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Archive for November, 2021

Is Tap Water Safe in Bakersfield, CA?

Posted by Rayne Water

You grab a clean cup from the cabinet, turn on the tap, and fill your glass with cool, refreshing water. You bring the cup to your lips but, before you can take a sip, you pause. Is this tap water okay to drink?

There have been enough stories of contaminated tap water in recent years to give you a reason to pause before drinking the water from your home’s faucet. California residents may have even more cause for concern as droughts, wildfires, and pollution have wreaked havoc on drinking water quality.

The good news is that the tap water in towns like Bakersfield, CA is generally safe to drink. However, the potential for Bakersfield water contamination paired with water shortages might threaten your tap water.

Are There Contaminants in Bakersfield’s Tap Water?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a contaminant is “any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.”1 This definition essentially means that anything other than water molecules in drinking water is considered a contaminant.

Thus, not all contaminants in drinking water are harmful if consumed. Others might only be harmful if ingested in excessive amounts. In Bakersfield, CA, the 2020 Cal Water report shows that the levels of contamination in Bakersfield’s water are within the range considered safe for the following:2

It’s important to note that these are levels designated as safe by the federal government. It doesn’t mean these contaminants aren’t in the tap water at all, just that the levels are low enough to not be a risk to you.

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What About the Taste of My Tap Water?

Most municipalities treat drinking water with chlorine to kill bacteria. This might leave an unappealing odor or aftertaste in your clean drinking water, although it isn’t harmful.3 If you find yourself put off by the smell or taste, you can try filling a pitcher and leaving it open in your refrigerator for a little while. This will help eliminate some of the unpleasantness.

Where Does Bakersfield Get Its Water?

The water used for drinking, bathing, laundry, and other daily tasks in the United States is sourced from one of two places:4

Bakersfield tap water comes from several sources, including:2

The clean water flowing through your taps is continually monitored and tested regularly for contamination. However, there are still threats to your health and safety.

Threats to Bakersfield’s Water Quality

Continuous testing is required to ensure that your drinking water remains safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, in Bakersfield and around the country, water supplies are under constant threat of contamination. Many of the potential risks to our drinking water are caused by human activities. These include:2

This list could go on and on. Since most of the water consumed in homes comes from groundwater, any human actions that cause contaminants to seep into the ground can impact the quality of our water, making it unsafe drinking water. This is why city and country monitoring of the water supply is a critical component of safety.

Droughts and Bakersfield Water Supply Issues

The increase in frequency and intensity of wildfires in California paired with the hot, dry conditions have also contributed to a shortage of water for residents in many areas, including Bakersfield.

Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, has a very dry climate to begin with. The average rainfall is typically only about 6.5 inches per year.5 Thus, when drought conditions set in, an already strained public water system becomes even more overloaded. 

To illustrate how much water is needed in Bakersfield, picture a football field. If that entire field was covered with one foot of water, it would equal approximately 326,000 gallons. This is only enough water for two families for one year. Bakersfield is also home to many farms which grow a number of crops necessary for the food supply chain throughout the country. 

Therefore, you can see how insufficient or contaminated water in Kern County can have a negative impact that reaches across the country.

How Does Bakersfield Water Compare to Other California Cities?

Most of California struggles with the same problem of not having enough safe drinking water to support the demand. The quality of clean drinking water throughout the state varies widely depending on the location of the municipality and the source of the water. A report from the U.S. News and World Report ranked the state of California’s water 15th out of 50 states.6

However, several cities in California scored poorly in a study of the 100 largest drinking water districts in the country by the Environmental Working Group, including:7

These three cities were all in the bottom 20. On the other side of the spectrum, some California cities ranked in the top 40, including:

Bakersfield wasn’t included in this study because it is a smaller city than those analyzed. However, a separate study showed that the contaminant levels in Bakersfield water were comparable to many of the problematic Southern California cities.8 While it still passes federal safety standards, Bakersfield  tap water isn’t completely without concern.

