Truth-False about salt for water softener
The UAE, the Professional chamber of water treatment professionals who have signed the Charter of commitment to users, informs you :
QUALITY OF THE SALT
Manufacturers (water softener manufacturers and ion-exchange resin producers) generally recommend a minimum of 99% purity.
Moreover, the granulometry of the regeneration salt is optimised to meet the needs of this type of equipment, which is not the case with table or cooking salt.
Only a salt specifically designed for water softening should be used.
Most of the time, regeneration salt for a domestic water softener takes the form of tablets.
To ensure good regeneration quality, it must meet chemical and physical quality criteria and be very pure. The quality of regeneration salt is guaranteed if it complies with European standard EN 973*.
Manufacturers recommend quality A (> 99.4%).
Furthermore, certain regeneration salts bear the NF mark which guarantees a high quality level.
* EN 973 : Chemicals used for treatment of water intended for human consumption – Sodium chloride for the regeneration of ion-exchange resins.
European standard and NF label, what is the difference ?
European standard EN 973 guarantees the quality of regeneration salt. This standard is self-declaratory.
Label NF 406 “Appareils de traitement d’eau" (Water treatment equipment) concerns, among other processes, regeneration salts for ion-exchange resins.
The NF mark (French standard) is a voluntary certification procedure applicable to certain manufacturers.
It certifies that the product complies with safety and quality characteristics defined in a certification standard. The product undergoes an annual external audit and control analyses by the CSTB, a certification body appointed by the AFNOR.
The NF label ensures a high level of quality and guarantees the consistency of this quality level by means of regular checks performed by a certification body.
The NF label is a label owned by AFNOR, it is issued by AFNOR Certification and its network of 12 partner organisations. The CSTB is the certification body for water softener salts(NF 406).
The list of NF-certified products is available at www.marque-nf.com
In cooking, the salty taste comes from the combination of chloride ions and sodium ions which are found in table salt (sodium chloride). In softened water, only the sodium content increases slightly and sodium has no taste (addition of 4.6 mg /l of water for 1°f softened).
For a family of four people (500 l/j – 132 gallons per day) wishing to soften water with a hardness of 30°f, using a water softener with a 20-litre (5,28 gallon) resin tank, the average consumption of regeneration salt is six 25-kilogram (55,12 lbs) bags a year.
If we compare the rate of water softener ownership by households in France and the amounts of sodium discharged by this equipment with the total volume of surface water taken for human consumption, the estimated contribution to the variation in the salinity of surface water is around 1%.
The European standard* concerning septic tanks and the standards concerning discharges specify no contraindication to connecting a water softener’s discharge pipe to a septic tank. There is no obligation to connect it to the sewers.
A 2006 Canadian field study concludes “it seems that draining wastewater from a water softener into a septic tank has no impact on the tank’s ability to effectively treat sewage**."
A 2009 American study (published in February 2010) demonstrated that there was no difference in the functioning of the septic tank studied with or without water softener discharge***.
* EN 12566-3
** SCHL, “Effets des adoucisseurs d’eau” (Effects of water softeners), September 2006
***Averbeck D., “Softener discharge versus aerobic wastewater treatment units, Water conditioning & purification”, February 2010
The ion-exchange resin softening process removes the calcium and magnesium ions and releases the sodium ions.
According to the French regulation*, softened water should contain no more than 0.2 g of sodium per litre. For example, the complete softening (0°f) of water with a hardness of 30°f provides water containing 0.138 g of sodium per litre. This means that a person drinking 1.5 litres (0,396 gallon) of softened water a day ingests around 0.2 g of sodium. As a reminder: ANSES (the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety)** recommends not exceeding the guideline salt intake of 6 to 8 grams a day, or 2.5 to 3 grams of sodium a day.
* Order of 11 January 2007 concerning the limits and quality guidelines for raw water and water intended for human consumption mentioned in articles R. 1321-2, R. 1321-3, R. 1321-7 and R. 1321-38 of the French Public Health Code (Official Journal of the French Republic of 6 February 2007).
** Salt report : evaluation and recommendation. AFSSA (French Food Safety Agency), 2002
The sodium from softened water is absorbed by the body TRUE
From the moment softened water is drunk, the sodium it contains is absorbed by the body, in the same way as the sodium from other food sources such as bread, pork meats, cheeses and table or cooking salt.
This nutrient, consumed in a quantity appropriate to each individual’s needs, plays a vital role in many of the body’s functions (e.g. transmission of the nerve impulses) and prevents the body from becoming dehydrated by maintaining the hydromineral balance of the cell and the entire body. It also contributes to contraction of the muscles, in particular the cardiac muscle.
When a correctly regulated and maintained water softener lacks salt, the water level in the tank greatly exceeds the salt level.
You therefore need to replace salt until the water level is exceeded. If the machine has a control screen, it is easier to check the levels.
For a household of four people, using a 20-litre** (5,28 gallon) resin water softener, wanting to reduce their hard water by 30°f : the water softener requires 150 kg** (330.7 lbs) of regeneration salt, i.e. six 25 kg-bags** (55.12 lbs). A bag therefore lasts around two months.
Water treatment professionals who are members of UAE represent a network of qualified specialists who have opted for ethics and quality :
- They have all agreed to abide by UAE’s Code of Ethics*.
- The Ethics Commission guarantees consumers comply with the commitments of this code.
- They are regularly informed of any technical and regulatory developments and all their staff undergo specific training organised by their company either internally and/or by UAE.
Reason No. 1 To protect my appliances installation and generate savings
A water softener allows optimal functioning and increases the lifespan of my pipework, taps, boiler, washing machine, kettle, coffee maker, etc. I also use less soap, shampoo, moisturiser, detergent and softener.
Reason No. 2 To support sustainable development
Thanks to the water softener, my energy consumption does not increase. I replace my domestic appliances less often and I discharge less detergent into nature while reducing the amount I use.
Reason No. 3 To improve my comfort with softened water
With softened water, my hair is silkier, my laundry is softer, and my skin is softer too.