Skip to main content

Water Softeners — Do You Need One?

Person installing a water softener system.

Purchasing a water softener sometimes seems like a good idea.  But, do you need one?  The following information may be helpful in determining the need for a water softener. 


Hardness in water is usually observed by its ability to form scale and make suds with soaps and detergents.  If your water leaves deposits in sinks and tubs, then it is moderately hard to hard.  If you get lots of suds with soap, then the water is soft.  Water hardness varies across the country and around the world. 


  • Water hardness in the Willowbrook Water and Sanitation District is approximately 5-7 grains.  “Hardness” is expressed as grains per gallon and is equivalent to the amount of calcium carbonate in water.  Soft or slightly hard water has up to 3 1/2 grains, and very hard water has 10 1/2 grains or more calcium carbonate per gallon of water. 
  • Soft water is more corrosive.  If the fixtures and pipes in your home contain lead, a water softener may dissolve higher levels of lead. 
  • A water softener is not needed to remove “pollution”.  The District’s water is purchased from Denver Water, and all safety standards set forth by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency are met. 
  • Some individuals prefer softened water for bathing and washing clothes.  However, consult your physician before acting upon any sales claim that drinking softened water is “recommended”.