FAQs - Central Texas Water Softeners
FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Let us help you understand water

We strive to answer all of our client questions and help them understand what they need. Below are the most asked questions we get, if you do not see your question, please feel free to contact us about it.


General Water Information

All Public Water Suppliers must provide annual water quality reports (consumer confidence reports) and all other notices of non-compliance per TCEQ/EPA.  Where they report these are less than obvious.  For example Canyon Lake – https://www.clwsc.com/ccr#Water-Quality-Report  Then you have to find your service location – I am in Canyon Lake Shores – This will produce an 8 page PDF for you to read.

Finding their notices of violations is alike to catching a greased pig, no telling where and how long they will list these and digging for them at the EPA is mind boggling.  The Texas Hill Country Alliance will put together, from time to time, reports of water supplier who have violations on their permits.  As we find them we will post them, along with their WQ Reports.  These are located, by clicking the service location buttons on the bottom of most of our web pages.

Water that has a high mineral (dissolved) content – usually calcium and magnesium, iron and manganese.  These are measured in grains per gallon (gpg), but can be reported in numerous volumes (ppm, mgl, we have a conversation chart on the hard water page).  Slightly hard is 1.0-3.5 gpg, Moderately Hard is 3.5 – 7.0, Hard is 7.0 – 10.5 and Extremely Hard is >10.5.  Most of our municipal water is 20-30 gpg and local well water can range from 28-150 gpg.  A single softener can remove up to 60 gpg, above that hardness, a dual pass is required. Learn more about Hard Water.

This should be a temporary feeling.  Skin that has become used to hard water usually has to “self-lubricate” to compensate for the hardness in the water.  Your skin is adaptive and after 2 weeks of using soft water this feeling should be gone.  If it is not, then you have a softener issue, using too much NACL.  Your water is over-soft and not working properly.

Cloudy water can be for various reasons.  The best way to solve this is with a water test – which is free. Learn more about water clarity.

Yes, how often depends on the type of water you have. City water will have a quality report, but this is at the plant, testing what is coming into your home is good practice and should be done every 5 years. Well water should be tested every 6-12 months depending on the age of the well. Wells change all the time. Rainwater should be tested every year. You should have a UV light in your treatment, that light should be changed every 12 months, this is a good time to test the water.

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant for most public water. Lately Public Water Suppliers are adding Ammonia to lengthen the disinfection time of chlorine.  Chlorine and Chlorine/Ammonia is both a savior and problem. This saves millions of people from waterborne diseases, like cholera, dysentery and typhoid, but chlorine is toxic and its byproducts produce know cancer causing side effects, Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic acid (HAAs). To remove the sides effects of Chlorine/Chloramine please install a Catalytic Carbon tank.

Much like any other professional tradesman (Engineer, Plumber, Electrician), Water Treatment workers need to have one of three licenses.  Water Treatment Specialist I, II or III and depending on this license, they are restricted to what functions they can perform.  This licensing is monitored by TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and each license must be renewed every three years.  Along with their renewals, additional levels/hours of training are required.  As your water changes, these professionals will be updated and re-trained, as necessary.  Ask to see your water treatment professional’s license.

Although we are based in Boerne, Texas, we service many cities near you in the Texas Hill County including Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Comfort ,Driftwood, Dripping Springs, Fischer, Fredericksburg, Helotes, Henly, Horseshoe Bay, Hye, Johnson City, Kendalia, Kerrville, Kyle, Luchenbach, Marble Falls, Morris Ranch, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Sisterdale, Spring Branch, Stonewall, Wimberley, and surrounding areas. If you are not sure if we service where you live, just give us a call at (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Water Softener Questions

Softening water is through ion exchange. The best exchange will also be affected by the pH level of your water. The resin in the softener will attract calcium and magnesium (small amounts of iron and manganese). When this resin become “full” unable to attract additional minerals, then the softener will go through a regeneration process. By adding a brine solution (NACL) to the resin tank, the softener will release the calcium and magnesium in exchange for sodium (NA). The Chlorine (CL), Calcium and Magnesium will be washed down the drain.  This recharged resin will now be able to new attract calcium and magnesium again. Learn more about water softeners.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from drinking water. Reverse osmosis can remove many types of dissolved and suspended chemical species as well as biological ones (principally bacteria) from water, and is used in both industrial processes and the production of great, pure drinking water. Our RO removes everything to .0002 microns.

