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Water Softeners and Reverse Osmosis Systems: Working Together

Water hardness: it

What is Hard Water?

Water hardness refers to the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium (and other metals) in a particular feed supply. In practical terms (if youeral build-up on the inside.

In an industrial setting the effects can be rather more serious, leading to reduced capacity and lifespan of equipment, clogging pipes and increased costs of heating and running plants.

Hard water does not pose any health risks, however it can be annoying and, in the case of manufacturers, costly in both the long and short term.

Measuring the Hardness

In the UK we measure and classify the hardness of water as follows:

Soft: less than 100mg per litre as calcium carbonate
Slightly/moderately hard: 100-200mg per litre as calcium carbonate
Hard/very hard: anything above 200mg per litre as calcium carbonate

You can do a simple do-it-yourself home test involving soap and/or test tablets that are readily available, but itite and do a professional test.

The Solutions

As the name suggests, a water softener works to provide a solution to the problem by replacing the magnesium and calcium (known as hard salts) with sodium (which is a soft salt). This reliably prevents limescale from building up in equipment and pipes.

While it is a very simple system involving a process known as

You do need to consider the systems carefully when they are to work in tandem to ensure they are compatible with each other

Tip: A final note for businesses looking to install a reverse osmosis system. The membrane of the RO can be extremely fragile, so even with a filter it has to work very hard to remove calcium and magnesium. That

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