How much salt is added?

The amount of sodium a water softener adds to water depends on the "hardness" of your water. Water is "hard" when it contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium that have been dissolved from the soil by rainwater. Water softening systems remove calcium and magnesium ions from hard water and replace them with sodium ions. The higher the concentration of calcium and magnesium, the more sodium needed to soften the water. Still, the amount of sodium in softened water that was originally very hard should not be cause for concern.

The majority of sodium in the average diet comes from table salt and processed foods. The water from your tap may add a small amount of sodium to your diet, depending on the type of softener you use, but not a significant amount. As a general rule, an 8-ounce (236 milliliters) glass of softened tap water contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium. According to the Food and Drug Administration nutrient guidelines, this is in the very low-sodium range. The best way to decrease the sodium in your diet is by cutting back on table salt and processed foods.

This table shows the additional amount of sodium consumed by drinking one quart of softened water.

Initial Hardness  
1.0 grains per gallon
5.0 grains per gallon
10.0 grains per gallon
20.0 grains per gallon
40.0 grains per gallon

Sodium Added  
7.5 milligrams/quart
37.5 milligrams/quart
75.0 milligrams/quart
150.0 milligrams/quart
300.0 milligrams/quart

As a comparison, one slice of white bread has 161 milligrams of sodium; 3/4 cup of canned baked beans = 1130 milligrams; 1 tablespoon of catsup = 204 milligrams; 1 medium frankfurter = 610 milligrams; and 1 cup of whole milk = 127 milligrams. Even a common Alka Seltzer tablet contains 532 milligrams of sodium.

However, if you suffer from hypertension or are on a sodium restricted diet, you should consult your doctor about the proper water for drinking.

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Water Fountain
13830 W Camino Del Sol #140
Sun City West, AZ  85375
Phone (623) 583-0762
Fax (623) 875-9320