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Frequently Asked Questions

Friendly to Low Sodium Diets?

Q1 Is the sodium in softened water harmful to people whose doctors have placed them on restrictive salt diets?
A1 The sodium added to water by softening is a non-issue most of the time even for people on a low sodium diet. One could soften with up to 75 grains per gallon with sodium chloride and still be well within the US Food and Drug Administration's labeling of a "low sodium" beverage. Typically, water in the Pacific Northwest averages fewer than 10 grains per gallon, so the sodium added is less than 80 milligrams per liter of water, and commonly around 40.

How to Calculate the Amount of Sodium in Softened Water

Q2 How can the sodium content of softened water be determined in terms of milligrams of sodium?
A2 First, determine the sodium content of the natural water. Multiply the water's sodium content in grains per gallon expressed as calcium carbonate, by 7.86. This will give you the sodium content of the water in milligrams per liter of water.

Second, determine the additional sodium content of water as the result of ion exchange softening. Here, multiply the total hardness of the water in grains per gallon, expressed as calcium carbonate, by 7.86.

Third, a simple addition of the results of both steps one and two will give the sodium content of the softened water in milligrams of sodium per liter. One to two liters (1 liter equals 1.057 quarts) is commonly accepted as normal daily water consumption. The amount of sodium present in softened water is small when compared to the sodium present in foods. Softening water with as much as 75 grains per gallon of total hardness adds less sodium than contained in "Low Sodium" beverages (as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration food labeling regulations).

Drinking Water Safety

Q3 Is my water safe to drink?
A3 If you want to know if your water is safe to drink typically you should have a certified lab test for bacteria (coliform and ecoli), nitrates, arsenic, and lead. Additionally volatile organic compounds and synthetic organic compounds should be tested by a lab for a more complete picture of your water. Copper is health concern that can be tested at a lab or onsite. The copper in water is normally from corrosion of copper pipe because of acidic water. When testing for copper the sample must be taken after the water has set in the piping, preferably overnight.

Water Quality Testing

Q4 What does Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. test for?
A4 Northwest Water Treatment's portable laboratory is used to test on-site for constituents that affect the quality of residential well water such as iron, manganese, pH, hardness, turbidity, alkalinity, and hydrogen sulfide. This may vary depending on the water source. Whenever health issues are suspected such as arsenic or bacteria, we recommend using an independent, state certified lab If bacteria or arsenic is present. There are treatment systems available for their removal.

Testing Water from a Municipal Water Supply

Q5 Should I test my water if I get my water from a municipal supply?
A5 If your home or facility is served by municipal water, you can obtain their annual Consumer Confidence Report which will cover the tests they are required by law to perform. You may wish to test for bacteria or lead within your home or facility. Your plumbing or treatment system can impact the ultimate quality of the water you consume. If you are concerned about aesthetic issues or chlorine tastes or odors, Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. can address these while performing an on-site water analysis.

Water System Installation

Q6 Does Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. provide system installation or do I need a plumber?
A6 Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. is a licensed contractor in the State of Washington and provides professional system installation. We typically use UPC approved Pex piping in our installations.

Water System Maintenance

Q7 Does Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. maintain the systems we install?
A7 Yes, Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. can set a service cycle to deliver salt, filters, and chemicals or you can service your system yourself.

Where Can I Purchase Salt for my Water Softener?

Q8 If I decide to maintain my water softener myself, where do I buy the salt?
A8 The best place to buy salt is your local Home Depot. They always stock water softener salt at a good price. Purchase Morton System Saver or, if your water has high iron content, purchase Morton Super Pellens.

Filter Replacement Cartridges

Q9 Where can I find replacement cartridges and how do I know which one I should be using?
A9 It is very important to use the correct cartridge filter with your water treatment system to ensure proper operation. If you feel the need to try a different filter cartridge other than the one specified for your system, please discuss with us first. We want to help you ensure the new cartridge will not affect the performance of your system and will address your water quality concerns. [All filter cartridges installed by Northwest Water Treatment, Inc. are available through our online store]. Let us know if you are unsure which filter you need. We can retrieve your equipment records and quote the exact filter that was installed with your system. Most filters are available for same-day shipment or pick-up or they can be delivered and installed when our service truck is in your area. Many cartridges are eligible for discounts when a case is ordered.

Contact us today for answers to your questions about installing or maintaining a well water treatment system.

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Northwest Water Treatment, Inc.
Phone: (253) 630-7177 or (800) 377-7401
Billing Address: 9520 9th Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98513-2023
Address: 19312 Patterson Rd E, Orting, WA 98360

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Service Areas
Residential: western Washington including
Auburn, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Buckley, Covington,
Eatonville, Enumclaw, Fall City, Federal Way, Fife, Gig Harbor, Graham, Issaquah, Kent, Lake Tapps,
Maple Valley, Olympia, Orting, Preston, Puyallup, Renton, Roy, Spanaway, Sumner, Tacoma, Wilkeson, and Yelm

Communities: Rural western Washington

Commercial and Industrial: western Washington including 
Bellevue, Everett, Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma

Aquaculture: United States and British Columbia (BC), Canada


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