Category Archives: Whole House System

What’s the Difference Between Water Softeners & Water Conditioners?

whole home water conditioner softener

As a new homeowner, you’ll likely face a common question: do I need a water softener? After some research, you’ll likely come across some info about a similar piece of equipment called a water conditioner. The differences between the two can be confusing, but making the right choice can have a significant impact on you and your family’s health and your home’s appearance and value. 

Many areas across the country – especially Southern California – have “hard water,” which means your tap water has exceptionally high mineral content.

Hard water is not particularly unhealthy, but it’s capable of causing some costly problems for your home. The most costly issues include scaling, pipe blockage and even pipe leaks. 

Your Home’s Health

Scaling is the buildup of minerals to form a deposit called lime scale. Hard water mixed with soap forms nasty soap scum, which leaves a bathtub ring on your surfaces. 

hard vs soft water

The difference in scaling between a showerhead with hard water and soft water is obvious.

Excessive scaling can lead to clogged pipes, which decrease water flow rate to your faucets and showerheads and can even affect the life of toilet flushing units.

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A pipe clogged with hardness minerals.

Eventually, the scaling in your pipes will allow less water to flow through. Showerheads will dribble instead of spraying and faucets will deliver a weak stream of water. Buildup in your faucets can also lead to faulty shutoff mechanisms and dripping faucets.

The third costly effect of hard water is when dissolved minerals eat through pipes causing leaks and water damage in your home. It’s important to realize this potential issue early, because there are water pipes throughout your home and even a small hole can result in VERY costly damage.

hard water pipe damage

Pipe with a significant leak due to hard water.

 

Your Health and Happiness (and Sanity)

The effects of hard water are not limited to your home and plumbing fixtures; it can also affect your quality of life. Hard water requires more soap or detergent and water for showering and laundry.

åAdditionally, mixing soap and hard water on the body can cause what’s referred to as a “curd,” which can remain on the skin after rinsing, clogging pores. This serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, rashes and dry skin irritations.

Hard water also leads to mineral deposits in your hair, making it harder to untangle post-shower.

So What’s the Solution?

Now that you understand the multitude of issues surrounding hard water, let’s discuss the best way to get rid of hard water in your home. A water softener may be the more popular option, but I’m going to explain to you why a water conditioner is the better option for your home, your health and your wallet.

Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners

Both water softeners and water conditioners solve the problems associated with hard water. The two are significantly different, though, in 3 main ways:

  1. Water Quality
  2. Simplicity
  3. Price

Water Quality

The biggest difference between water softeners and water conditioners is water quality. The reason is pretty simple: water softeners DO NOT filter your water and water conditioners do.

Water softeners use what’s called “ion exchange,” which swaps hardness mineral ions for sodium, reducing the water’s hardness. The problem is that softeners only focus on hardness, not contaminants such as chlorine and carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Chlorine is generally the most noticeable contaminant in tap water (due to the large amount added in at a municipal level in order to disinfect water). It is also quite dangerous and damaging to your health and beauty. Chlorine can cause cancer over time when ingested and is notorious for drying out skin and hair. In addition to being dangerous to the body, chlorine can contribute to pinhole leaks in your pipes.

Without a conditioner, you will not be able to remove chlorine and other dangerous contaminants – you will simply have softer, dirty water.

Simplicity

As I mentioned above, water softeners use a process called “ion exchange,” which is about as complicated as it sounds. It requires electricity (which drives up cost of operation) and maintenance such as buying, hauling and adding salt periodically. In addition to being physically trying and time-consuming, adding salt also requires upwards of $200 per year.

Ion exchange is also not eco-friendly in any way. The process requires waste water to be expelled through a special drain. Research showed that this briny waste water was actually affecting area water supplies, leading to the recent ban of salt-based water softeners in cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles. That’s right: if you live in Southern California, you are likely outlawed from even purchasing a salt-based water softener.

Water conditioners do not use any electricity, saving your energy bill. They also create zero wastewater and require no maintenance aside from annual filter changes. Additionally, water conditioners use significantly less floor space in your garage and make no noise.

