Blog

  • The Truth About Chlorine & Salt Softeners
    Why did you buy a water softener? Why did you buy a water softener? Chances are you’d either read about or experienced the negative effects of hard water. Scale buildup leaves residue on your water heater, appliances, and on your plumbing fixtures. Soaps and detergents become less effective. The high count of minerals in your drinking water caused multiple problems, and you addressed them by purchasing a water softener. If you went with a salt-based water softener that choice was likely influenced by the fact that salt-based systems remove the magnesium and calcium minerals through ion exchange. When you’re investing in a solution for irritation and problems caused by hard water this is understandable. However, salt-free water softeners negate the effects of magnesium and calcium by preventing the scale buildup they create, and also use no electricity and generate zero water waste. In addition, traditional salt-based water softener companies have ignored one crucial problem altogether: the chlorine present in your water supply. Some homeowners incorrectly assume that water softeners remove chemicals like chlorine from the…
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  • The Hard Truth About Potassium Chloride Softeners
    In the world of water softeners, terminology can often be used to mystify or conflate the truth. After all, most consumers are simply concerned with eliminating the scale buildup that results from hard water: why get bogged down in scientific details? However, doing your homework and researching the meaning behind the latest branding of water softeners and conditioners will help you reduce scale buildup while cutting down on waste and cost. Today, let’s look at the claim that potassium chloride water softeners are “salt-free.” When you think of salt-free water softeners you likely think of the attributes of Pelican Water’s salt-free water conditioners. Our Natursoft® conditioners: Generate zero wastewater Do not introduce salt brine back into the water supply Do not use electricity Do not utilize ion exchange Do not require bags of salt or similar chemicals to function normally Sadly, none of this is true for potassium chloride-based water softeners. How can this be? The difference between sodium chloride and potassium chloride water softeners begins and ends with what minerals are being reintroduced into your…
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  • Salt-Based Water Softeners Slowly Killing Limited Water Supply
    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 soaps to interact more easily with the water from the tap. It is already known within the industry that soft water is not recommended for drinking, especially for hypertensive and sodium-sensitive people that should limit their sodium intake. In addition, soft water may contain metals. How, exactly? Water softeners rely on ion exchange, and regardless of treatment water is a universal solvent. Lead and copper from traditional piping may find its way into your drinking water during the softening process. New evidence provided by an industry insider highlights a long-standing argument that salt-based water softeners continue to damage the already limited drinking water supply irrevocably. Already, salt-based water softeners have received pushback from governments and regulatory agencies. In 2005 California…
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  • 5 Good Reasons to NEVER Drink Bottled Water
    As you might expect, at Enviro we’re not thrilled with prepackaged bottled water. In many ways bottled water is the antithesis of our commitment to the environment, public health, and sustainability. There’s no doubt bottled water is popular—America alone consumes nearly 9.7 billion gallons of bottled water a year, a figure that makes the multinational corporations who produce bottled water very happy. A closer look at bottled water, however, indicates not only is the industry environmentally destructive, it’s also overpriced, and nowhere near as healthy as it claims. Here’s five reasons you’ll never want to touch another bottled water product again. The Environmental Cost The bottled water industry produces 1.4 million tons of plastic every year, consuming up to 47 million gallons of oil. This alone seems a gross misuse of resources, but it gets worse. Of the billions of single-use plastic bottles produced, eighty percent are simply thrown away to fill landfills and pollute the environment. Each bottle takes up to 1,000 years to break down, and releases toxic fumes when burned. In comparison, a…
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  • Flint is a Symptom of a National Crisis, Not an Anomaly
    Two years … for two years the residents of Flint, Michigan, were exposed to lead-contaminated water while local and state authorities dismissed claims that the brown-colored, odious water pouring from city taps represented a health threat. Exposure lasted two years despite the fact evidence indicated a problem within weeks of switching from Detroit’s water supply to the Flint River, which contains water acidic enough to corrode lead pipes. Whether you believe Flint’s disaster was motivated by greed, racism, incompetence, or a blend of all three, one thing is apparent: American water is in bad shape. National water system infrastructure is aging rapidly and only being replaced when it fails. More importantly, perhaps, the very government safeguards that supposedly protect our access to safe water seem increasingly ineffective. Consider this: Back in 2009 the New York Times analyzed federal data concerning the Safe Water Act, which requires communities to deliver safe water to their residents. The Time discovered that over 20 percent of the nation’s 54,700 water systems “violated key provisions of the Safe Water Act”…
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  • Santa Paula’s New Salt Water Softener Buy Back Program
    Goodbye Salt! The City of Santa Paula, California banned the use of salt-based water softening systems, but estimates up to 1,200 households still use such systems, which release environmentally-damaging chloride salts into wastewater. Under a new initiative introduced in June of 2015, residents still using salt-based softeners can take part in a buy-back program offering up to $800 for the removal and replacement of salt-based systems. The buyback program offers $500 for the removal of a salt-based system, and an additional $300 in rebates should the homeowner opt to replace their old system with a new, greener salt-free water softener. Residents who take advantage of the program will not be penalized for having used salt-based softeners in spite of legislation banning such systems. The city has several reasons for offering the program, not least of which is pressure from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, which ordered Santa Paula to reduce chlorides in wastewater. The order is part of an attempt to improve the quality of groundwater and the Santa Clara River. While…
