The best type of consumer is an informed consumer.  Decisions about the water we use for our homes, family, and health is important – including decisions about whether or not to utilize resources to provide proven treatment options.  You can take charge of your health, home, and family by being an informed consumer.  These FAQs and articles can help you think about the safety of your water and air and may even direct you to questions you may have for American Water & Air

Picture of the Earyh's Water Cycle

Clean & Safe Water Information

The Water Cycle

During the water cycle, water moves from one reservoir to another in a continuous motion.  The sun heats bodies of water, which causes the water to evaporate.  As it evaporates, it rises higher in the atmosphere, where the cold temperatures cause the water vapor to condense into clouds.  Cloud particles bond to each other, condensing the vapor and causing it to fall back into the bodies of water in the form of precipitation.  The process is then repeated again.

Additional Water Resources

Water Quality Assocation: Softened Water Benefits Study

Water Quality Assocation: Softeners among ‘very best’ household energy savers

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is hard water?

A. Hard water refers to the presence in mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium ions as measured in PPM (Parts Per Million) or GPG (Grains Per Gallon).  Illinois tap water is naturally hard in virtually all parts of the state, and the removal of these minerals is not part of your local municipality’s water treatment process.  This is why consumers are responsible for purchasing their own water softening systems.  American Water & Air offers a free home water evaluation so you can see exactly what’s in your water.

Q. What does a water softener do exactly?

A. Water softening is a technique that removes the mineral ions that are causing “hardness” in your water supply.  As the hard water passes through a water softener, the calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged with the soft potassium ions contained in the water softening unit.  The materials causing the hardness are thereby “trapped “in the water softener, allowing only softened water to pass through your pipes.

Q. Why is it important to have soft water?

A. Installing a water treatment system from American Water & Air has many benefits to homeowners.  It drastically reduces scale build-up in pipes, so your home’s plumbing systems and appliances that use water will enjoy a much longer life span and require fewer repairs: this translates into real cash savings over time.  You will use less laundry detergent, shampoo, and hand soap, which saves money too.  You will have spotless dishes, healthier hair, and much cleaner tubs, sinks, and showers.  Say goodbye to soap scum and dry, itchy skin!

Q. I was told that soft water will make my skin feel “slimy:” is this true?

A. We’ve all heard the term “squeaky clean” in positive terms, but actually the squeak is a bad thing.  It is caused by the layer of soap scum mixed with minerals that remains behind when you bathe in hard water.  When you use soft water, everything you put on your skin is thoroughly rinsed away, leaving behind the natural moisturizing agents your skin produces.  In other words, the softness you feel is your “real” clean skin.

Q. I read that the use of a household water conditioner increases the amount of corrosion that can leak into the household water supply.  Is this true?

A. No, this is not true.  EPA tests show conclusively that corrosion is unchanged following ion exchange water conditioning.  In the past there was a misconception that soft water was corrosive, because of studies in the South East part of the U.S. where the water is also very acidic.

Q. What is the difference between a water softener and a water purifier?

A. Water softener products are designed only to remove the minerals in the water that result in “hardness.”  They cannot address the contaminants that still exist in municipal treated water supplies such as chlorine.  Though a certain amount of chlorine is essential to the “legal” safety of our water systems, it is actually unhealthy for humans and pets to drink in large amounts.  Because of the chlorine and a fresh taste, is why people have been turning to bottled water.  A water purification and/or filtration system from American Water & Air provides families with easy-access, cost-effective, safe water that is free from chemicals and biological contaminants.  When ultra-violet technology is added, bacteriostatic activated carbon removes contaminants which inhibits the growth of bacteria, thus removing it.

Q. Do I need both a water softener and a water purifier?

A. Throughout our years of experience, we believe that yes, this would be the best-case scenario in any home.  A water softener in your utility room or basement would take care of your hard water problems while a water purifier from American Water & Air installed under a sink will give you safe, great-tasting drinking water straight from the tap.

Q. What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?

A. Reverse osmosis (RO) technology is what American Water & Air uses for its water purification products because it is the most effective method on the market today.  Water first flows through a carbon pre-filter which removes organic contaminants such as chlorine.  Next, it flows through a tight reverse osmosis membrane which acts as a filter, removing dissolved solids as well as chemical impurities.  The system is powered by water pressure, not be electricity so it is energy-efficient.  The purified water is now ready to be safely enjoyed by the whole family.

Q. What kinds of contaminants does Reverse Osmosis (RO) remove?

A. While there are too many to list here, some of the most common ones include: Aluminum, Arsenic, Asbestos, Atrazine, Benzene, Chlorides, Chlorine, Copper, Cryptosporidium, Cyanide, Fluoride, Giardia, Lead, Mercury, Nitrates, Radium, Radon, Silver, Sodium, Sulphide, Trichloroethylene, and Total Trihalomethanes.

Q. Isn't city and most well water good enough without an American Water & Air water conditioning system?  

A. That depends on your standards of “good enough.”  Most communities meet Primary Drinking Water Standards as established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but your water can still contain impurities you can’t taste or smell – impurities that can be potentially harmful.  American Water & Air can take good water and turn it into great tasting healthy water that meets much stricter standards

Q. My city water system tests fine at the source.  Why should I worry?

A. In the time that water leaves the plant and arrives at your home, it can pick up substances that become a part of the water you receive.  Sediment and odors can also join the mixture.  An American Water & Air home water filtration system provides a highly effective barrier against these pollutants.

Q. What about the water pollutant?

A. Cities are required by law to meet the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal or MCLG Standards.  Most do, but in the time the water leaves the plant and gets to your home, there are many substances that can become part of your water.  Sediment and odors can also join the mixture.  It’s safe to drink, but does it meet the quality you want?

Q. Is activated carbon safe for drinking water?

A. Absolutely.  It is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for municipal water treatment plants.

Q. What if I move?

A. You can exclude American Water & Air water treatment systems from your real estate contract and take them with you.  Your lifetime warranty is good all over the world.  RainSoft’s international dealer network can help you reinstall your unit and provide you with service in most locations.

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