Most older softener technology used 18 pounds of salt to regenerate 1 cubic foot of resin. New technology is high efficient (HE) and utilizes optimal precision brine, reducing salt to 6 pounds. When is time to regenerate, the system will pre-mix 70% of normal salt/CF – in HE mode (this is 6 pounds of salt/cubic foot of resin).  The system will then re-calculate based on the actual resin saturated. This prevents “slimy feel”, salt wastage and reduces salt usage. An average couple will use less than 6 bags of salt for the entire year. If you are using more salt, time to look at new technology.

Reverse Osmosis Questions

Waterborne diseases cause by pathogens, bacteria, viruses or protozoa (infant Green Mussels here locally) are common in most surface water.  These are normally killed by disinfection.  A slip in the disinfection process may happen at various stages (Cryptosporidium and Giardia have become resistant).  Your provider is required to fix this problem and notify you, but by that time the “horses have left the barn”.  There are two ways to prevent their slippage/resistant nature from causing you harm: drinking Reverse Osmosis water and installing a whole home UV Light after the softener (and any other household filtration systems).

Just the opposite, Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is one of the purest waters you can drink. RO removes everything to a .0002 micron level. Reverse Osmosis water should be used for cooking, ice and food preparation.  This is a must for children under the age of 9!

Potentially it could over a very long time. RO water is 6.5 pH which is lower than the ideal 7.4 (neutral). This can be easily changed with a pH booster filter after the RO filter. This filter will bring the pH back to neutral and add good minerals back, to make the water great tasting.

Having a UV light on the RO unit is over kill. A great RO system will remove everything to .0002 microns – the bacteria, cysts, parasite, viruses that a UV light would sterilize, are all bigger in size (.02) and will be removed by the RO filter. If a UV light is a part of a RO system, I would question the overall Filter. It would be a better investment to install a UV light after the softener for the whole house.

It depends on the filters that make up the RO system. There are some that have 3-5 filters, UV lights, and other add-on filters. We find that the best is a series that begins with a sediment filter, Carbon filter, RO filter and last, the pH booster/carbon filter. The RO filter must remove the contaminants in your water and the last filter must correct the water to work with house plumbing and make the water taste great.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

It should not taste like anything. The best example is to taste a sip or two of RO water and then have a taste of your current bottle/tap water. In every taste test, the same answer – their current tap or bottle water leaves an aftertaste. This after taste is something that they never noticed before, but once you have tasted pure water, never want to taste again.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Ultraviolet Light Questions

Waterborne diseases cause by pathogens, bacteria, viruses or protozoa (infant Green Mussels locally) are common in most surface water.  These are normally taken care of by disinfection.  A slip in the disinfection process may happen at various stages.  Your provider is required to fix this problem and notify you, but by that time the “horses have left the barn”.  There are two ways to prevent their slippage from causing you harm: drinking Reverse Osmosis water and installing a whole home UV Light after the softener (and any other household filtration systems).

This is a parasite that has three life stages: meronts, gamonts and oocysts.  When in the oocyst stage, Cryptosporidium is highly resistant to chlorine disinfection (same for Giardia). This means that your water provider can’t be 100% certain that Cryptosporidium or Giardia in not in your water. Ultraviolet light treatment, at relatively low doses will inactivate Cryptosporidium and Giardia and Reverse Osmosis will remove them from drinking water.  These can cause diarrhea and may also cause a persistent cough.

Having a UV light on the RO unit is over kill. A great RO system will remove everything to .0002 microns – the bacteria, cysts, parasite, viruses that a UV light would sterilize, are all bigger in size (.02) and will be removed by the RO filter. If a UV light is a part of a RO system, I would question the overall Filter. It would be a better investment to install a UV light after the softener for the whole house.

Ultraviolet light does not “kill” anything. UV light does not allow microbes to reproduce, it sterilizes them. Once the microbial dies there is no further spread of disease.  A great Reverse Osmosis filter will remove the microbes.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are parasites that has formed an outer bio-shell that can be resistant to chlorine disinfection. These parasites can slip by the disinfection process of the municipal water supplier. These parasites, like all others (including bacteria, cysts and viruses) can be sterilized with the proper UV light. Having a UV light after your softener, for whole house protection is a cheap effective way of ensuring great water.

Well Water Questions

Well Water may contain Iron. There is clear iron (Ferrous) and Red iron (Ferric).  Iron is treated through filtration.  What type of filtration is needed will depend on both the type Iron, the level (PPB) and other factors like manganese or bacterial iron present.  You should call us for a free water test. Learn more about Well Water.

Well Water may Contain Manganese.  What type of filtration needed will depend on other factors, such as hardness and iron (ferrous, ferric or bacterial).  You should call us for a free water test and we can provide the correct filtration to fix this problem. Learn more about Well Water.

