Sodium in Drinking Water
What Is Sodium?
Sodium is a naturally occurring element throughout the environment. It is the sixth most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Sodium is an integral part of our body structure, and is required for good health.
All our body fluids, blood, sweat and tears have sodium. Sodium chloride (salt) is the most economically and industrial important form of sodium because of the thousands of uses. Just a few of Sodium’s applications are to flavor food and preserve food, treat drinking water in softening systems and de-ice road surfaces.
Sodium salts are naturally occurring and typically found in all water. Although sodium does occur naturally, sources such a road salting and storage, sewers, fertilizers and water softeners are the typical cause of elevated levels in drinking water.
Is It Harmful?
Sodium is generally not a health concern, but at high levels studies have shown that it can have an adverse effect on blood pressure and can cause issues for people with hypertension.
A large percentage of people are on low sodium diets and it is important to monitor the intake of sodium. Although there is no set standard for sodium in water, it is being further investigated on the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate list. The EPA recommends that sodium levels in water do not exceed 20 mg/l for those on low sodium or no salt diets.
Treatment Options For Sodium
Reverse osmosis is one option to reduce the amount of sodium in drinking water. The caution here is that they work much better when the equipment is new. As you use the system over time, periods as short as a few weeks and months depending on the levels of sodium, the water from it starts to return to original tap water going into it.
This is particularly important if you are using a reverse osmosis system and also use a water softener. The softener puts out large amounts of sodium because it’s the principal ingredient in the unit. Reverse osmosis units may initially remove most of this sodium but they will quickly deteriorate to virtually the same sodium content originally in your water.
Home steam distillation units are another option that can be used. They are coming down in cost and are an economical option with respect to initial cost and operational costs than reverse osmosis. They also cover a wide spectrum of contaminants they can be used for.
If you think you have sodium in your drinking water, contact one of our specialists to discuss your options.
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