Published: September 28, 2015

    Why I Wouldn’t Buy an Ion Exchange System

    Because 89 percent of America has some level of hard water, water softeners are quite popular. Unfortunately, this has led to environmental problems associated with brine discharge into local waterways. If you own or are planning to purchase an ion exchange system or salt softener to eliminate your hard water, learn why modern salt-free units make more sense.

    What Exactly Is Hard Water?

    As ground water navigates though natural deposits of calcium, chalk, limestone, and dolomite, it accumulates magnesium, calcium, and other minerals, which give it a “hard” quality. In addition to leaving scale deposits on dishes, these minerals can build up in pipes, boilers, electric heating elements, and appliances over time, resulting in high repair and replacement costs. To combat this, many people turn to salt-based water softeners, which remove the majority of minerals and soften water through a chemical process called ion exchange.

    How Ion Exchange Systems Work

    Ion exchange systems expose drinking water to a resin, which contains electrically-charged sodium ions. As these ions escape the resin and enter the water, magnesium and calcium ions in hard water take their place by binding to the resin. While effective, this process produces a salty brine, which is ultimately discharged back into the environment, where it can harm ecosystems and agriculture.

    Ion exchange systems can also be costly, since they require bag after bag of salt. They also require a large amount of water; in fact, the average ion exchange system in a single home can waste approximately 150 gallons per week. This waste combined with environmental concerns has prompted many communities to issues bans on ion exchange systems, leaving many consumers searching for a less expensive and more environmentally friendly way to soften their water.

    A Better Alternative

    Unlike ion exchange systems, modern water softener alternatives with salt free technology can effectively neutralize the destructive effects of hard water without any waste or harmful consequences to the environment. In fact, devices such as Pelican’s NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative with Salt Free Technology eject no salty brine back into the environment and waste no water whatsoever. These innovative devices also provide noticeable economic benefits, since they do not require salt replacement pellets and use no electricity.

    If you’d like to soften your water while lessening your impact on the environment, consider purchasing Pelican’s NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative instead of an ion exchange system. You’ll save up to 7,800 gallons of water in a single year and reduce the risk of costly damage to pipes, boilers, electric heating elements, and appliances.