothes and make your whites look dingy. With softened water, your detergent dissolves with far greater ease, protecting your clothing and reducing the amount of detergent you need to use in the process. 

Increases the Lifespan of your Water-Fed Appliances

You know that soap scum that can accumulate around the drains of your showers, tubs and sinks? That same residue can form inside the water lines leading to your fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and any other appliance that uses water as part of its functionality. As the minerals build up inside your machines, they become less and less effective at doing their jobs, and they have to be serviced or replaced more often. Softened water removes this hazard, ensuring cleaner water is flowing through them and making them last longer.

I think I need a water softener. What should I do?

If your house’s water supply is fed by a private system, you have a one in two chance that the water is contaminated. In fact, a recent Penn State study shows that fifty percent of private water systems cannot pass at least one drinking water safety standard. Routine testing can help ensure that your private water system is providing you with clean, potable water.

Make the Switch to Soft

If you want a water-softening system into your home, or if you would more information about water softeners, click here or give us a call at 760-754-1960 to talk with one of our softened water specialists.

Can Your Water Pass the Test?

Do you know what’s in your water? Down to a scientific level? Whether your water comes from a municipal source or you get well water, it’s a good idea to have your water tested every so often by a professional water company like EcoWater. It’s not hard for water to become contaminated from any number of pollutants or microorganisms, so if you test your water on a regular schedule, you can always be assured that your water is safe to drink. And if it isn’t, you can start taking measures to rectify the situation. Let’s take a moment to examine the reasons for testing in greater detail.

Chemicals are a part of our lives.

We live in a world dominated by chemicals. Even if you strive to live an all-natural existence, the same certainly isn’t true of everyone in your area who shares the same water source. If these chemicals permeate the ground and end up in your tap water, then you end up ingesting them, which can be hazardous to your health, depending on quantity and frequency. Get the peace of mind you deserve by testing your water to ensure it is safe to drink. 

Low local government safety thresholds.

Most local governments have a minimum water safety level, but what they consider safe may not correspond to your own personal feelings on the matter. They most likely allow for an “acceptable” level of different metals, minerals, chemicals and microorganisms. When you get your water tested by someone like the pros at EcoWater, you can clearly see if your water fails, meets or exceeds the minimum standards set by your local government. 

Contamination isn’t always obvious.

It might seem like your water is safe when you smell it or taste it. But most of the pollutants you have to worry about don’t have a smell or taste that is immediately obvious. As a result, you could find yourself drinking glass after glass — day after day — of water that may not be truly safe for you. So don’t just assume your water is fine based on its sight, taste and odor— have your water professionally tested to ensure the safety of everyone in your home.

Half of private water wells are contaminated.

If your house’s water supply is fed by a private system, you have a one in two chance that the water is contaminated. In fact, a recent Penn State study shows that fifty percent of private water systems cannot pass at least one drinking water safety standard. Routine testing can help ensure that your private water system is providing you with clean, potable water.

...So how can I get my water tested?

Getting your water tested is an easy, painless process. There are a number of water testing kits available on the consumer market, and some of them are quite good. But for a truly accurate reading of what’s in your water, it’s best to turn to water professionals. At EcoWater, our trained and courteous team will be happy to come by and test your water for you. Based on the readings, we can provide you with a variety of options to mitigate and reverse any problems we uncover. Just give us a call to set up an appointment. 

I got my water tested, and the results aren't good. Now what?

Don’t fret, but don’t drink that water. EcoWater has a variety of solutions that can ensure you get contaminant-free tap water for your home. We carry some of the most state-of-the-art filtering systems available, as well as water softeners, water refiners  water purification systems and more. We even offer technology that allows you to easily monitor your water solutions from the convenience of your smartphone. 

Schedule Your Free Water Test

If you’d like to have your water tested, or you know you need a solution for subpar tap water, just pick up the phone and call EcoWater at 760-754-1960. One of our associates will schedule a time to come take a look at the situation and give you their professional recommendation on how to move forward.

Alkaline Water: What it is, Why it’s Beneficial, and How to Get it

Alkaline water is one of those topics we hear mentioned all the time, but most of us just give it a passing glance before moving on with our lives. And that’s too bad — there are a lot of health benefits to alkaline water that truly deserve our attention. At the same time, there are some in the water community who don’t put a lot of faith in alkaline water, but a string of recent studies have demonstrated several unique benefits that come from this specially treated water. But before we get into that, the team at EcoWater is ready to educate you on exactly what EcoWater is.