What Can You Do to Ensure Clean Tap Water?

If you’re a little overwhelmed by all of this information, you’re not alone. Drinking water quality is in a constant state of flux and it faces threats from countless contaminants and environmental events. Furthermore, federal limitations on contaminants in tap water don’t prohibit them entirely.

However, there are actions that you can take to ensure your home’s water is clean and safe. These include:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Use Your Voice to Push for Cleaner Water

Cities need money to keep tap water safe for their residents. Investments in critical infrastructure improvements are a must, as are stricter laws against pollution. However, these often don’t happen because money is funneled elsewhere. Educating yourself about where the water in your city comes from and the risks to the supply will help you better understand where the problems originate.

Use your knowledge to speak up in city forums and to communicate with your local representatives about your concerns.

Actively Work to Reduce Your Wasteful Water Practices

You can also take steps in your home to conserve water and lessen the strain on the supply. These include:

Being cognizant of the amount of water you use each day will help reduce your home’s overall water consumption.

Invest in a Water Filtration System

A water filtration system will ensure that your water is safe to drink and eliminate the need for environmentally harmful bottled water in your home. When water quality concerns rise, most people turn to bottled water. However, it’s far better for the environment (and thus the future of our drinking water supply) to use a water treatment system. These include:

The  best system for you depends on your location, your budget, and your existing drinking water quality.

Clean, Safe, and Fresh Drinking Water Every Time with Rayne Water

Is tap water safe in Bakersfield, CA? Yes, in most cases you can drink the water without too much concern. However, contaminants threaten the water supply, along with the looming possibility of restrictions and shortages. One way to ensure that the water you and your family drinks remain safe is to invest in a water filtration system.

At Rayne Water, we’ve been helping to ease concerns over tap water quality since the 1920s. Contact us today to learn more about our water filtration solutions. 

Next time you fill your glass from the tap, you won’t have to hesitate before taking a sip. 



  1. EPA. Types of Drinking Water Contaminants.
  2. CalWater. Bakersfield 2020 Water Quality Report.
  3. The Bakersfield Californian. Tap vs. Bottled: Bakersfield’s Drinking Water.
  4. National Groundwater Association. Information on Earth’s Water.
  5. Water Association of Kern County. Water in Kern County.
  6. U.S. News and World Report. Air & Water Quality Rankings.
  7. Public CEO. The Quality of Your Water? See Where California Water Districts Rank.
  8. Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Tap Water Database.

Bakersfield Water Contamination Causes and Levels

Posted by Rayne Water

It feels like every time you watch the news, you see stories about water contamination and water supply issues. With the increasing concern over air pollution, climate change, and its negative impact on our water supply, these stories are likely to continue to flood our news feeds. And if you live in California, you have to contend with both water contamination and water shortages. 

In cities such as Bakersfield, CA, shrinking groundwater and freshwater supplies—combined with the proliferation of human activities that contaminate the remaining water—are a cause for serious concern. 

How Contaminated is Bakersfield’s Water?

As of now, the clean drinking water in Bakersfield, CA is considered safe for consumption. The 2020 California Water Quality Report found that the levels of contaminants in the water system were at safe levels. This report analyzed water from the main sources of Bakersfield drinking water, including:

The report notes that the recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are for the general population. Some people may be impacted by lower levels of contaminants than deemed safe by the EPA.

What are Contaminants in Drinking Water?

The EPA defines contaminants in water as anything other than water molecules. At times, this can lead to confusion because not all contaminants are harmful to humans, nor are all contaminants regulated by the EPA. 

Some of the categories of contaminants that are evaluated in drinking water include:

Before you vow never to drink the water from your tap again, it’s important to note that cities monitor and regulate the drinking water flowing to the homes of their constituents. Let’s look more closely at what is and isn’t regulated and how the levels considered safe might impact you.

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Is It Safe to Drink the Tap Water in Bakersfield?

