Drinking Softened Water: How Much Sodium in Softened Water?
For those who own a water softener or are thinking about purchasing one, you may have wondered how much sodium is in softened water.
This will vary in each household. The amount of sodium in your water is directly related to your total water hardness. It’s easy math, so let’s figure it out together.
If you do not know your water hardness, contact your city administrator and they will be happy to provide you with this information. If you are on your own private well, you will have to have this tested. In Minnesota, water hardness can range from 6 to 25 grains per gallon of hardness (on average). Because the vast majority of my customers are in the 15 grain range, I will use this figure. Water Softeners collect hardness and in return releases a proportional amount of sodium.
According to the WQA (Water Quality Association), for every grain of hardness there will be 30mg of sodium in a gallon after it has been softened.
- 15 Grains x 30mg = 450mg in a Gallon (128oz)
- 450mg Sodium / 128oz = 3.51 mg per oz
- 3.51mg * 8oz = 28.12mg
In an 8oz glass of 15 grain softened water there is 28.12 mg of sodium.
Skim Milk (8oz)
Soy Sauce (1tsp)
According to the Mayo Health Clinic, in 2010 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended limiting sodium to less than 2, 300 mg of sodium per day, or 1, 500 if you are 51 or older.
The amount of sodium in softened water is directly related to the amount of hardness in the water.
If drinking softened water is not desired, by medical, personal preference, or other reasons, you can always have your kitchen cold water tap taken off of the water softener, or have the sodium removed using a device such as a reverse osmosis or distiller. (Fridge Filters or Brita/PURA style filters will not remove sodium)
A quote from the Mayo Clinic (the doctor is referring to water hardness of approximately 7 grains):
“An 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass of softened water generally contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium, which is well within the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “very low sodium.”
– Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. at the Mayo Health Clinic.