Water is an important resource that is required by all living organisms for survival. We all depend on it for purposes such as laundry, washing and cooking & drinking. It is usually available in two forms; hard water and soft water.
What is Hard Water?
The simple definition of hard water is ‘water that contains a large amount of minerals in it’. The minerals predominantly found in hard water are calcium, magnesium carbonate and manganese. These minerals that make water hard tend to bring negative effects to the water. Hard water can stain bathtubs and utensils, prevent proper lathering, leave some scale deposits on the coffee maker as well as make laundry generally dingy. It can also affect the proper function of your electrical appliance that use water like electric kettles and give a pale appearance to you clothes, skin and even hair.
Hard water can come from different sources where minerals can easily dissolve into the water. It therefore usually has different levels of hardness, depending on where it comes from. The hardness of water is measured in GPG (grains per gallon) or PPM (parts per million of mineral). 17.1 PPM are usually the equivalent of 1 GPG.
Soft water is the opposite of hard water. It is basically water that has a minimal amount of the minerals that cause water hardness, magnesium and calcium. The major source of soft water is rain. Rain water is usually collected from roofs and then stored in tanks. It sometimes can also be obtained from specific drainage basins that are formed by hard impervious rocks that lack calcium. It can then be dispatched using water bubblers.
Soft water is also obtained from hard water. This is through a method called water softening. The water obtained through this process is then usually referred to as softened water. Though lacking significant magnesium and calcium ions, it may contain high levels of sodium and bicarbonate ions.
What is Water Softening?
As already stated, this is simply the process of removing magnesium and calcium ions from water. The process helps us to get rid of the problems brought about by hard water, especially at home. Softened water can then be stored in water cooler dispensers from aquafil water coolers Sydney. Since there are different efficient methods used to carry out this process at home, I will take you through them.
Types of Water Softening Methods
Ion exchange is the oldest and most common method of water softening. Generally, it entails exchanging the magnesium and calcium ion contained in hard water for sodium ions. Since each calcium and magnesium ion has a positive charge of 2, each ion is exchanged for two sodium ions.
The sodium ions mostly come from a brine solution, with the displacement of sodium taking place due to the more powerful charge of magnesium and calcium. The exchange therefore frees water of free magnesium and calcium ions, making the water soft.
This is where water is heated inside a container till vaporisation starts. This vapour is then fed to a container with a cooling unit, through a tube. The vapour then condenses, changing back into its liquid state, water. This distillate is usually pure of all impurities, not only minerals.
Though cheap, it’s only used for the production soft water that is only needed in low quantities, especially for drinking and cooking purposes. It is also a method of water purification.
It however produces water that lacks even the essential minerals needed for the body, and therefore is not advisable for drinking every day. Alkaline filters can however be used to re-mineralize the water, before putting it in office water coolers.
Reverse Osmosis (Membrane Technology)
This is an effective method for both water purification and water softening. It uses a number of stages to produce highly purified water. Calcium and magnesium ions are eliminated at the reverse osmosis membrane chamber where a pressure of about 35 psi is applied. Only water molecules are able to pass and therefore the product is usually softened water. The unwanted water is usually piped out to the drainage and then the softened water can be directed to filtered water coolers.
Water softening is usually important at home, especially if you live in area where hard water is the readily available type of water. Softening the water provides you with numerous benefits and helps you avoid complications that would otherwise have been a result of excessive consumption of minerals.
Visit Aquafil for further guidance and knowledge on installation of drinking fountain or to purchase water coolers Sydney and then choose a water softening method that will suit your home soft water needs.