In general, officials in California say that it’s safe to drink the tap water in Bakersfield, CA. However, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) sets stricter standards for drinking water than the federal government. In their guidance for clean drinking water, the EWG notes several concerns with the federal standards for legal limits of contaminants in drinking water, including:

Therefore, while the drinking water in Bakersfield is deemed safe to drink, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some concerns.

Bakersfield Water Contaminant Levels

Studies of Bakersfield water contamination by the EWG have uncovered some potentially problematic findings. These findings can be divided into two categories: contaminants with and without legal limits in drinking water.

Water Contaminants with Legal Limits

The following potentially harmful contaminants were found in the tap water in Bakersfield. While they were all below the legal limit, their presence is still alarming to many:

While all of these contaminants are below legal limits, those limits haven’t been updated in quite some time. It’s possible they could be set to a lower level upon further review.

Water Contaminants without Legal Limits

There are other contaminants in Bakersfield’s drinking water that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds concerning. While these don’t have set legal limits, they are found in an analysis of the tap water in Bakersfield in levels higher than recommended by the EWG:

These contaminants are potential contributors to the development of cancer with regular ingestion and exposure.

How to Ensure Safe Drinking Water in Your Home

If you’re feeling a little panicky about your drinking water, take a deep breath. There are ways you can upgrade the quality of your tap water to keep you and your family safe, including installing a water cleaning and filtration system, such as:

The best water system for your family depends on the quality of the water where you live. 

Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

It might be tempting to stuff your refrigerator with bottled water and avoid tap water altogether. However, this solution is damaging to the environment and not necessarily better for you. A study conducted by the State University of New York at Fredonia found that 93 percent of the bottled water samples they analyzed were contaminated by microplastics.

Furthermore, most of the bottled water purchased in the United States comes from the same groundwater and freshwater bodies as the water that flows through your taps—it’s just put through a different filtration system.

Therefore, unless the tap water is deemed completely unsafe for consumption, your best choice is to invest in a high-quality water solution system for your home.

Rayne Water: A Safe and Environmentally Friendly Water Solution System

The water in Bakersfield, CA contains many of the same contaminants found in other water systems across the country. The government sets acceptable levels of these contaminants that are allowed to be present in drinking water. Although Bakersfield’s water doesn’t exceed the legal levels of any measured contaminants, the presence of these particles is still a potential cause for concern.

Instead of reaching for bottled water that may have contaminants of its own, try investing in a water solution system. At Rayne Water, we’ve been working with homes in California since the 1920s. We have the latest in water filtration systems, water softeners, and more, all designed to keep you and your family safe.



  1. CalWater. Bakersfield 2020 Water Quality Report.
  2. EPA. Types of Drinking Water Contaminants.
  3. Environmental Working Group. Developing Health-Protective Standards for Drinking Water.
  4. EWG. California Water Service (CWS) Bakersfield.
  5. EWG. Water Filter Guide.
  6. Frontiers in Chemistry. Synthetic Polymer Contamination in Bottled Water.

What is the Irvine Water Hardness Level?

Posted by Rayne Water

Have you been noticing that it’s hard to clean things lately? Maybe your hands feel filmy no matter how hard you scrub them, you’ve been using more detergent in your laundry than you used to, or you’re going through shampoo quicker than you ever had before.

These signs are evidence that you have a hard water problem in your house. Though they may be more subtle than the more obvious giveaway of seeing spots on your silverware or glasses when you empty the dishwasher, they’re no less telling.

But if you live in Irvine, how do you know if your water is hard or soft? Is Irvine tap water safe to drink? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you might be wondering about Irvine water hardness. From its safety to the severity of the problem, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Water Hardness?

When you call water “hard” or “soft,” it has nothing to do with the actual texture of the water. Hard water is just water with a high concentration of minerals and chemicals dissolved in it. The two most commonly found in hard water are calcium and magnesium.