On an aesthetic level, conditioners produce water that mixes well with soaps and detergents, allowing you to use less of each, saving you even more money. Conditioned water also feels better in the shower, whereas softened water leaves a distinct “slippery” feel on the skin. 

Price

Of course, one of the most important aspects of any home improvement purchase is the price. What is it worth for you to have clean water and fortified investments in your kitchen and bathroom fixtures? Obviously, many companies will use this argument to justify ridiculously-priced items. But water conditioners are actually priced significantly below water softeners.

The Evolution Whole Home Water Conditioner starts at only $795, compared with softeners in the thousands of dollars, plus maintenance costs. Conditioners also save you from the electricity and water costs associated with a complicated softener. 

Most importantly, though, a Water Conditioner preserves the health of you and your family, as you can be sure the dangerous contaminants found increasingly in tap water supplies will be eradicated at the source. 

Call 619-356-3766 or email info@evolutionhealthworks.com today for more info about how a Water Conditioner can help improve your life and the value of your home!

Helping You Compare Water Filters

compare water filters

As awareness of the importance of clean water in the home rises, more and more people are starting to consider what water filter is right for them.

With this increase in demand, water filter suppliers are flooding (so to speak) the market with products. This can lead to confusion, especially when companies make over-the-top claims.

We don’t want to confuse you – we want you to compare the different water filters available on the market so you can decide what’s best for you and your family. Below are some simple explanations of water filter options.

Carbon Filters

Activated Carbon products are the most common filters on the market. You probably know them better as pitchers or attachments on your sink. These are helpful if you’re renting or staying somewhere temporary. They take care of foul odors and tastes, but do not remove bacteria or microorganisms.

Other than lacking in how much junk they can remove, the main downside to carbon filters is that they don’t last long. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever had a filter pitcher blink red at you after a month in the fridge.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

RO systems became popular because they are very powerful and filter almost all dissolved solids in tap water. They are usually installed under the sink, which is nice because they don’t take up counter or fridge space. There are a few problems with RO, though. While it filters lots of bad stuff from your water, it also removes good stuff such as healthy trace minerals. This can pose some serious health issues down the road. Another issue is that RO systems create a large amount of waste water, almost 5 times as much as they do filtered water in some cases.

Remineralizers

The best alternative to RO’s mineral-deficient water is remineralized water. They are harder to find, but quality water filter companies often have a remineralizer included in their filtration systems. It’s important to make sure that you aren’t just adding minerals to unfiltered water, though.

 

Ionizers

These are the worst offenders when it comes to ridiculous health claims. Multi-level marketing companies got a hold of ionizers a few years back and started selling them without integrity. These are not miracle-machines, but they do have significant health benefits.

Ionizers charge minerals in the water to raise its alkalinity. The resulting alkaline water (above 7 on the pH scale) has been shown to raise overall blood alkalinity, act as an antioxidant capable of killing leukemia cells and increase bone health. These are claims backed by accredited scientific studies, not commercial science.

It’s very important to make sure you only use an ionizer with a water filter, since there is no research on the effects of ionized contaminants. Also, since water can’t be ionized – only the minerals in it – it’s important to have a remineralizer included with your ionizer.

Whole Home Systems

The water you drink isn’t the only water you’re exposed to in the home. If you live in an area with poor water quality (see the EWG’s 10 Best and Worst Water Utilities here), a whole home water filter system would be a good investment because you’re at risk from showering in contaminants.

Hot showers open up your pores, allowing you to absorb contaminants directly into your bloodstream. Similarly, water vaporizes in the heat, leaving your vulnerable to inhaled pollutants such as trihalomethanes (a byproduct of chlorine disinfectants) or fluoride.

Many whole home water filter systems cost thousands of dollars, but there are many more affordable systems on the market that will provide you with much cleaner water.

Which one is for you?

You’ve seen the options – which one fits best for you? If you’re not yet sure, we’d love to talk.

