Frequently asked Questions banner with images of appliances, search, messaging, and question marks.

Should I use a separate, unsoftened tap for drinking water?

Many people choose to have a separate hard water tap to provide unsoftened water for drinking. But there are no legal, health or safety requirements to do this. 

If you choose to install a Harvey water softener, we can fit a hard water drinking tap as standard, so you can choose your preferred source of drinking water. 

Drinking hard water for health 

It’s safe for almost everyone to drink softened water. The exceptions are babies and anyone who follows a low sodium or sodium-free diet on medical advice. They should drink water from a hard water drinking tap. This is recommended in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, endorsed by the Government Regulators WRAS .

Softened water doesn’t actually contain salt – but it does contain slightly higher levels of sodium. There’s no evidence that this is harmful for most people, in the quantities that we typically consume from drinking water. 

If you keep pets, the same applies – they can drink softened or unsoftened water, unless you have been advised to feed them a low sodium or sodium free diet. If you have pet fish, you should check with an expert whether they will thrive in softened water. Some species need hard water in their tanks or ponds. 

Drinking hard water for taste 

Some people prefer the taste of hard water. If softened water doesn’t taste as good to you, we recommend pouring your drinking water from a separate hard water drinking tap. It’s up to you whether you use hard water or softened water for cooking and hot drinks. Some people can tell the difference in taste and some cannot. 

Fitting a hard water drinking tap  

Designated hard water taps can be installed with any sink in your household. Most people choose to have their drinking tap at the kitchen sink for convenience. If you are happy to use softened water for all domestic purposes, you can choose not to have an unsoftened water tap fitted. 

View our range of water filters – they’re all compatible with our drinking water taps. We offer both active carbon and So Clear filters, so that you can keep your water clear of minerals. Find out more today