The extra amounts of these in your tap water can cause more severe issues than your laundry needing extra detergent. These issues include:1

The potential consequences of ignoring water are no joke and could cost you in terms of repairs or new appliances if you don’t deal with the issue.

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Is the Water in Irvine Hard or Soft?

Now that you know what hard water is, you’re probably wondering if Irvine has a hard water problem. The short answer is yes. Hard water is classified on a sliding scale. This scale measures the concentration of dissolved minerals and chemicals in the water in terms of milligrams per liter. If water has dissolved minerals in the amount of:2

According to the 2021 water quality report, Irvine’s water qualifies as hard. Its average local treated groundwater has a PPM of 119, its average local treated surface water has a PPM of 308, and its average imported treated water from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) has a PPM of 265.3

This hardness is due to the water source, as Irvine imports its water supply from the Colorado River and Northern California. Since both places tend to have naturally hard water, the water Irvine residents get is also hard, although the level of hardness changes depending on the time of year or your specific location.3

Is Hard Water Safe to Drink?

Since hard water can make it more difficult for cleaning products to do their job and causes harmful buildup and deposits, does that make it inherently unsafe to drink? The answer to that is no. 

Hard water is still safe drinking water, though doing so comes with its list of pros and cons.

The positives include a boost in your mineral intake. If you have type two diabetes, you’re probably naturally low in magnesium. As a result, drinking some hard water could improve your levels and provide some benefits. Those low in calcium would also experience a similar effect.

However, there are also drawbacks to drinking hard water. It can have an off taste when the calcium in it gets above a certain level. This means it can also give any drinks you make with it or food you cook in it an odd flavor as well. Hard water can also seem cloudy, which can make it very visually off-putting to consume.

Tackle Your Hard Water Issues With Rayne Water

Why wait for your appliances or pipes to become casualties of hard water? Save time and money by using one of our Water Softener Systems to eliminate hard water in your home. 

We have a variety of top-notch Water Softening Systems to address whatever hard water problems you have. Whether you have a large home that needs more capacity, or a smaller place where space is a premium, Rayne Water has got you covered.

So don’t wait for your pipes to get clogged or for the dishwasher to start staining your plates. Instead, try one of our Water Softening Systems today, and get six months for free.


  1. USGS. Hardness of Water.
  2. IRWD. 2021 Water Quality Report.
  3. IRWD. Water Quality Information.


Is Irvine Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Posted by Rayne Water

You may not think about how often you use tap water, but you should. Not only do you drink it, but you also use it to wash your dishes, brush your teeth, and make your morning coffee or tea. That means that unless you’re willing to pay for bottled water, you depend on your tap water a lot more than you might’ve initially thought.

Is it safe to drink the tap water in Irvine? Generally, yes. 

According to water quality reports, Irvine has no present violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and its water meets the EPA’s potable water guidelines. These guidelines ensure that Irvine’s tap water contains fewer potential pollutants than the maximum level allowed.1

But just because Irvine water meets those standards doesn’t mean it’s tasty or completely pollutant-free. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Irvine’s water, including where it comes from and how you can make sure it’s clean. Let’s jump in.

Where Does Irvine’s Water Come From?

All of Irvine’s water gets sourced from the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD). And the IRWD gets its water from two places:2

  1. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – This is where about 35% of the city’s tap water originates from. This water originates in Northern California and gets to Irvine by way of the State Water Project. The Colorado River Aqueduct also provides water from the Colorado River.
  2. The Orange County Groundwater Basin – Groundwater wells in this area provide the majority of Irvine’s drinking water supply. The Orange County Water District is in charge of these local wells (OCWD).

Though Irvine’s water meets the EPA’s rules for community water systems safety, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong to worry about potential contamination or natural pollutants found in these water sources.

How Does Water Origin Affect Its Safety?

