Frequently Asked Questions


1. How expensive are water conditioning systems?

Prices of water softeners vary widely, depending on the size, the manufacturer and the quality. A water softener is not a “one size fits all” home appliance like a water heater. There are a number of factors that must be considered before a system is installed. First, the mineral content of the water source must be tested along with the iron content. Additionally, the type of iron is also a factor. Secondly, the size of the household is also a consideration as well as the size of the plumbing. Bay Lakes EcoWater Systems offers a free in home water analysis to determine the proper size equipment for your family’s needs. 

While the price of a water softener is important, the operating cost is equally important. When you are looking for a water softener, the salt efficiency should also be considered. Many softeners on the market today do not meet salt efficiency standards that have been set by local or state governments and you may find yourself filling these units quite frequently with salt. Some water softeners also use tremendously more water to regenerate than others do: A factor to consider if you live on a municipal water supply and you are paying for water. 

2. Isn’t bottled water better than tap water?

Just as tap water can vary by location, the content of bottled water varies by bottler. Some of the highest quality bottled water is produced by reverse osmosis (RO) filtration, which typically reduces impurities by 95 percent or more. Reverse osmosis technology is available for your home through your local EcoWater Systems dealer. Drinking water produced by a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system is far more economical than the cheapest bottled water.

3. Isn’t my municipal water treated?

Many municipalities treat water with chlorine to kill bacteria. A few even soften the water, but their only goal is to meet minimum federal requirements. To eliminate chlorine aftertaste and common water problems, an in-home water treatment system is often necessary.

4. What, exactly, is hard water?

Water is hard when it contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium. If you have hard water, you may see white crusty deposits on your sinks, tubs, and showers, along with build-up on your glassware, dishware and even in your clothing.  You will notice less lather from your shampoo and soap and a filmy feeling on your skin. All of these are symptoms of the need for softened water.

5. What’s so bad about hard water?

Hard water can produce a rock-like scale that builds up in pipes, dishwashers, water heaters, ice machines and other appliances. This scale will reduce efficiency, water flow, clog valves and vents to create maintenance problems and reduce service life of your appliances. It requires you to use far more soaps, shampoo, and cleaning supplies. Hard water contributes to dry, itchy, scaly skin and in turn you use more hand and body lotions. It ruins clothing, and costs home owners time and energy to clean the surfaces that are affected by hard water or water that contains iron. 

6. How is water softened?

Salt does not soften the water. In fact, salt to a water softener is like soap to your dirty dishes: The sodium in salt rinses the mineral out of the softener after the softener has collected it out of your water. Water is softened or conditioned when ions such as magnesium and calcium are replaced with ions of sodium or potassium. Water softeners must be regenerated regularly, renewing their ability to remove hardness from water.

7. How do I know what I need?

The first step to improving your family’s water is to identify your specific problem. Do you have white scale build up around your home? Are there reddish-brown iron stains in your sink, shower, tub or toilet? Does your bathtub have a hard water ring? Does your water look dirty or cloudy? Does it have a foul taste or smell sometimes? For these and other common problems, Bay Lakes EcoWater Systems can conduct a FREE in-home water test and recommend the perfect solution.

8. Aren’t my tax dollars paying for clean, regulated water?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets primary and secondary water regulations. In some cases, water will not meet those standards. And even if it does, it may still taste or smell bad or contain magnesium, calcium or other minerals or dissolved solids. Thankfully, in-home water treatment methods are available to take the guess work out of solving water-quality problems.

9. What is the right system for my water problems?

The right product for your home is determined by testing your water, considering how many people are living in your home, understanding your normal water usage, taking into account the number of bathrooms you have, understanding the water-using appliances in your home, etc. Authorized EcoWater Pros are water treatment professionals trained to understand your family’s needs and determine the right product for your home.

10. What are some common home water problems?

While most homeowners may never encounter scary-sounding contaminants like toxaphene and trichloroethylene, there are several common water problems to be on the lookout for in the home:

Hard water

Iron water

Acid water


Taste and Odor


Harmful bacteria 

Nuisance bacteria 


For more information on these problems, visit Diagnose Your Water.

11. The water from my Reverse Osmosis System has a taste to it.

Ask your EcoWater Pro about what you are experiencing. You could be due for a filter change. Maybe something has changed with your water, and it will be better served by a different type of filter cartridge in your drinking water system. A conversation with your EcoWater Pro is your safest bet in finding a solution.

12. How often do the reverse osmosis filters have to be changed?

Your authorized EcoWater Pro can talk to you about how often the filters need to be changed, based on your home’s water and your water use. Talk to your EcoWater Pro about service program options that might include routine filter replacements.