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  • Five Reasons Why You Should Drink Filtered Water
    Filtering water before consumption has significant benefits, from protecting your health to making tap water taste much better At Enviro Water, we offer a range of water filtration systems to meet your needs, including economical and compact countertop filters, reverse osmosis and whole house filtration systems. Read on to find the five most important benefits of filtering water. Bye-Bye Chemicals Water treatment facilities use a mix of chemicals to kill microorganisms, including chlorine and chloramine. While these are effective disinfectants for large-scale water treatment, they should be filtered out of your drinking water. In addition, there are a number of other contaminants and chemicals showing up in water supplies at an increasing and alarming rate. A carbon filter, like the one in a Enviro whole house filtration system, removes chemicals before they enter your home plumbing, preventing exposure to substances that could harm you and your family. No Microorganism Threats While the U.S. public water system is one of the nation’s great achievements, our water delivery infrastructure is aging. As pipes corrode, leak, and break, the risk…
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  • Thinking of Purchasing a Salt Water Softener? Don’t Do It!
    Once celebrated as effective solutions for hard water, the demand for salt-based water softeners has gone down due to more practical, cost-friendly, and safer alternatives. Before you install a salt-based system in your home, read the top reasons why you should reconsider: Waste: The average salt water softener wastes approximately 150 gallons of water every week, amounting to nearly 8,000 gallons per year. Cost: In addition to higher water bills, salt-based softeners also require bags of salt, which result in continuing expenses for homeowners. In addition, they require regular maintenance by the manufacturer, require electricity to operate, and cost more to install as you need to connect the system to a drain. Environmental harm: When salt-based softeners dump brine into the environment, it can contaminate lakes, streams, and soil, which will affect marine life and agriculture. Bans: Environmental concerns have caused numerous communities to impose bans on salt water softeners with some implementing unannounced home inspections with substantial fines for offenders. Costly Damage: Hard water can build up in pipes, boilers, electric heating elements, and…
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  • A Water Shortage in the West?
    Throughout the Western United States, communities are implementing strict regulations to cope with serious water shortages. While many blame droughts potentially stemming from climate change, some experts believe government policies are to blame. In fact, they say there’s already enough water to fill the needs of every western resident if practical steps are taken to reduce agricultural consumption. A Far-Reaching Decision Back in 1922, at the behest of Herbert Hoover, Southwestern states including California, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado drew up an agreement to determine how to split up the waters of the Colorado River. Unfortunately, the states overestimated how much water the river could actually provide. According to certain experts, this miscalculation — combined with what many call a subsequent mismanagement of water resources — has led to the current water crisis. Water Mismanagement Even after miscalculating the amount of water in the Colorado River, many say the seven western states should have enough water to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, policies and management appear to be causing or contributing to the…
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  • See How Salt Brine Discharge Affects Your Local Ecosystems
    Once valued for their ability to eliminate the negative effects of hard water, salt-based water softeners are now under fire for negatively impacting the environment. If you’re still relying on one of these outdated devices, learn why an upgrade is in order. Widespread Contamination Although they effectively treat hard water, salt-based softeners also generate gallons of salty brine that can cause considerable harm to natural ecosystems. As this brine enters the environment, it contaminates streams, rivers and other waterways, making them unsuitable for marine life. Brine discharge is also a big problem for agriculture, since salt renders soil inhospitable for plants. These issues have become a major concern throughout the country. So much so, in fact, that a growing number of communities have decided to ban salt-based softeners, with some engaging in house-to-house inspections to ensure compliance. A Smarter, Eco-Friendly Option In addition to creating harmful brine, salt-based water softeners waste an incredible amount of water. On average, a single device wastes nearly 8,000 gallons per year, which breaks down to an incredible 150 gallons…
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  • 7,800 Gallons Goes Down the Drain – How Salt-based Water Softeners Harm the Environment
    Once welcomed as effective solutions for hard water, salt-based water softeners have recently come under fire, due to the negative impact they have on the environment. If you’re still using one of these outdated units, here’s how an upgrade can help you save vital resources: Substantial Waste Although they effectively eliminate hard water, salt-based softeners are far from efficient. On average, these units waste about 150 gallons of water each week, amounting to 7,800 gallons every year. This increases monthly water bills and puts a major burden on community water supplies, which are currently low in numerous cities throughout the country. Environmental Harm In addition to wasting thousands of gallons of water, salt-based softeners have also received unfavorable attention for having a destructive impact on the environment. As salty treated water finds its way back into streams, lakes, and soil, it can have a catastrophic effect on marine life and agriculture. In response, numerous American communities have started banning these units, even implementing unannounced home inspections complete with substantial fines for offenders. A Smarter, Environmentally-Friendly…
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  • Check Out the Enviro Water Heater Shield Difference!