You don’t need a PhD to learn about alkaline water. You just need to know about pH.

Alkaline water isn’t all that different from your average drinking water — the look and chemical composition is essentially the same. The “alkaline” in the name is a reference to the overall pH level in the water you drink. So, what is a pH level, anyway?

A pH level is nothing more than a measurement of how acidic or alkaline (i.e., non-acidic). It is represented by a number between zero and 14. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above seven is considered alkaline, or basic.

Water is actually a great way to explain pH. Your average drinking water has a pH level of seven — right there in the middle. But alkaline water is a greater pH — usually somewhere around eight or nine. With that understood, we should be clear that it takes more than a higher pH for water to be truly alkaline. To be labeled as such, alkaline water must also contain specific alkaline mineral (such as potassium salts), as well as something called negative oxidation potential, or ORP. ORP refers to the water’s ability to act as an antioxidant or a prooxidant. So, in the case of Alkaline water, it has to have antioxidizing properties.

So, what are the benefits of alkaline water?

There are a lot of proponents of alkaline water who tout its health benefits. One of the more interesting claims is that, because it features an increased level of hydrogen, it delivers stronger levels of hydration than average drinking water, which is remarkably beneficial after a grueling workout.

Other claims say it can slow down an individual’s aging process due to its antioxidants that absorb more quickly into our bodies. There’s also a lot of discussion about how it gives us colon-cleansing potential, supports our immune systems, can help us on weight loss journeys and even provide resistance to certain cancers.

While the verdict on all of those claims has yet to come, there are several recent studies that suggest there are some very real, measurable, scientifically proven benefits. For example, a 2012 study published in PubMed showed that people who suffer from persistent acid reflux problems would benefit from drinking naturally carbonated, artesian-well alkaline water. With a pH of 8.8, it was able to help deactivate the enzyme pepsin (the main culprit behind acid reflux).

A more recent and promising study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that people who drank alkaline water saw a significant difference in blood viscosity (a reduction of 6.3 percent) than those who drank standard, purified drinking water (a reduction of just 3.36 percent). What this means is that the people who drank alkaline water experienced more efficient blood flow, which in turn means they received an increase in oxygen delivery throughout their bodies.

Okay, I’m interested. How do I get alkaline water?

EcoWater makes it easy for its customers to hop on the alkaline water train. When you have one of our dependable reverse osmosis drinking water purification systems, you can choose to use an alkaline filter.

This filter changes your drinking water by producing H2O clusters that are smaller than normal, making them easier for your body to digest and absorb. What’s more, a lot of people find the taste of alkaline water to be superior to your average filtered drinking water.

Ready to try alkaline water in your home?

If you’re ready to have great-tasting, healthful alkaline water pour from your taps, the professionals at EcoWater are standing by to help you. If you’re interested in having a reverse osmosis system installed, complete with alkaline filters, or if you’d like more information, talk with one of our experts today. 

Reverse Osmosis: The Way Forward for Water Filtration

Reverse Osmosis water filtering has been around for decades. People who use it in their homes can tell you just how pure and refreshing their water tastes. This particular type of filtration delivers highly clean drinking water, but most people don’t understand what it actually is, or how it works. If it sounds to you like something you’d learn in a high school science class, well… you’re not wrong. And it can feel confusing at first. Luckily, we at EcoWater have been working with this effective filtration process for a long time, and we can tell you all about it. So let’s get started with the basics.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Simply defined, Reverse Osmosis is the process in which pure water is produced by forcing waste or saline water through a semipermeable membrane. If you’re not a science-minded person, think about how you pour your pasta through a strainer to remove the water. Reverse Osmosis isn’t much different. The strainer is the semipermeable membrane, allowing small molecules (water) to go through, but trapping the larger molecules (the pasta) on the surface. When applied only to reverse osmosis water filtration, the semipermeable membrane allows ONLY water molecules through, trapping and flushing away contaminant molecules.

How does it work?

Generally, a reverse osmosis filtration system works in four steps (some have three, some have as many as five, but most follow the same basic rules). In this process, you start with whatever water is fed to your house, whether it’s well water or from a municipality. The system is designed to change it from its original form to something safer, healthier and tastier. It also removes and foul odors along the way, making every filtered sip all the more satisfying.

