Is a Low Sodium Diet Compatible with Softened Water?

How Physical Water Conditioning Differs from Water Softening

Water Hardness is a problem in many parts of the US, with particular challenges in Texas and Oklahoma. People on municipal water and water wells often need to condition their water to improve the quality. 

Water softeners have been in homes for many years, though advances in physical water conditioning provide a healthier alternative.  Consider the effects of treating water with salt that leaves a residual of sodium. Many people with high blood pressure must maintain a sodium-restricted diet, and depending on the level of hardness in their water, the sodium levels in the softened water can be significant.  Physical water conditioning water doesn't have these side effects, or the disposal residue, maintenance or monthly salt costs. HydroFLOW costs less than a softener to purchase and operates with no additives or maintenance for less than $10 per year.

Water softeners are generally safe for humans and animals, though improvements in physical water conditioning technology have been developed that are being adopted as an alternative to salt systems in terms of:     

  • Lower cost to purchase
  • Lower cost to operate
  • They do not remove Calcium and Magnesium (we need them daily)
  • No chemical or salt Additives
  • No chemical discharge, which is being banned by increasing numbers of cities and counties 

But what about the effects of salt on the softened water?

According to physicians at the Mayo Clinic, the amount of sodium added to tap water by water softeners depends on the "hardness" (the amount of calcium Ca2+ and magnesium Mg2+ ions) of the water.

Depending on the hardness of water that is being treated by a salt softener, the levels of residual sodium will vary, which increase in relative concentrations according to the hardness being treated.

Have a look at the water hardness map below to estimate the levels in your area and consider the potential sodium levels in softened water. 

Reducing sodium intake by limiting salty processed foods and table salt each day is a critical component of a healthy diet, but it is also important to cut the sodium in one's water as well.

Good health requires plenty of water intake per day; in the range of eight 8 ounce glasses (the 8X8 Rule). Maintaining low sodium in the daily half gallon of water we drink is an important contributor to our diet.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the average daily sodium intake for Americans is 3,400 milligrams per day, an excessive amount that raises blood pressure and poses health risks. In general, Americans should limit daily sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams, but this is an upper safe limit, not a recommended daily allowance.

Certain demographic groups are especially sensitive to sodium’s blood-pressure-raising effects, and members of these groups must limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day. Half of all Americans are subject to this limit, including people over the age of 51 and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.

Children also have lower sodium needs and should adhere to the 1,500-milligram maximum.

Measure the Hardness in Your Area

People can learn about the hardness of their tap water from their municipal water department or the hardness of their well water at the Water Research Center and determine the amount of sodium (milligrams per liter) added to their softened water, as follows:

  1. Verify the hardness of water in grains per gallon. "Grains" is a measure of "hardness," or calcium carbonate (CaCO3), per gallon.
  2. Multiply this hardness number by 7.866 to determine the amount of sodium added to water by a typical salt-based water-softening system.
  3. Add this number to the sodium naturally occurring in the municipal or well water to obtain total sodium.

The U.S. Geological Survey has regional values for naturally occurring sodium in water, so this number should be added to the residual sodium from a water softener to determine actual sodium levels. Levels vary by region from 46 to 1,219 mg/L, and if no figures are available, an average of 300 mg/L could be applied.  (You can convert mg/L to gallons here).

It is estimated that 17% of households using well water have sodium levels exceeding 400 mg/L.

As a general rule, the harder the water, the higher the sodium level from a Water Softener

The actual amount of sodium in softened water will vary by brand and the actual water hardness values. (World Health Organization, March 2003, “Sodium in Drinking-water. WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality"). The water softening ion-exchange process increases the sodium concentration in the finished water since it adds two atoms of sodium for every atom of calcium removed.

In addition to removing calcium from water in exchange for adding sodium, water softeners also remove magnesium. These minerals in our diet are essential for a variety of bodily functions, including building strong bones and teeth, blood, skin, hair, nerve function, muscle and for metabolic processes such as those that turn the food we eat into energy. Removal of these electrolytes in significant quantities may require mineral supplements and a mineral fortified diet.

 

According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association "Sodium content of potable water: dietary significance", Americans are taking in more sodium than required for physiologic functions and that "the contribution of drinking water as a source of sodium may be overlooked".

Scientists estimate that water account for approximately 10% of a person's daily sodium intake, and for people who are on sodium-restricted diets, they must avoid drinking softened water using traditional salt-based softening technology or just tap water (approximately 42% of the United States water supplies have excess sodium).

How Physical Water Conditioning Differs from Water Softening

HydroFLOW physically conditions water with a 150 kHz frequency, and makes no chemical changes to water. It adds no salt like water softeners do, and does not remove essential minerals. HydroFLOW uses no additives, requires no maintenance, saves considerable water due to no backwashing, and operates on a small amount of electricity each year.

HydroFLOW is installed on the outside of any type of pipe and It immediately induces continuous frequency that extends throughout the plumbing system. This signal alters the physical properties of water forcing suspended material to cluster and remain in suspension, and prevents them from adhering to pipes and appliances (prevents and removes limescale). This effect is carried throughout your entire water system upstream and downstream from the HydroFLOW unit.

Existing limescale will begin to diminish, and will disappear over a period several months, leaving your pipes, shower heads, appliances free from buildup.  The clusters of calcium pass through the system and can either be filtered or allowed to go down the drain unnoticed. Energy savings are realized, water heaters perform better, and essential minerals that water softeners would have removed remain intact.

And all this is done without the use of any chemicals, backwashing, or maintenance.

No added sodium to your water.

HydroFLOW does not change the chemical composition of the water in any way. It works purely on a physical basis, leaving the water completely drinkable. Essential minerals are retained in the water. Unlike water softeners, it is not necessary to do any maintenance or add anything. HydroFLOW requires minimal space and operates all day, every day.

HydroFLOW water conditioning is installed in hundreds of thousands of homes, commercial and industrial facilities around the world, and has been in the U.S. for 5 years. Breakthroughs in electronic technologies have improved quality of life in many aspects, and HydroFLOW significantly improves water quality in homes and industry with its patented signal.  

HydroFLOW conditions water safely 24/7 with no salts, chemicals or maintenance.

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