    Water heaters are essential for modern homes; however, few people give much thought to maintaining their units to improve performance and prolong life. Enhanced with an advanced filtration system, Water Heater Shield can help your system meet its fullest potential, while protecting your manufacturer’s warranty. High-performing Solutions for Common Water Problems Since more than eight of every ten U.S. homes are supplied with hard water, it’s no wonder scale build-up plagues countless water heaters throughout the country. Besides jeopardizing a unit’s long-term outlook, this scale can limit its short-term efficiency. In fact, research shows that every millimeter of buildup on a heating coil results in an estimated 15 percent higher energy costs each year. Fortunately, you can protect your water heater and enhance its performance by installing the Enviro Water Heater Shield. Equipped with a five micron high-efficiency filter, this high-performing device eliminates rust, dirt and sediment buildup. At the same time, the Sliphos® media within the filter chamber prevents scale and corrosion within the water heater. Easily installed inside or outside your home, the Water…
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  • By 2016, California Will Run Out of Water
    Jay Famiglietti is concerned, and with good cause. The senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently announced that California has only one year’s worth of water left in its severely depleted reservoirs and groundwater supplies, with no end in sight to a drought that has already lasted over four years. According to Famiglietti, the state is losing 12 million acre-feet of water a year. Total water from rain, snow, reservoirs, and groundwater was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014, and dropping rapidly. Groundwater and snowfall are at all-time lows—January 2015 was the driest since the state began recording temperatures and rainfall in 1895. In short, California is in crisis. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in 2014, but water use only dropped by 9% last year—a far cry from the goal of 20%. Approximately two-thirds of the water lost in 2014 occurred due to agricultural groundwater pumping in the Central Valley. Faced with surface water allocation restrictions of 80-100%, farmers turn to groundwater by necessity. In some areas of the…
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  • California Drought Worsens in 2015
    California entered its fourth year of drought conditions with yet more bad news. 2015 saw the driest January since the state began keeping meteorological records. At the same time, February had the hottest temperatures ever recorded. It’s disheartening news for Californians, many of whom thought they might be getting some much-needed relief when December 2014, proved relatively wet. The State Water Board reported water conservation efforts in December were at 20 percent, only to see January’s results drop to 8.8 percent. In part this was due to a reduced need for outdoor water use in December. Up in the mountains, the state’s snowpack isn’t offering much good news either, with a March 2nd survey reporting snow at only 19 percent of average levels. Reservoir levels remain alarmingly low statewide, and—as a consequence of the dry New Year—CAL FIRE responded to over 220 wildfires in January alone. So where does this leave California? Some people, especially in urban centers, seem to be suffering from “drought fatigue,” and as a result vigilance over water conservation has slipped…
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  • Oil Companies Sour Aquifers in California
    California is currently suffering through a serious drought. The water-parched Central Valley has pumped enough groundwater out of local aquifers that in some areas the ground is actually sinking. In the midst of all this, it turns out that oil companies have been injecting chemical-laced wastewater into aquifers for decades—and they’ve been doing it with the state’s approval. At present, oil companies have drilled over 170 waste-disposal wells into aquifers containing groundwater which was suitable for drinking—until it was contaminated. Hundreds of additional waste water disposal wells contaminate low quality aquifers, according to data gathered by The Chronicle, but even these could have been suitable for human use with intensive treatment. Disposing of oil production wastewater, or “production water,” by injecting it underwater is considered more environmentally conscious than many other forms of disposal. But the issue is that pumping briny, hydrocarbon-rich, chemical-laced water underground is contaminating drinkable water in drought-starved California. The EPA has threatened to move in and oversee oil company water-injection aquifers if the state doesn’t resolve the situation quickly. The state,…
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  • What Do You Know About Ion Exchange?