Just because water comes from a spring or river doesn’t mean it’s automatically clean drinking water. About 80% of the global wastewater created is put back into oceans, lakes, springs, and rivers without being properly treated.3 This fact means it’s perfectly reasonable to worry that some amount of the following could be in your drinking water:

And there’s more to the journey than just the trip through the aqueduct. The water also has to make its way through your pipes to get into your apartment building or home. And if those pipes are lead, you could be adding harmful contaminants to your water as you pour it into your glass.

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How to Make Sure Your Water Is Clean

It’s not just as simple as looking at your water to see if it’s dirty. While off-color drinking water is an obvious sign it’s not safe to drink, many potentially dangerous pollutants aren’t visible to the naked eye. Fortunately, there are ways you can assess your water quality at home. To make sure your water is clean, you can:

Even though it might be a bit of a process, you can take steps to ensure that your tap water at home is clean and truly pollution-free.

Never Worry About Clean Water Again — Let Rayne Water Help

While you can go through the process of testing your water at home, it’s easier to skip the hassle and use a water system instead.

That’s where Rayne Water comes in. We have a variety of water systems available to put your mind at ease and ensure that you can trust the water you’re drinking. And our comprehensive water systems do more than ensure that your water is safe to drink. They also allow you to adjust the feel of the water in your mouth, giving you the drinking water quality experience you deserve.

So don’t spend any more time wondering what’s coming out of your tap or buying bottled water at the store. Instead, get started with a water softener and treatment system today. 


  1. Tap Safe. Is Irvine Tap Water Safe to Drink?
  2. City of Irvine. Water Quality.
  3. NRDC. Water Pollution: Everything You Need to Know.


Water Softener vs. Water Filter

Posted by Rayne Water

Not all tap water is created equally. Each city relies on a different source, each with a varying level of contamination and minerality in the water. Also, municipal water treatment processes may vary as well. Though they all are regulated through set standards, there are other factors that affect the quality of water as well. These include but aren’t limited to: the water treatment system itself, how often water is tested, a city’s pipe system, and runoff from neighboring rural and industrial areas, as well as city streets. 

Often, the quality of water, once it reaches a home or business, is often less than desirable. It could be cloudy, have sediment, or be unpleasant to smell or taste. It could also leave behind mineral deposits which can wreak havoc on your pipes and clog your plumbing. Fortunately, there are both water softener and water filtration systems to help remove minerals, toxins, and pollutants from the water, making it better for use and more enjoyable to drink. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind, these water treatment methods are not the same and do not provide all of the same benefits. Though there may be some similarities, it’s important to know the differences between water softener vs water filter systems and the value of each.

Water Softener Systems: What They Do

Hard water is what leaves behind stains, soap scum, and residue on water-based appliances and surfaces. It damages clothes, leaves behind spots on dishes after washing, and makes it difficult to work up a good lather of hand soap or shampoo. This leads to increased water (and soap) consumption because it takes more to do the job properly. 

Salt based water softener systems remove the mineral hardness naturally present in tap water. As water is distributed from its originating groundwater source, it picks up hard water minerals along the way, which end up running through the pipes and pouring out of your faucet. Two of the main minerals are magnesium and calcium, which affect the taste, odor, and appearance of the water.

Water softener systems use a process called ion exchange to eliminate the harshness of the minerals from affecting the water and appliances. Ion exchange is when there’s an exchange of positively charged mineral ions in hard water with positively charged ions, which takes place in the resin and brine softener tank of a water softening system. In the resin tank, the sodium ions from the brine, or salt, solution exchange places with the water hardness ions. 

Hardness minerals attach to resin beads which are then flushed from the tank using sodium chloride or potassium chloride. The water that remains contains a small number of sodium ions and virtually no hard mineral ions. The second part of water softening is the recharge process when the brine tank recharges the resin tank by flushing it out and rinsing it with saltwater. Any dissolved minerals are flushed from the system and it’s ready to head back to the resin tank for the water softening process to begin again. 

