Softened water is considered safe to drink in the majority of cases.
How can water that contains salt be safe to drink?
Softened water is safe to drink. There are a few precautionary exceptions but it’s a mainly a matter of preference whether you choose to drink it. Many people choose to have a drinking water tap installed at the same time as their softener, because they prefer the taste of harder water.
Salt is not added to softened water
People sometimes wonder if softened water is safe to drink because the softening process uses blocks or bags of salt. But the softener salt is only used to soften the resin that acts on the water – no salt gets into the water supply itself.
In softened water, the sodium level increases. Sodium is not the same as salt (sodium chloride). The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) says that water with a sodium content of up to 200ppm is safe to drink. Unless your water is very hard to start with, the softened version is unlikely to exceed this.
Can you drink softened water?
Harvey water softeners can soften water with up to 435ppm calcium carbonate. Hard water has over 200ppm calcium carbonate. This means that only the very hardest water (400-435ppm calcium carbonate) would exceed the recommended sodium level. In this case, we recommend you to use a filtered drinking water tap alongside your softener, to supply you with unsoftened water to drink. We install one as standard with our water softeners.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) position on drinking softened water is: “There are no firm conclusions on whether it poses long-term health risks so no health-based guidelines are proposed.” In over 90 years, there has never been a reported health-related problem associated with a water softener. However, using softened drinking water isn’t recommended for mixing baby feeds or for those on a low-sodium diet prescribed by a medical practitioner.
Find out about softened drinking water at your address
To find out what the sodium content of softened water would be in your home, book a demonstration with a Harvey soft water expert. They can test the hardness of your current water supply and calculate what the sodium content would be after softening. They can explain how a drinking water tap is easily installed at the same time as your water softener.
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.