Home » Articles » The Low Down on Water Softeners (and why you likely still need an RO system)

The Low Down on Water Softeners (and why you likely still need an RO system)

14 February 2022

West Australian’s live with very hard water. You have probably witnessed the signs of hard water first hand throughout your home, with calcium build up in your kettle or other appliances or on your bathroom tiles being the most noticeable.  Calcium build up is one of the first signs of your tap water bring hard. If you have started research to find out what you can do about your hard water problem, you have probably come across a plethora of articles and advertisements for ‘water softeners’ are the best defence against hard water in your home.

But what exactly is a water softener?

Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you.

What is a water softener?

A water softener is a water filtration system that works to remove calcium, magnesium and iron minerals from your water, turning your water from hard water to soft water.

An ion exchange water softener, also known as a ‘salt-based’ water softener, is one of the most popular water softeners available.  These seem to be especially popular in WA. This type of water softener works by replacing calcium and magnesium in your tap water with sodium (salt) or potassium. The water softener will have a large tank, usually down the side of your house, to hold the sodium or potassium pellets. 

Are there water quality problems a water softener won’t fix?

While water softeners do a great job at removing calcium and magnesium from hard water, they cannot remove other minerals, gases, chemicals and other pollutants that can cause drinking water problems. Water softeners also cannot do anything about the smells and bad odours that water often has. In addition, water softeners cannot remove heavy metals like lead and copper, which can also be found in WA’s hard drinking water.

Is it safe to drink soft water?

Soft water is generally safe to drink, however the levels of sodium (salt) released may be a problem for people living in areas of extremely high water hardness levels. It is suggested that if your Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) reading is over 200ppm, you are likely to be ingesting too much salt through your drinking water. A TDS reading is a measure of the total dissolved solids that are found in your drinking water. These solids can be both organic and inorganic matter, which contribute to a difference in the taste, odour and appearance of your drinking water. Measuring your water TDS is the best way to understand the quality of your drinking water.

At Waterchoice, we perform a TDS reading before each new install, and at every routine service thereafter, and the majority of TDS readings are above 200ppm.  We have even had readings as high as 700ppm not only in the Pilbara region, but also in the Perth metro area.

Should I invest in a water softener?

Whether or not you invest in a water softener is completely personal preference. If you see signs of hard water in your house, and it is ruining appliances, bathroom tiles etc, then perhaps a water softener might be the solution for you.
Keep in mind that a water softener will set you back anywhere between $2000 - $5000. And that is just for the initial installation, there will be ongoing maintenance fees on top of this. And on top of having a water softener, it is recommended that you have a second water filtration system for your drinking water.

But I already have a water softener in my house.  What should I do about drinking water?

No problem at all!  A water filtration system from Waterchoice can provide you with the best tasting filtered water around.

Waterchoice specialise in 5 stage reverse osmosis for your drinking water needs.  Reverse osmosis, or RO as it is affectionately known, was invented by the US Navy to make sea water drinkable.  So an RO system should be perfect in dealing with your already softened tap water.  Unlike ordinary filter systems, which only remove large chunks of contaminants, RO systems feature semi-permeable membranes that remove heavy dirt particles, plus a percentage of the dissolved contaminants molecule by molecule.

And the end result is 99.9% pure water!

An RO system from Waterchoice has many benefits, including:

  • Great tasting drinking water
  • Makes your tea, coffee and household cooking taste even better
  • Great for your children and pets
  • No ghastly and bulky water bottles in sight
  • Each system can produce up to 300L of filtered water a day, so never run out of water, or wait for a water bottle delivery again!

Filtered water also has potential health benefits, by not consuming so many chemicals, hard metals and pollutants.

Our RO systems connect to your existing plumbing and refill automatically direct from your tap water. The systems are also self cleaning. The more water you pour off and drink, the cleaner the water will be.

What contaminants does an RO system remove?

Aluminium, calcium, copper, mercury, fluoride, lead arsenic, bacteria, iron, cadmium, cyanide…the list goes on and on.

It is really astounding to think of the staggering number of chemicals and pollutants in our drinking water.  For a full list on the contaminants removed by a Waterchoice RO system, and their rejection rates, please visit our website /facts .

How much will an RO system from Waterchoice cost me?

$15 per week.

Rental of our water filtration systems comes with a price guarantee, never pay anything more than $15 per week.  Our fixed fee includes:

  • Free installation
  • Free servicing, maintenance and parts
  • Free relocation if you move home, office or work shop
  • Local Service Technicians available to service your water filtration needs
  • Both bench top and floor standing water systems available
  • First two weeks free based on a 12 month standard agreement.

When in Western Australia can I get a Waterchoice Filtration System installed?

Waterchoice started in Karratha in the year 2000.  We have since rapidly grown throughout Western Australia and can be found in:

  • Broome
  • Dampier
  • Geraldton
  • Karratha
  • Newman
  • Onslow
  • Pannawonica
  • Perth
  • Point Samson
  • Port Hedland
  • Roebourne
  • Wickham

Your town not listed?  Get in touch with us, as we may still be able to assist you.



Contact Us



« back to current articles