Step 1: Pre-Filtration

Because the membrane used in reverse osmosis filtration systems requires a degree of protection, the first step is designed to remove larger bits of sediment from the water flowing to your home. This includes certain dissolved solids. This step also reduces some of the chlorine in your water. It’s not uncommon for people to also install a water softener ahead of the line when putting in a reverse osmosis system — this way, you’re giving your filters and membranes a longer lifespan by removing the hard water elements that can create a need for more frequent maintenance and
replacement.

Step 2: The Membrane

Once all the sediment is removed, it’s time for actual reverse osmosis to occur. At this point, the water coming into your home is sent through a semipermeable membrane — in this case, a type of synthetic plastic — which allows water molecules to pass right through while blocking the pathway for a variety of contaminants, including: 

 

• Sodium • Chlorine • Calcium
• Lead • Selenium • Hexavalent Chromium
• Arsenic • Glucose • Trivalent Chromium
• Nitrates • Urea • Barium
• Nitrites • Fluoride • Cadmium
• Copper • Radium …And more!

 

Step 3: Post Filtration

After the more complicated process of reverse osmosis, your water goes through another filtration component: a second carbon filter (also referred to as a post filter). This step removes any sneaky contaminants that may have found their way past steps one and two. From here, your water is deposited in a storage tank, waiting for you to turn on a faucet. 

Step 4: Final Polish

So, you’re ready to cook, take a shower or pour yourself a glass of water. When you do, the water passes through an in-line, carbon-activated filter. Its purpose is to add the perfect finishing touch to your water, eliminating any odor or distasteful flavor. This final step ensures your water has a crispy-fresh taste every time.

Good for you. Good for the planet.

The end result of a reverse osmosis water filtration system is remarkably pure water that tastes great. Your water is healthier and safer for you and your family. At the same time, you save money and the environment by cutting bottled water out of your life. Plus, because the water leaving your home is now free of chemicals, it even makes waste treatment more efficient, so you’re doing your part for the earth there too.

If you’re interested in having a Reverse Osmosis water system installed, or you’d like more information, simply click here, or give us a call at 760-754-1960 to talk with one of EcoWater’s experts.

 

Cut Out Contaminants with the HANS™ Premium Water System

Water is clear, yet it hides so many things from us.

A visual inspection of most tap water yields nothing to talk about — it just looks like crystal-clear water. Unfortunately, what the eye can’t see is a whole host of potential contaminants. These contaminants can come from a variety of sources, including disinfection products, industrial runoff and even radioactive chemicals. And just to compound the possible issues your water could face, it’s not uncommon to run into foul odors, acid or hard minerals. But, when you have the HANS™ Premium Water System, you can quickly and easily eliminate 99.9% of the harmful chemicals and additives in your home’s water supply. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look at one of EcoWater’s best and most reliable offerings.

 

So Many Contaminants, One Ideal Solution

In just about any home that relies on well water or municipal water — one that hasn’t installed a water filtration system of some kind — there are a number of chemicals and contaminants that could find their way into your drinking water. These include:

  • Lead
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Nitrate & Nitrite
  • Arsenic
  • PFOA & PFOS
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Chloroform 

The HANS Premium Water System can take the water that comes into your home and completely transform it, making it virtually contaminant free — a feat no other point-of-entry water device with a similar footprint can claim.

Not only can it clear your water of a variety of common contaminants, like chlorine and hard-water minerals, it also filters out a host of manmade contaminants, such as hexavalent chromium, PFOS, PFOA and more.

How does it work? With a smart, four-stage design.

The whole idea behind water filtration is to remove unwanted small particles, or contaminants, from your water. These particles include sediment, chlorine, manganese and iron. There are even certain gasses that are considered water contaminants, like hydrogen sulfide. The HANS Premium Water System uses a four-stage filtration process to get rid of 99.9% of these small particles. It leaves your water remarkably clean — far more than required by federal requirements and most state and local health guidelines.

 

Stage 1 Filter

n the first stage, this innovative system removes dirt, debris and sand. The highly dependable filter can last up to one year or 100,000 gallons. This is where the majority of the sediment is removed. 

Stage 2 Filter

Stage two is another filtering stage, this time working to remove a variety of chemical contaminants such as chlorine and sulfur. This process is what leads to water with no foul odors and a crisp, clean taste.

Stage 3 Membranes

The third stage uses smartly designed membranes to radically reduce the remaining contaminants to nearly nonexistent levels.

Stage 4 Mineralization

In stage 4, the HANS Premium Water System introduces miniscule amounts of calcite to the water it has filtered. This step creates a balanced pH level in your drinking water, and it helps create the ideal taste.

