Having a residential water softener is a personal preference – there is no legal requirement for buildings to have water softeners. However, most buildings in our area have water softeners because the drinking water in this area is naturally very hard (high in minerals like calcium and magnesium). Untreated, hard water can cause mineral buildup, called scale, on appliances and fixtures that can decrease their efficiency and reduce their lifespans. Hard water can also leave residue on dishes, skin, hair and clothes.
Water softeners prevent scale buildup by removing hardness from water, but they are the largest source of salt to the sewer system and put local fresh waters at risk of becoming too salty. If you use a water softener, there are many ways you can minimize your salt use.