If your home is supplied with well water and it has a salty taste this could be caused by elevated levels of sodium. This salty taste can make your drinking water unpalatable, but there could be other more serious health consequences to consider. In this article, we will examine this issue in more detail and take a look at how you can correct this problem.

A Brief Primer on Sodium Chloride (Salt)

Sodium chloride or salt is a naturally occurring element that’s high soluble and commonly found in our groundwater. In fact, sodium is one of the ten most common elements found on our planet, and it’s vital for our body chemistry. We need some salt for vital bodily functions, but consuming too much can be bad for our health.

How Does Sodium Chloride Get Into Our Water Supplies?

Most rocks and soil naturally have trace levels of certain sodium compounds, and these are easily dissolved by the passage of water. As water passes through the various strata of rock, soil, and sand, it acts as an effective solvent, and highly soluble sodium is added to the water. So, pretty much every groundwater supply will contain some level of sodium, but this is not usually detectable by taste. A sodium level below 200mg/L will not impart a salty taste to your water, and if you can taste saltiness, it’s likely that there is a higher concentration of sodium present. This can be caused by an erosion of salt deposits, brackish water, salt water intrusion in coastal areas, road salt runoff, and leaching from landfills and industrial sites.

What are the Health Consequences? 

At a normal level of consumption, sodium is not unhealthy, and we actually need it for optimum health. But, if we consume too much sodium, it can raise our blood pressure, and this will have an adverse effect on people suffering from hypertension. At the moment, there are no EPA drinking water standards in place for sodium. But, if anyone in your home suffers from conditions, such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease, it’s likely that they have been advised to follow a low salt diet. In these cases, an elevated level of sodium in your drinking water will be a cause for concern.

Annual Testing for Sodium 

The EPA recommends annual water testing for private well owners to ensure that the water is safe. A water test will show the level of sodium in the well water, and if your water already has a salty taste, this will confirm your suspicions. If you do have an elevated level of sodium present, it cannot be removed by boiling the water or using a water filter pitcher. The only solution is to install a dedicated water treatment system to remove the sodium.

If you need to reduce the level of sodium in your well water supply, contact a local WQA certified water treatment specialist for more information. They will understand your local water conditions, and this will help them to recommend a water treatment system to suit all of your needs.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.