My neighbor is on city water; why dose he have two water softeners?
Municipal water (i.e. city water or county water) has a multitude of contaminants that well water dose not suffer from. While well water has certain contaminants that have to be dealt with, they do not suffer from municipal contamination known as contaminants of emerging concern. If your neighbor has two tanks with two controllers on top of them, he likely has a water softener and an automatic carbon unit. There are a lot of people today concerned about their water quality, even though it comes from a city or county water treatment system. These people are taking the measures to make sure the water is clean, not just for drinking but for bathing as well.
Municipal water has hardness just like well water does and usually is in the range of 7 - 14 grains of hardness; a water softener will remove this hardness while, a carbon unit will remove a lot of the chemical contamination. While other filtration would be needed to remove even more contaminants such as fluoride, a water softener and a carbon unit is a huge one - two punch in decontaminating the water and it is better to have filtration than not.
Sometimes chemicals that had not previously been detected (or were previously found in far lesser concentrations) are discovered in the water supply. These chemicals are known as “contaminants of emerging concern” or simply "emerging contaminants." Emerging contaminants are important because the risk they pose to human health and the environment is not yet fully understood.
Pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PCPs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are among the prime examples of emerging contaminants. Up to 90% of oral drugs pass through the human body and end up in the water supply. Personal care products (soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, etc.) also find their way into our water. Endocrine disruptors are substances that may interfere with the function of hormones in the body. Trace amounts of these contaminants are being discovered in water throughout the country. The U.S. EPA is working to improve its understanding of several emerging contaminants, including perchlorate, pharmaceuticals, PCPs and EDCs.
Should I be concerned?
With advances in testing and health research, experts are learning of new potential dangers in our drinking water. In many cases, the possible harms are not yet fully known but people are not taking any chances.
How do I know if they're in my water?
Home testing for many newly discovered threats does not yet exist. In some cases, state laboratories can test for these contaminants or local professionals can provide water treatment to address them. Public health advocacy agencies and government bodies also conduct surveys to find some of these contaminants.
How can I prevent them?
To feel confident you are protecting yourself against contaminants, you should seek devices that have been rigorously tested and certified to independent standards. Experts in testing are constantly working to develop new standards to meet emerging threats. This is why we are proud to deal in equipment that has been independently tested and certified by the Water Quality Association (wqa.org).