Most standard water softeners uses a process called Ion Exchange. These systems use tiny polymer beads which are either charged negatively(cations) or positively(anions). Just as opposite poles of magnets are attracted to each other, the same holds true for contaminates which are dissolved into your drinking water. Negativity charged media inside water softeners attract positively charged contaminates such as calcium, manganese, and iron to name a few. The process of removing the calcium is what makes the water “soft”. These tiny beads inside the unit can only hold so many molecules stuck to them so once a week or so your water softener will go into a mode known as “regeneration”. During this regeneration, the unit will go through a series of steps which will return the unit to “new” condition. After backwashing to remove sediment from the media bed, a salt brine is drawn into the unit from the salt tank. This brine has a stronger attraction to the media than the contaminates do and therefore knocks the contaminates off the bead where they then travel to the drain and out to your septic or sewer.
There are many different resins made today and many different combinations of resins can be used inside the same softener tank to produce “deionized or demineralized water”. Image one single water softener that can do a number of different things such as soften water, lower PH, remove ARSENIC, and more! These things are possible today with the help of all the advancements in water treatment.
It is because of all the different combinations of media that you must choose a company with the knowledge of how to use them properly so that we may design and build a system which works for you!