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Below is a list of common questions about water and treatment options for your water. If you have a question that you don’t see here, please feel free to call at (289) 277-4608 or email us.

What is hardness and why do I care if it’s in my water?
Water hardness is a measurement of how much dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other minerals are in your water. Water can range from “soft” (a hardness level of 0-3) to very hard which begins at a level of 14 but can increase from there. Hard water can hurt appliances with scale build-up and can cost your household more money as it requires more detergent to clean laundry and dishes. This extra detergent also causes a greater strain on the environment.

What is a water softener?
A water softener is a machine installed in your home to eliminate hardness in your water. Hard water with calcium and magnesium ions is passed through a resin bed. Each bead in the bed is covered with sodium or potassium ions. As the hard water is processed, the salt ions swap out with the calcium and magnesium ions, thus making the water “soft”. After a certain amount of water has passed through, the resin bed becomes full of calcium and magnesium requiring it to “regenerate” and the bed is flushed out and replaced with new sodium ions.

What are the benefits of having soft water?
– Soft water provides a great number of benefits to a household. It can:
– Lower energy consumption due to reduced scale build-up in hot water heaters, dishwashers, and other water-using appliances.
– Prevent scale build-up in pipes.
– Reduce the number of detergents necessary to clean fabrics and dishes, as well as reduce spots on cutlery.
– Can aid in alleviating dry and itchy skin.
– Provides improved water for cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, and brewing coffees and teas.

I’m on a salt-reduced diet. Can I still get a water softener?
Water softeners add very little sodium to the drinking water. A single glass of softened water typically contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium. To give this perspective, a single slice of white bread can average around 170 milligrams of sodium.

What’s the difference between “high-purity salt” and regular stuff? Is it worth the price difference?
High-purity salt (either from evaporated seawater or highly refined salt) can ensure a longer life for your softener. Lower-grade softener salts contain impurities that can work their way into softener mechanisms and damage important parts. A high-purity salt is a bigger initial investment but can help protect you from costly repairs down the road.

What is an ultraviolet sterilizer?
An ultraviolet sterilizer system (UV system) is a unit designed to kill 99.9% of the bacteria in your water. It requires no chemicals but eliminates harmful and potentially dangerous bacteria by exposing them to UV radiation.

How reliable are ultraviolet sterilizers?
UV systems are designed to alert the homeowner if they are not working correctly. Scheduled yearly maintenance is required to ensure the bacteria kill count is high enough to achieve potable water. This involves replacing the UV bulb.

What is a reverse osmosis system?
Reverse osmosis systems (RO systems) are a series of filters followed by a membrane that filters out particles up to 0.001 microns small. It removes or reduces bacteria, viruses, lead, nitrates, pesticides, mercury, and other harmful contaminants. It delivers pure and delicious drinking water.

How do I get reverse osmosis water?
North Durham EcoWater provides reverse osmosis water on tap at our water fill station as well as provides in-home solutions to get pure water, right from your sink.