Give us a call at 619-356-3766.

In health!

3 Reasons to Have Clean Water Throughout Your Whole Home

beautiful skin water youthful hydrated

We all know the importance of drinking clean water – it protects us from harmful contaminants and keeps us hydrated – but it’s also crucial that we filter the rest of the water in our homes.

Contaminants in our water can harm us in many more ways than just through drinking. Think of all the ways you come in contact with water throughout an average day.

Below are 3 reasons to filter every drop of water in your home. Enjoy!

1. Your skin absorbs contaminants freely

Your skin doesn’t only depend on the water you drink, it also reacts to the water in which you bathe. For the same reasons that water from the tap can be dangerous to drink, it can be even more harmful to shower in.

You see, our local governments add chlorine and other chemicals to the water supply to disinfect it, but this process creates byproducts that can wreak havoc on your skin and your overall health. When you shower, your pores open up and absorb these toxins, leaving you vulnerable.

2. You can inhale contaminants in hot shower water vapor

If you take hot showers (of course you do), you know that they create steam. If you breathe during your hot showers (of course you do), you’re inhaling compounds such as fluoride directly into your lungs.

Fluoride is added to the water supply by most major municipalities because it’s beneficial when used topically on our teeth. Recent studies suggest, though, that it has detrimental effects when ingested.

What is especially scary about this is the fact that vapors that you inhale hit your bloodstream significantly faster, meaning you could be more vulnerable to fluoride and other contaminants in your shower water than in your drinking water.

3. Whole home systems are affordable

It’s a no brainer that some type of whole home water filter system is necessary in any home. The problem is the confusing marketplace. Many companies will try to sell whole home systems for several thousand dollars.

The Evolution Healthworks Whole-Home Water System effectively removes chemical byproducts and other nasty substances from entering your home.

 

 

 

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you sicker

chlorine-Danger

Following last month’s drinking water crisis in Ohio, city officials around Lake Erie started adding more chlorine to the area’s water supply to combat the effects of microorganisms originating from an algae bloom. This is another reminder of the widespread practice of adding disinfectants to city water supplies in order to combat contaminants.

Disinfectants such as chlorine are effective in killing dangerous microorganisms, but they can also wreak havoc on our bodies. Studies have shown that repeated exposure to chlorinated water can cause bladder cancer. form harmful byproducts called tri-halomethanes (THM) that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

One well-known THM is chloroform, which is classified by the EPA as a carcinogen. Other effects of chloroform ingestion, absorption or inhalation include kidney and liver damage, immune system dysfunction and birth defects.

Why worry, though? Even if we drink a little chloroform, why would we absorb or inhale it? This is where it gets scary, folks.

Did you know that we can absorb and inhale more chloroform in a 10-minute shower than we would drinking eight glasses of water in a day? This is because warm showers open up our pores, allowing contaminants to be easily absorbed. Showers also create steam, which we inhale, introducing chloroform to our respiratory system.

Cities have been chlorinating water supplies for over a century. Despite the setbacks, disinfection is necessary to combat microorganisms that would make us very sick, very quickly. Since the practice is not going to end any time soon, it’s our responsibility to manage the water coming into our homes.

The only way to ensure that every drop of water in your home is free from dangerous THMs and byproducts is to install a Whole Home Water System. Be careful in your search, though. Many companies charge thousands of dollars for these systems, using their size as justification for a hefty price.

The Evolution Healthworks Whole Home Water System is extremely effective and is priced affordably. It is also smaller than other similar products on the market, leaving you more room in the garage to store your gear.

Big Fracking Problem: How oil drilling wreaks havoc on your water

pumpjack silhouettes

The highly controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing – better known as fracking – is back in the news again after a recent report revealed that regulations protecting municipal drinking water sources are not adequate.

This comes on the heels of California’s announcement last months that it would be shutting down 11 fracking wastewater disposal sites for leaks that contaminated drinking water aquifers.

Many expected the Government Accountability Office report to finally raise concerns about fracking’s effects on personal and environmental health, but a study by Media Matters found that the media is dropping the ball on covering the report’s findings.