Some water softener systems require you to manually add salt. How to add salt to a water softener? You add it in the brine tank.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Benefits of a Water Softener

Two of the biggest benefits of using a water softener are eliminating residue and mineral deposits. Hard water has a high level of minerals which means it leaves behind soap scum and/or stains. Minerals typically found in tap water can leave behind a yellowish-white residue or sometimes a rust-colored stain. 

This ends up on your clothes, around your shower and sink drains, and can leave behind a slimy film on your dishes, even after they’ve come out of the dishwasher. Rather than destroying your belongings because of the hard water of your home, softened water can help avoid these common problems. 

Additionally, hard water leads to an accumulation of mineral deposits, which can cause blockages in your pipes, affecting water pressure and leading to plumbing damage. This affects the cleaning power and could eventually cause backups if the pipes aren’t constantly cleared. If your home or building has hard water, take a look at the kitchen spout or showerhead. If you notice crusts, films, water spots, or limescale left behind, it’s likely your water supply has a high level of harsh minerals.

When it comes to an advanced water softener system for the home, the whole house water softener systems provide all the benefits of soft water and offer the ability to adjust the feel of the water via a non-corrosive, durable, UV-resistant, blending value. The systems also provide on-demand regeneration, which saves on water and electricity bills and creates superior flow rates of water for the entire home.

There are several options to choose from, depending on your unique needs. Some are better equipped to use in smaller homes, while others have a high flow capacity necessary for larger homes. There are also systems that both soften and filter water. We can help you determine what solution will work best.

Water Filtration Systems: How They Work

Another popular water treatment method is water filtration. This is part of what your city’s water system uses to make tap water potable. A typical community water treatment process goes through the steps of coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection to remove contaminants, pollutants, viruses, and bacteria from the water. Though not 100% effective, the filtration method helps lower the amount of these elements in the water to the approved amount. 

However, not all municipal water systems follow the exact same treatment method and may not have a sanitary water supply to begin with. Cities that are near industrial factories or farming communities may have a much higher level of pesticides, chemicals, and other contaminants than other areas. Additionally, cities with outdated water pipes can leach metals into the water, such as lead, that can flow from the city water systems through the pipes that go into your home. 

Meanwhile, tap water can also leave behind an unpleasant odor or taste or a cloudy appearance that doesn’t make it desirable to drink. Since a water quality report is only distributed annually, unless individual testing is performed, tap water could be affected without knowing for months. In short, despite a city’s water treatment methods, people may not have as clean of water as they might be led to believe. That’s why the use of home water filtration systems is popular today to improve the quality of tap water at the faucet.

There are different types available, but one of the most common is reverse osmosis. A reverse osmosis filter pushes unfiltered water through a semipermeable high-quality carbon filter membrane which removes impurities, dissolved solids (such as lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, etc.), and contaminants from tap water. It also removes the chlorine taste and smells from city-treated water, as that’s what’s typically used to disinfect water. What’s left is pure, clean water that tastes fresh. 

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

The key benefit of using reverse osmosis is removing contaminants that plague tap water. Although no system can claim to remove 100% of impurities from water, reverse osmosis is highly effective. The process also eliminates the unpleasant odors that can come from tap water with high levels of chlorine or sulfur. Additionally, it gives people freshwater on-demand without resorting to buying single-use plastic bottled water to stay hydrated. 

By installing a reverse osmosis system in the home or business, it uses the tap water available and filters it, making it drinkable for all. This cuts down on both cost and the carbon footprint.

Our reverse osmosis drinking water systems effectively filter out 95-97% of total dissolved solids and other harmful contaminants, such as copper, lead, nitrates, arsenic, and other pollutants that regularly end up in tap water. This improves the taste, appearance, and quality of the water for everyday use.

Water Softener and Filter: Enjoying the Benefits of Both

Both the water softening and water filtration processes help to reduce   varying degrees of contaminants in your water. The difference is a water softener uses ion exchange as the catalyst in its mineral removal process and a reverse osmosis filter uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants from the water. Since they both have their unique advantages, it makes sense to have the benefits of both in one system.

