Water is naturally soft when it falls as rain, when it falls and flows on the earth surface it collects allot of minerals depending on the soil contents. This water, which contains calcium and magnesium, is what people call hard water. If you are going to do surface cleaning and you expect the cleaning agents to lather, hard water is not recommended because it reacts with the cleaning agents hence form a gray layer or deposits called scum.
There are several methods of making hard water soft (removing calcium and magnesium); these can either be salt or non-salt softeners. Salt water softeners are ones that replace the magnesium or calcium ions with sodium or potassium ions. In the other hand, non-salt water softeners have no salt ions in the water solution after the softening process. The common salt water softeners are lime softening and ion exchanging resin; where else the salt softeners include reverse osmosis system, electric system, magnetic system, electro-magnetic system and distillation system.
Non-salt water softeners work best with people on sodium-restricted diets. These amounts of sodium salts deposited by salt water softeners will have to be determined by people with such disorders. This will require the doctor’s prescription of the amount of for instance sodium in the water for consumption.
Healthy wise the disposal content in salt water softeners is harmful to the surrounding environment. This kills all plant material due to dehydration and the chemical nature of the solution. Presence of sodium in septic tanks increases the population of bacteria since they enjoy a saline environment. The process of regeneration is removed when non-salt softeners are used thus minimizing the cost and tiresome process of refilling the systems with salts. The processes fill up the septic tanks quickly due to the processes of regeneration. This leads to failure of many septic tank systems. The saline water is not good for watering kitchen gardens, houseplants and the lawn.
A non-salt water softener does not worry a lot on the amount and concentration of the ions in the hard water. This reduces the calculation and analysis for the balancing of concentrations in the water solution. What is recommended is that the replacement of these salt-based softeners with citrus-based softeners will make it healthy for consumption. Replacing sodium chloride with potassium chloride will work best to preserve the environment but the cost of obtaining this salt is high.
However, not all non-salt water softeners live up to their terms. Most non-salt softeners are aimed to reduce scaling in pipes that is why they are not applicable when the water is stagnant.