Fracking has mustered a great deal of support because of its proposed benefits, including increased energy independence and beefy economic stimulus (to the tune of $24-28 billion annually in large fracking states such as California). The practice’s drawbacks, though, negate its benefits.

How does it work?

Oil companies love fracking because it is an an effective method for extracting more oil than regular vertical drilling. The hydraulic fracturing process drills down into the earth and then pumps a mixture of fluid chemicals and sand at a very high pressure to create horizontal fractures, releasing oil from rock formations. The oil – and the chemicals – then bubble to the surface.

The chemicals used for fracking include “ethylene glycol, which can damage kidneys; formaldehyde, a known cancer risk; and naphthalene, considered a possible carcinogen.”

Once separated from the oil, the chemicals are disposed of in “wastewater injection wells.”

The problem

The safety of these wastewater injection wells is basically a crapshoot. The regulations for constructing one vary by location. For example, Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources issues permits to construct wells, but companies in Pennsylvania must go to the EPA for permits. The result? 200 wastewater injection wells in Ohio and only 10 in Pennsylvania.

The GAO’s report suggests that these hastily granted permits (Ohio DNR typically processes applications in 6 weeks versus the EPA’s 6 months) result in poorly regulated wells that are responsible for poisoning water supplies.

Despite being built of mostly steel and concrete, the wastewater injection well casings are highly susceptible to seismic activity, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue if fracking wasn’t also scientifically proven to cause earthquakes.

Frequent earthquakes, caused by the process of injecting water into faults in the earth, damage these deep injection wells and allow dangerous chemicals to leak into the earth, and eventually into your tap water.

Why isn’t this a bigger story?

The fact that constant reports of fracking’s negative effects on municipal drinking water haven’t been covered in the news is highly alarming. The Media Matter study found that in four of the states doing the most fracking (Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Colorado), only one major newspaper reported on the GAO’s findings.

Several of these papers have published editorials in support of fracking, likely revealing the reasoning behind their failure to cover the GAO report.

What can you do?

As fracking continues to boom, the number of dangerous wastewater injection wells will also increase.

Check out this map to see if fracking occurs where you live.

As always, you can write a letter to your local Congressman, but unless you’re ready to include a fat check rivaling those oil and gas industry lobbyists are writing, your letter is likely to go unnoticed.

If fracking is happening in your area, your water could be at risk today. Take matters into your hands and find out how a Whole Home Water System can protect you from the carcinogens fracking is releasing into your water.

 

Update: More info on this topic from a member of the National Resources Defense Council

Pharmaceuticals In Our Drinking Water: Where Do They Come From and What Are The Effects?

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According to a study released by the Mayo Clinic earlier this year, nearly 70 percent of Americans take some sort of prescription drug. This is up from 48 percent just a few years ago in 2007-2008. As it turns out, the increased popularity of prescription drugs is having an effect on our nation’s water quality.

How do pharmaceutical drugs get in our drinking water?

Pharmaceutical drugs get into our drinking water in three main ways. Many people flush their old and unused pharmaceuticals down their toilets and sinks, which allows the drugs to end up in our water supplies. In addition, trace amounts of pharmaceuticals end up in our urine, which adds the drugs to wastewater and eventually back to our water supplies. Another way in which we can get these pharmaceuticals back into our systems, is fish and other sea creatures absorbing them, and then humans eating them.

Are pharmaceutical drugs monitored in our drinking water?

There are currently no regulations that require water treatment plants to test for or monitor the levels of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water. We do know, however, that these drugs are making it past our treatment plants and into the water in our homes.

According to a study published by the EPA, more than half of the nation’s water supplies that were sampled tested positive for oxycodone, high-blood pressure medications, over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.) and more.

What are the health effects of consuming pharmaceuticals in drinking water?

