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Salt-based water softeners are “old technology” water softeners that primarily remove “hard” minerals, like magnesium and calcium, from families’ drinking water. The process that removes these hard minerals is ion exchange, in which ions of the undesired minerals are swapped with those of sodium ions. The result is a “softer” water that allows detergents and […]


I worked my way through college waiting tables at a reasonably swank restaurant. The tips were good enough to get me from one week to the next, with enough left over to keep me alarmingly caffeinated during finals. I did, however, see things that I’ve never forgotten. There’s a reason I usually refuse water when […]

hacker using keyboard

Verizon’s latest Data Breach Digest contains alarming news. Hackers targeted a US water company, gaining access to customer billing information and meddling with the company’s valve and control settings. The company, identified by UK tech site The Register as Kemuri Water Company, approached Verizon asking for help checking their system for security vulnerabilities. Verizon uncovered […]


The addition of fluoride into public drinking water has been a contentious issue ever since the practice began in the 1950s. On one side are a host of respected medical associations insisting the practice is safe and helps prevent widespread tooth decay. Opposing them are arguments that mass fluoridation is unethical, unhealthy, or unnecessary. What […]


  A poorly maintained private water well leaves you vulnerable to more than just poor water quality. Without regular oversight, well water can be contaminated with a wide range of substances, including heavy metals, bacteria, pesticides, and animal waste. Private wells are not subject to EPA regulations that protect—or attempt to protect—public water systems. Your […]