Well water that has a low pH, high carbon dioxide or high oxygen content is corrosive. Please call us to have your water tested (for free) and then we can supply the correct filtration based upon these test results.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Well water that has a low pH, high carbon dioxide or high oxygen content is corrosive.  Please call us to have your water tested (for free) and then we can supply the correct filtration based upon these test results.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Well water that has a low pH, high carbon dioxide or high oxygen content is corrosive.  Please call us to have your water tested (for free) and then we can supply the correct filtration based upon these test results.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Well water may have hydrogen sulfide gas. This is a naturally occurring gas, from the natural decay processes in underground formations. This smell is usually accompanied by other factors, so this is a good time to have your water tested (for free). The test results will allow us to supply the correct filtration to fix this problem.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Your water is hard! What you see on the faucet is just the tip of the iceberg and a high indicator that your pipes, hoses, hot water heater and water using appliances are all affected. This is a warning sign that you will have future plumbing problem if a softener is not added to your household. Learn more about water problems like hard water.

Rain Water Questions

Rainwater is good water, better to drink from the sky, than any other water source (catch snow on your tongue).  Rainwater attracts most of its contaminants when it touches something earthbound (like a roof, or pavement). Gathering, storing and using rainwater for outside water (plants, pools, landscaping) is great and needs no treatment. The pool will use far less chemicals and the plants will thrive not having to filter the chlorine and ammonia from disinfection of municipal water. Learn more about rainwater solutions.

Rainwater that will be used for household working water will need different treatment than city water.  Rainwater will need to be filtered through a sediment filter, then carbon filter and then through a UV light.  This removes contaminants that could have been accumulated from the roof, storage tanks or the anything else that this water may have contacted.  These three filters cost about the same as putting in a softener and carbon tanks for municipal water. Learn more about the different water solutions we offer.

If you are using rainwater to replace your city water (see note above), then it is recommended that you use an Ultra-Filtration unit for great drinking water.  UF will remove .0125 microns.  This filtration is fine for the contaminants that are usually found in rainwater.  If you are concerned, then upgrading to a RO filter/storage tank, is the next level. Learn more about rainwater solutions.

No, just the opposite rainwater is naturally soft. Learn more about rainwater solutions.

Slightly, neutral on the pH scale is 7 and rainwater is 6.5. You could add a neutralizing filter, but this will add hardness. If your house is going to run on rainwater, use stainless/PEX and avoid copper. Learn more about rainwater solutions.

Taste and Odor Questions

Water that has a low pH, high carbon dioxide or high oxygen content is corrosive.  Please call us to have your water tested (for free) and then we can supply the correct filtration based upon these test results.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

Well water may have hydrogen sulfide gas. This is a naturally occurring gas, from the natural decay processes in underground formations. This smell is usually accompanied by other factors, so this is a good time to have your water tested (for free). The test results will allow us to supply the correct filtration to fix this problem.
Call Our Professional Water Experts (830) 730-6893 or send us a message.

60% of Texas water is surface water (lakes, reservoirs, rivers) filled with organic materials.  These organic materials will have bloom and decay as a part of their life-cycles and these will affect the taste, smell and potentially the appearance of water.  These are usually removed through Carbon filtration and in some cases require a UV light. Learn more about water problems like smell and taste on our Water Problems page.

You have mostly, municipal (public) water. Your water provider is mandated to disinfect your water, per the EPA/TCEQ. Because we live in a hot climate, they must use a stronger process of Chlorine and Ammonia (Chloramine), which allows the water to be disinfected for longer times and distances through their supply pipes.  Chlorine and Ammonia unfortunately have bad residuals:  Total TriHaloMethanes  (TTHM’s) and HaloAcetic Acid (HAA’s) both are know to cause Cancer.  If you can taste Chlorine, you must remove these with Catalytic Carbon (not GAC or Activated Coconut).  This process requires time/contact, so little filters will not work – it must be a tank, the size of your softener. This is THE most common problem with ALL of our local Municipal water!

Hear Why Customers Love Us...

Pam was very responsive and informative when I asked several technical questions about their RO system across 2-3 weeks. Based on her input and a competitive price, I chose that system. Derek came out for an evaluation of the specific requirements associated with an installation in our home and described exactly how it would be accomplished. A week later, he completed a clean, neat install and provided info relating to both maintenance of the system and to its dependency on other water processing units in the home. I came away with complete confidence I was dealing with experienced professionals and am very pleased with the results.

Wayne SSpring Branch Customer

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