It is currently unclear how pharmaceuticals in drinking water affect our health. However, it is a growing concern among scientists and health officials. What we do know is that hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body, which suggests that the drugs can affect our bodies even though they show up in low concentrations in our water. In addition, the increase of pharmaceuticals in water has been affecting the hormones and reproductive process of the fish in our water supplies.

If you’re concerned about the health effects of pharmaceuticals in your water, your best defense is to install a EVOLUTION WHOLE HOME SYSTEM or a AURA ALKALINE WATER FILTER. Both of these residential water treatment systems will remove the traces of pharmaceuticals from the water you consume in your home.

10 Reasons You Should Be Using A Whole House System

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  1. Harmful chemicals evaporate into the air in your house from the shower, toilet, and sink.
  2. A leading cause of asthma and bronchitis is from air quality. When water contaminants are released into the air, poor air quality is the result.
  3. The standard shower filter, or even a countertop water filter can not protect the house from contaminants evaporating into the air.
  4. Shower filters, because they must filter water at extreme temperatures, are not completely effective at removing all dangerous contaminants.
  5. Skin rashes can and other types of skin irritations can occur because chlorine and volatile organic contaminants such as tri-halomethanes are embedded in your clothes when washed in chlorinated water.
  6. The dishwasher releases more chlorine into the air than any other water source in the house, besides the shower.
  7. The only way to make sure you are getting pure, clean, filtered water from every source in the house is a whole home system.
  8. While not to the level of a EVO FILTER, our Whole Home System purifies the drinking water and rids contamination to a very high level.
  9. Dermal absorption and inhalation are two ways the 2100 known water contaminants can make there ways into our bodies besides drinking the actual water.
  10. Avoiding tap water in exchange for bottled water is not a safe trade off. Check out 3 Reasons To Never Drink Bottled Water Again to learn more

 

Our EVOLUTION WHOLE HOME SYSTEM provides you with the solution to these issues. Our system removes chlorine and other dangerous components in your water such as fluoride, VOC (volatile organic compounds), sediment and turbidity. The Evolution Whole Home System is the best option to making sure you and your family are living in the most healthy, safe way.

Is Your Shower Water Making You Sick?

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The condition of the water we drink, bathe in, and with which we cook is crucial to our health.

Many people know about the dangers of pathogens or major contaminants in our drinking water, but the voluntary addition of chemicals such as chlorine by local governments can also affect our well being.

Chlorine is used in public water supplies around the country to eliminate pathogens such as viruses and bacteria from our water. Despite the benefits, chemical disinfectants like chlorine can have damaging effects on our bodies.

When local governments use chlorine as a water treatment, the chemical combines with natural organic matter to form compounds called trihalomethanes (THMs), also known as disinfectant byproducts. These compounds are toxic when consumed, inhaled, or applied to the skin and can have lasting negative affects.

Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water demonstrate a variety of toxicity issues.

  • Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers. (Via NIH )
  • THMs from chemically treated water have been associated with a variety of poor birth outcomes, such as spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and low birth weight. (Via NIH)
  • Chlorine and chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract. (Via Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
  • Freeradicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. (Via Orthomolecular)

The compounds in disinfected water may be able to reach the gut not only through our drinking water, but also through daily showers and baths. A recent post at the Food Renegade blog emphasized this idea, not only highlighting the harmful effects of chlorinated drinking water, but emphasizing the possibly greater effect that showers and baths could have on our intestinal flora. As we know, there’s a strong connection between asthma, acne, autoimmune conditions and the health of our gut flora. With all of this, its fair to think that a microbial imbalance within the body is made worse by all of the chlorine exposure.

Showering and bathing in chlorinated water may expose us to even more chlorine and its byproducts than drinking disinfected water.

While our bodies can filter out some of the chlorine from our drinking water, the THMs and other disinfectant byproducts we inhale during showers and baths may be much more harmful, since the chlorine gas we inhale enters directly into our blood stream. It’s especially easy for our skin to absorb the chemical as hot showers open up the pores (Via Global Healing Center).

Even if you filter your drinking water, the amount of toxins you are exposed to from your daily shower or bath, through inhalation or skin absorption, may be cause for greater concern.