The Guardian Series systems are designed as whole-home, multi-purpose units with the ability to both soften water AND greatly reduce chlorine, chloramines, bad tastes, and odors in the water. It conveniently combines the advantages of water softener and water filtration systems to improve the quality of the water in your home. It provides you with water quality that’s gentler on your plumbing, dishes, and clothing, while also being clean and refreshing enough to drink.

Each type of system has options based on the size of your home and your specific water needs. The good news is you don’t have to make a determination on your own. Our experts at Rayne Water will make recommendations to find the solution that will best fit your needs. Through the power of innovation and technology, everyone can have the quality of water they desire right from their own faucet.

How to Add Salt to Water Softener

Posted by Rayne Water

Tap water is available in various forms of softness, depending on the level of minerals it contains. Water softener systems add salt or potassium to change hard water to soft with various kinds of water softening salts to choose from. First, though, it’s good to know how to add salt to water softener systems. 

But before delving into that, let’s first distinguish the difference between a water softener vs water filter. Water softeners remove the calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. Meanwhile, a water filter removes unwanted compounds, which include but are not limited to debris, sand, dirt, sediment, etc.

Though water softener salt made from   Sodium Chloride is similar to table salt, the amount you need to soften water effectively is measured in pounds and must be added on a regular basis. In fact, the salt doesn’t even soften the water. Rather, it’s the resin beads that are responsible for changing hard water to soft.

A water softener process is made up of two tanks: the resin tank, often known as the mineral tank, and the brine softener tank. As the water flows in the resin tank, tiny resin beads change out calcium and magnesium found in tap water and replace them with sodium or potassium. This is a process known as ion exchange.

When the resin beads can no longer hold calcium and magnesium, they require to be refreshed, a process where they’re rinsed with a brine solution from the second tank. Brine is the solution made from the salt that’s been added to the tank. It’s the brine that drives the calcium and magnesium ions to be charged from the beads and changed with potassium or sodium ions. 

After the resin beads have been rinsed and refreshed, the brine is then flushed with fresh water and the process repeats.

Types of Salts to Add to Water Softener

In addition to knowing the basics of how to add salt to water softener systems, it’s also helpful to understand the different types of salt available for use. There are several varieties, including crystals, pellets, sea salt, rock salt, and potassium chloride. The type of salt that’s added to water makes a difference in how well it softens it.

Purity is a main factor to consider. The purity of salt references what percentage of other materials is present other than salt. Some salts contain less soluble materials and won’t last as long as salts without a high level of impurities. Additionally, a high purity percentage won’t leave as much residue left behind. Plus, pure salt dissolves easier and reduces the likelihood of clogging the system.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Crystals 

Salt crystals are made by evaporating water from a salt and brine solution. This process leaves behind approximately 99.6% sodium chloride. This type of salt is most commonly recommended for smaller households that don’t use as much water as the average household.

Salt Pellets

Salt pellets are another option for water softening. These are made from refining salt crystals into 100% sodium chloride and are largely considered the best salt option to add to water softeners. Because of their effectiveness, they are often more expensive than other types of salt.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is produced by evaporating seawater. It dissolves easier than other salts and is typically less expensive. Its purity level reaches up to 99.5%, although sea salt has a higher percentage of impurities when compared to other salt types, which prevents it from dissolving as easily in hard water. This can result in salt bridging or salt mushing, which can ruin your tank if not cleaned properly.

Rock Salt

Although not as pure as other salt types, rock salt is still a solid option. True to its name, it consists of uneven salt pieces that look like rocks. Using rock salt as a softening agent leaves behind a residue in the basin, which requires frequent cleaning to prevent buildup.

Potassium Chloride

Finally, potassium chloride is an alternative to salt softeners for those who don’t wish to have salt added to their water source. This is a valuable option for those who have high blood pressure or other health concerns where salt usage must be limited.