13. My water tastes fine. Why would I need a drinking water system?

Many impurities in water are tasteless or odorless. Ordinary tap water may contain dissolved metals, such as iron or lead. If you live on a municipal water source, it will likely contain chlorine.  If you own a private well, your water may contain nitrates, arsenic, sulfates or other man-made contaminants. It could have sulfates, mercury, asbestos or arsenic in it. A reverse osmosis water treatment system from EcoWater reduces more than 95% of dissolved solids, including many harmful contaminants.

13. I’m worried about harmful bacteria in my drinking water. How can I be sure it’s removed?

EcoWater offers a microbiological drinking water purification system that is certified to reduce 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses and 99.95% cysts, such as giardia and cryptosporidia.

14. The city treats my water so it’s safe to drink. What more do I need?

The quality of your home’s water may meet local standards, but it might not meet your own. Reverse osmosis drinking water purification systems are usually used in the kitchen, where you are most apt to get your drinking water, and where you prepare all of your food and beverages. You need the healthiest and best tasting water available.

Also, the methods used to treat municipal water – including chlorine – could be impacting the smell and taste of your mixed beverages and your cooking. A drinking water system provides bottled water quality, without the bottled water price paid at the store and at the recycling center.

15. Efficiently Run Softeners Do Not Hurt Septic Tank

A study released at WQA Aquatech USA indicates “that the use of efficiently operated water softeners improves septic tank performance, while the use of very inefficiently operated water softeners may have a negative effect on solids discharge to the drain field and the level of impact will depend on the level of hardness in the water, whether the regeneration waste is discharged to the septic tank, and the amount of excess sodium present in regeneration waste.”

The Water Quality research Foundation commissioned Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to conduct this independent study in 2012 which resulted in an official report, “Changes in Septic Tank Effluent Due to Water Softener Use.” Two different approaches were taken to conduct this study; one in a laboratory setting and the other looked at case studies conducted in the field.

16. My water feels too soft. Can I adjust it?

The life of the resin in a water softener depends on a water softener that is properly adjusted. If the resin isn’t adequately cleaned it will be in a constant state of being exhausted and will become fouled. 

17. Why is there water in my salt tank?

Unlike other water softeners, EcoWater water softeners use dry salt storage technology so the only time there should be water in it is when it is regenerating. If there is always standing water in the salt tank you will need a friendly visit from one of our factory trained service technicians to resolve the problem.

18. I filled the salt tank, but the light is still blinking and the screen still says to add salt.

On the older models, you must set the salt level on the display screen. Note the level number along the inside wall of the salt tank. Then follow the menu instructions on your softener display screen to set the salt level number.

19. My softener isn’t using much salt.

Unlike other water softeners, an EcoWater softener or refiner is extremely efficient, so you will not go through as much salt as you may be accustomed to with other brands. If you feel like your water isn’t soft, and the level of salt is not decreasing at all, consult your EcoWater Pro.

20. How do I determine the proper equipment for my home?

The right product for your home is determined by testing your water, evaluating how many people are live in your home, and the size of your home. The most important factor is addressing the homeowner’s concerns. Authorized EcoWater Pros are water treatment professionals trained to understand your family’s needs and wants, to  determine the right product for your home.

21. I live in the city. Since they treat the water, does that mean my water is already soft?

Most municipalities treat water by using chlorine to kill bacteria. Some might even soften the water to a point.  That doesn’t mean it is soft or even deal for your family’s needs.

An EcoWater Systems Water Refiner softens your family’s water by removing the hardness minerals and sediments that weren’t removed by the municipality, and it also removes the chlorine taste and odor.

21. Why does soft water make my skin feel slippery?

The same way that soft water eliminates water spots that dry onto your glassware and silverware, it allows your bath soaps to lather better and rinse off completely. Soft water leaves no soap residue on your skin to dry out your skin and trap dead skin cells and other particles. The slippery feeling is from the natural oils from your skin: your skin is allowed to breathe! The “slippery” you feel is exactly how clean skin is supposed to feel.. Soaps will lather better and you’ll be able to use half as much.

22. What does soft water mean?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. It’s a natural result of minerals like calcium and magnesium accumulating during the water cycle. The more calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes. This is why certain cities and counties within the same state can have varying degrees of water hardness.

A water softener system treats your water at the point it enters the home. It removes these hardness impurities before the water travels through your pipes and into your water-using appliances, and before you draw water from the taps of your bathrooms and kitchen. According to the National Water Quality Association, Soft water is less than 1 gpg, whereas extremely hard water is anything above 10.5 gpg. Over 85% of households live in hard water areas.

EcoWater’s whole home filtration systems, offers you a water softener system and reverse osmosis drinking water system, creating the healthiest water for all uses.