3 WAYS WATER CAN GIVE YOU RADIANT, YOUTHFUL SKIN

Research has demonstrated that the cancer risk associated with chlorinated water may actually be due to showering and bathing, rather than drinking the disinfected water (Via Oxford Journals). This implies that many of the risks to our health from chlorine and other disinfectants and there byproducts may be related to exposure via inhalation or on the skin, and not limited to solely drinking. A single chloroform dose from a 10-minute shower is equal to, and possibly greater than, that from the average two liters of water ingestion on a daily basis.

Improving the filtration of your shower and bath is just as important as the water you drink for these reasons.

Chlorine isn’t the only disinfectant of concern for people. Its derivative, chloramine can also cause a lot of harm. Chloramine exposure may be even more damaging to the linings of the lung than chlorine, and may release ammonia as another toxic byproduct as well.

The filters that remove chlorine don’t necessarily remove chloramine.

Chloramine can be removed for drinking water purposes by our Aura Alkaline Water Filter.  This filter can give you the certified healthiest drinking water, free from pollutants such as pathogens, heavy metals, and chlorine.

There are no shower filters on the market that completely remove chloramine.  The disadvantage to using them is they’re not as durable or effective as a whole house filtration system, and you would need a separate filter for each shower outlet in the house.

There are, however, whole house water filters that remove chlorine, chloramine, and other contaminants. Our Whole Home Water Conditioner ensures that every drop of your water in your home, is the purest healthiest water on the planet. Works to removes cancer-causing chlorine and other volatile organic compounds from the water in your home.

 

3 Ways Water Gives You Radiant, Youthful Skin

beautiful skin water youthful hydrated

 

If you’ve ever flipped through a women’s magazine, you’re very familiar with advertisements touting an array of products to give you the perfect skin. While certain products can help give you healthy skin, there is no arguing that the number one factor in your skin’s health is water.

Here’s3 ways water gives you radiant, youthful skin.

1. Make sure you’re drinking ENOUGH water

Your skin is an organ. It’s actually your biggest organ (remember elementary school Science class?), and organs are made up of cells, which are made up of water. Simply put, if you don’t drink enough water, these cells will die, leaving you with dry, flaky skin which leads to wrinkles.

Also, your skin is the body’s last priorityWhen you drink water, your body sends water to the most important organs first. Since your skin is the least important (functionally… aesthetically, we know it’s important) organ, it is your body’s last priority. This makes it that much more important to stay hydrated at all times if you want to keep your skin looking and feeling good.

2. Make sure you’re drinking the RIGHT water

You understand that you’re supposed to drink water for healthy skin, so head to the tap and fill up, right? WRONG.

It’s crucial that you are drinking only healthy, filtered water with vital minerals.

Trust me on this one, your skin will thank you. Let me explain…

Your skin cells are full of toxins. Drinking water helps to flush your skin cells (and the rest of the cells in your body) of these toxins. The problem here is that the majority of tap water in the U.S. is full of pollutants and contaminants.

So you should just drink bottled water, right? No! A study by the National Resources Defense Council found that bottled water is often no more than just tap water with a fancy label.

Do your skin a favor and make it’s detoxifying job easier by drinking water from a filtration system.

3. Be careful what you put ON your skin

Your skin doesn’t only depend on the water you drink, it also reacts to the water in which you bathe. For the same reasons that water from the tap can be dangerous to drink, it can also be harmful to shower in.

You see, your local government adds chlorine and other chemicals to the water supply to disinfect it, but this creates byproducts that can dry out your skin. That’s not all though, it gets worse.

If you take hot showers (of course you do), you know that it creates steam. If you breathe during your hot showers (of course you do), you’re inhaling these chemical byproducts directly into your lungs. Also, your pores open up and absorb these toxins into your skin.

Whenever you’re done shuddering about that last paragraph, read on and I’ll tell you how to fix this issue. Consider a Whole-Home Water System to remove chemical byproducts and other nasty substances from entering your home.