Most of Southern California, including Anaheim, has hard water. Water is considered “hard” if it contains relatively high levels of calcium and magnesium. These two naturally occurring minerals are not a health concern, and in fact, hard water actually supplements your body’s need for these vital nutrients. The hardness of Anaheim’s water is about 300 parts per million or about 18 grains per gallon, enough calcium to provide up to 10% of the Recommended Daily Allowance by drinking one liter of tap water.
Many people prefer water with less minerals because hard water leaves mineral deposits on pipes, appliances and dishes and requires more soap when cleaning. Those who prefer less minerals can install a water softening system in their home or business. There are a wide variety of water softening treatment systems available, so you need to do your homework to determine the best fit for your needs.
TYPES OF SOFTENERS
Salt-Based Ion Exchange Systems
These systems exchange sodium ions for calcium and magnesium. They add small amounts sodium to the water, but at levels that are generally not a health issue for most people, however, the softener may be connected to just the hot water influent, if preferred. These systems require frequent additions of salt (one 50 pound bag lasts about 2 to 4 weeks), but otherwise require minimal maintenance.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
These systems use membranes to filter minerals and other contaminants from water. They remove calcium and magnesium as well as chlorine and other possible substances in water and they do not add sodium. Generally, RO systems require more maintenance than ion exchange systems and some vendors offer a maintenance program to simplify the process for owners.
These systems apply an electromagnetic charge to incoming water which causes the water molecules to behave differently. In essence, the water acts as if it were soft water even though no change in mineral concentration has occurred. Some of these systems require very little maintenance.
There are a number of commercial entities that are in the business of selling water treatment products. As such, they need to tell you that water from your local water system is unsatisfactory. Anaheim tap water is perfectly safe to drink. In fact, it meets all State and Federal standards established for human health. Any inferences that Anaheim tap water is unsafe, particularly from a water treatment vendor, should be taken as sales ploys and not as fact. Anaheim Public Utilities does not endorse any water treatment method, product or vender. If you use a home water treatment system, you should ensure that it is both energy and water efficient.
Information for Aquarium Owners - http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-tapwater.html#tap-water
Information on Water Treatment Systems - http://www.wqa.org
December 4, 2006