Mechanical filters cannot effectively remove totally dissolved solids from water. They can remove virtually all floating materials, but once it is 100% dissolved in the water, you need either a resin or reverse osmosis to remove them. Hard water is caused by dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. This makes the water taste bad, and also causes white residue to deposit on your countertops, pans, and shower glass. What’s worse, it gets into your pipes, tank and water heater, and over time will damage your RV’s plumbing. To remove it from the water, I recommend a water softener. This uses a resin that uses ion exchange to swap the hard calcium and magnesium for soft sodium ions. You charge the resin by
dissolving salt into it, and allowing the resin to work it’s magic. It charges with the sodium ions, then when it sees a calcium or magnesium ion come through, it swaps them, capturing the
calcium and replacing it with a sodium ion. This does not make your water salty because you flush out all the salt after recharging. It does slightly increase the sodium content of the water, though, so those with strict sodium sensitivities may choose to use Potassium Chloride versions of the water softener.
By using this process, you can avoid the bad taste and possible damage to your plumbing caused by the water where we all like to go in the winter. The Desert. So now that you have removed the sediment, chlorine, bad taste, pathogens, calcium and magnesium from the water, you will have excellent tasting, safe, clean water in most situations. There is another level of purity that you might aspire to. If you want to remove the really tough stuff like bacteria and fluoride, you may consider installing a drinking water system as I will discuss in Step 3.
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