Signs of Hard Water

Visually, soft water and hard water look the same. However, there are tell-tale signs of hard water that’ll indicate it may be time to add salt, two of which are soap scum and mineral deposits.

Soap Scum

Take a look around your sinks, showers, and counters. Do you notice a film that has built up on the surface? This residue or film is created by the mineral reaction in hard water when mixed with the soap used for cleaning, whether it’s shampoo, laundry detergent, or dish soap. The slimy film can be hard to keep clean and can be breeding areas where mold can grow more easily. 

In addition to seeing soap scum left behind, you’ll also notice it’s tougher to get a good lather when washing your hands or shampooing your hair. Hard water also makes it more difficult to fully rinse the hair free of shampoo. Because of this, people with hard water often end up using more soap to clean than necessary. A water softener system can help cut down on energy and costs working with hard water requires.

Mineral Deposits

Due to the amount of minerals in hard water, one of the most noticeable signs is the deposit left behind. Hard water mineral deposits appear in the form of water stains near the water source (faucets, tubs, sinks, and toilets) and can also start to form crusty deposits around your showerhead, affecting the water pressure quality. 

Depending on what types of minerals are found in your water, you may notice different colors of stains. Though mostly white or yellowish, if tap water contains iron, the deposits left behind may appear as a rust color. These deposits are then transferred to and can ruin clothes, dishes, and appliances.

Furthermore, any buildup prevents the flow of water, which affects the cleaning abilities of your appliances as well. As a result, your machines have to work harder, using more energy and water to do a thorough cleaning job.

Benefits of Water Softening

Hard water contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals, specifically magnesium and calcium, which are picked up through rocks and soil from groundwater sources. Depending on where the water source originates and how far it travels before reaching the tap is what makes some city water supplies harder than others. Though these types of natural minerals aren’t harmful to health (when in the regulated amounts), they do leave behind mineral deposits that affect everyday conveniences like doing laundry, washing dishes, and taking showers. 

Softening tap water removes minerals and eliminates hard water stains from fixtures, appliances, and clothing. It increases the longevity of the appliances that require water and allows you to use less soap and detergent, allowing you to save money. Water softening also contributes to softer skin and hair when bathing.

The type and level of salt needed to soften tap water depend on the building size, water usage, and water hardness levels. For instance, a smaller home may require nearly two 40-pound bags of salt every two months to maintain water at optimal softness levels. Whereas, larger homes and buildings that have a high level of minerals in the water will require more to achieve the desired water softness levels.

However, using too much salt or the wrong kind of salt for your water may result in a buildup, which can leave behind a residue or begin to form a crust that affects water quality and its effectiveness. Fortunately, you don’t have to determine what’s best on your own. We offer several different water softener maintenance solutions to meet your specific needs. 

Whole House Water Softener Systems

Water softener systems remove hard minerals from your tap water through the ion exchange process, leaving only softened water behind. This process is performed within the resin tank and the brine softener tank. Ion exchange resin beads and water are combined to allow minerals to attach to the beads and be flushed out of the tank by using either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. 

The brine tank then recharges the resin tank through the flushing process and is rinsed with salt water from the brine tank. With on-demand regeneration as part of our whole house water softener systems, it saves money and energy, using less water and salt and regenerating the water as needed.

Salt-Free Water Systems

Salt-free water systems are an alternative for people   who don’t want to add salt to their water. Though these water systems do not soften the water, they can help to reduce damage from hard water and provide soft water benefits. It’s an environmentally friendly solution that reduces hard water damage, reverses existing scale and corrosion damage, and reduces chloramine, chlorine, and bad tastes and odors commonly present in tap water. 

Depending on the quality and goals when using your existing tap water source, there are specific models within each category of water treatment systems. At Rayne Water, we can help you find the specific match of what’s needed for your home or business. There are also hybrid options and alternative water treatment methods to improve the quality of water as desired. 

It’s not unusual for a tap to dispense hard water, but when you want to change it for the better, a water softener system can make it more beneficial for everyday use.