 

Monitor your water with ease

Another huge benefit of the HANS Premium Water System is how simple it is to monitor the filtering process, as well as keep tabs on the individual filters and membranes to be sure they’re performing as they should. Plus, you can do it from the physical system itself or through an interactive mobile app. On the actual system, there’s an intuitive touch screen that can tell you anything you need to know about the condition of your water, as well as any service requirements that may be necessary.

And, on your tablet or smartphone, you can use the HANS mobile app to check on the system wherever you are. Want insight into the amount of water used in your home? Sure thing! Want to check on the status of your filters? You can do that too! The HANS app can even let you know how much longer your membrane should last, making it easy for you to plan for some general maintenance. Lastly, but most importantly, you can set service alerts, to ensure your top-of-the-line system is always operating at its best. 

A toast to your family’s health and safety

If you’re in the market for a way to make your water safer and taste better, you should strongly consider the HANS™ Premium Water System. This state-of-the-art system will rid your water of nearly every common contaminant, minimizing health risks and improving water’s odor and taste. And with a nearly unheard-of 20-year warranty, you know you have a system you can trust with your family’s health. If you’d like to know more, visit here, or you can simply give EcoWater a call at 760-754-1960, and one of our friendly staff will be happy to tell you all about the HANS Premium Water System.

 

The Hard Facts about Water Softeners

A water softener is one of those things everyone has heard of, but most people don’t know much about. What do they do, and why do people need them? Well, the truth is this: not everyone needs them. Only most people do.

Water softeners are designed with a single purpose: to remove the calcium, magnesium and other minerals in your home’s water. These minerals, left to their own devices, can cause a highly visible, cloudy buildup on everything the water in your home touches, from appliances and fixtures to your plates and glasses. Even the clothes that run through your laundry can be affected.

At EcoWater, our team of experts knows water softeners in and out. So let’s take a moment and talk about what they do and how they can benefit your home.

 

..So water softeners remove minerals from my water. How?

The fact is, more than 89 percent of homes have hard water: Water that is full of minerals that can cause buildup on anything in which it comes into contact. A water softener will filter those minerals out, leaving you cleaner, clearer water. They work by sending water through two separate tanks, each with its own purpose: resin and brine.

The Resin Tank

The first tank is the resin tank, which contains resin beads, and each of these beads is covered in sodium particles. As the hard water moves over and through the beads, the sodium particles are replaced by calcium, magnesium and other minerals. These minerals grab onto the resin beads and stay there. The remaining water can then be sent to the rest of your home without any buildup-causing minerals in it.

The Brine Tank

The resin tank will eventually extract so many minerals from your home’s water that it will no longer be able to properly soften it. In order to regenerate the water softener, the resin will be rinsed in a salt solution inside the brine tank. This enables the water softener to rejuvenate itself, becoming once again ready to take on the task of removing minerals from your water.

Okay, so what’s the deal with softener salt?

If a water softener were a light bulb, softener salt is the electricity that makes it glow. Different water softeners require different kinds of softening salt, so it’s best to talk to a professional, like the crew at EcoWater, to make sure the salt you choose is right for your particular water softener.

It’s also important to check your water softener’s brine tank every few weeks to understand how much salt you use. The faster your home goes through the salt, the more salt you’ll need to use to keep your water crystal clear and mineral free. 

Hard water doesn’t just affect appliances and dishes. It also affects you!

Yes, those minerals that cause all the buildup on your appliances, cutlery and dishware can also affect your body— specifically our skin health and overall appearance. When you shower or bathe in hard water, you never truly feel clean, and that’s because you aren’t. Hard water can leave a film-like residue on your skin, increasing the dryness of flakiness of your skin, as well as creating rashes and other skin irritations. It can even cause any color treatment in your hair to fade more rapidly. 

What’s more, you’ll find yourself using more shampoo, soap or cleansers than normally necessary, as the hard water will prevent you from getting the proper amount of lather.

Okay, gross. How do I know what kind of water softener I should get?

The right water softener depends on how much water your household uses. An EcoWater technician can easily test your home’s water to determine exactly how hard it is. He or she can then combine that information with the number of people who live under your roof to help you understand which water softener to choose.

So if you’re ready to eliminate hard water by installing a water softener in your home, EcoWater is ready to help you make a decision. Simply give us a call at 760-754-1960, or click the link below for more information.