    While not generally considered a serious health risk, hard water can be a real nuisance, thanks to mineral buildup and its frustrating interaction with soap and other cleaning products. To eliminate this common problem, many people use salt-based water softeners, which “soften” water through a process called ion exchange. Unfortunately, these systems come with some pretty considerable drawbacks that are sending people in search of more modern alternatives. What Is Hard Water? As water pushes past deposits of chalk, calcium, dolomite and limestone, it gathers minerals that give it a so-called “hard” quality. Many times, high levels of calcium and magnesium can leave scale deposits on dishes and other surfaces around the home. They also cause soap scum and can form potentially destructive buildup in pipes, electric heating elements and boilers. To combat this, many people turn to salt-based water softeners, which remove the majority of minerals and “soften” water. The Chemical Process Salt-based water softeners function on the principle of ion replacement or ion exchange. Ions are electrically-charged atoms that can gain or lose…
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  • Why are Salt-Based Softeners Being Banned?
    Content: The Reasons Why California Led the Movement to Ban Salt Water Softeners The most common type of traditional water softener treats hard water through a process called ion exchange. The water softener runs the water through resin beads where the calcium and magnesium molecules switch places with sodium molecules, leaving the water soft. In more basic terms, the softener removes the hardness minerals – calcium and magnesium – from the water and replaces them with sodium. The salt brine water (sodium and chloride) is then discharged down the drain, wasting up to 150 gallons a week. Sodium and Chloride are not Eco-Friendly The discharge of salt brines from the regeneration of water softeners can have a negative impact on the quality of water in groundwater basins, recycled water, and wastewaters. Higher sodium and chloride content increases the treatment costs and reduces the potential reuse of wastewater for farming and industrial applications. It can also impede the ability of a wastewater treatment agency to comply with discharge standards related to total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS is a…
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  • Why We Need To Address Chlorine
    Bathing and showering in chlorinated water Just like swimming in a chlorinated pool, showering and bathing in chlorinated water affects your skin and hair. Over time the chlorine will dry out your hair, requiring the use of conditioners. Those people with chemically treated hair will notice their color will bleach out quicker. Our skin is an organ whose pores soak up chlorine instantly from both water when bathing and water vapors when showering, which can leave skin itchy, dry and uncomfortable. Drinking chlorinated water The main function of a carbon filter is to remove contaminants, unpleasant tastes and smells from drinking water. Carbon filters do not require a lot of maintenance, and with proper sediment filter changes and media changes, can provide the best tasting water. They provide an excellent value for your money and are definitely a less expensive choice than bottled water. Cooking with chlorinated water Chlorine is a chemical that is adsorbed into your foods and make your sauces and drinks taste foul. If you've ever cooked pasta, made coffee, juice or…
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  • California Water Crisis
    A long-term drought continues to grip much of California, particularly the southern part of the state. The water shortage has become so severe that Governor Jerry Brown recently declared a statewide drought emergency. Brown also asked that all residents of the state cut their water use by 20% or more. How Bad Is It? in short, it’s bad. Each January, California’s State Department of Water Resources measures the water content of the snowpack to determine what the state’s water supply will look like for the year. The snowpack gives the state as much as 1/3 of its drinking water, as the snow melts into rivers, streams, and aquifers each spring. The two initial snow surveys in early 2014 showed that the water content for the state is one of the lowest ever measured. While December was wet in many parts of California, the rain ceased by early spring. In May, the total snowpack in the state was at a shocking 17% of normal, as 2013 was one of the driest winters on record. The state…
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  • Salt-Based Water Softener Ban
    Homeowners have long chosen salt-based water softeners to rid their homes of frustrating hard water. However, the water waste that those systems produce, not to mention the salty wastewater that harms the environment, has caused some localities in California to ban them completely. These restrictions started about five years ago and have increased in recent months. Who Has Banned Them? Some of the localities that led the charge in banning salt-based water softeners include the town of Dixon and Santa Clara County in California. As of August 2014, more than 25 communities in the state have banned or greatly restricted the use of these water softeners. These areas include: Los Angeles San Diego Orange San Bernadino Riverside Ventura Santa Barbara San Marco Tulare Other communities in California are also mulling the ban of salt-based water softeners. Why the Ban? Due to a serious ongoing drought, California is particularly sensitive to water waste. Salt brine discharge from salt-based softeners can have a serious effect on the quality of water supplies that are needed for use in…
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