What is the Difference Between a Water Softener and a Water Conditioner?

Water Softener Installation Round Rock - Water softeners eliminate hard waterIf you were to make a list of the most important things essential to living, water would top the list. Without it, life wouldn’t exist. We need water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and many other purposes.

Given its importance, it’s imperative that we have access to the highest quality of water available. Water softeners and water conditioners can improve your water at home. However, many people are unaware of what they do, what their differences are, and which product they need.

What is a Water Softener?

Many homes are burdened by the nuisance of hard water. With its high mineral content, hard water is known to cause many costly issues. Hard water causes buildup in pipes, water rings in the tub, dry skin and hair, and many other problems.

Water softeners target hard water situations. Using a process known as ion exchange, a water softener works to replace water’s high mineral content with sodium, creating softer water. This is a great solution for potential plumbing and cleaning problems. Softeners also improve the taste and smell of your drinking water.

What is a Water Conditioner?

Many public water sources are treated with disinfectant chemicals such as chlorine, which regularly consumed can cause serious health disturbances. A water conditioner is key in removing chlorine added to the water, as well as other harmful chemicals. Since such additives can cause serious health and beauty risks, it’s important to eliminate them, especially if you plan to use water for consumption.

With a Kinetico Whole-House Water Filtration System, You Get the Best of Both Worlds

American Water offers whole-house filtration systems that soften water while also eliminating chlorine, chloramine, and other unsafe contaminants. If you suspect you have hard water issues or would like to have your water tested for contamination levels, our water softener company in Round Rock, Texas can help. Our water softener specialists will evaluate your situation and help you make an informed decision on how to best improve your water quality.

It is important to discuss your concerns with a professional before spending money on a product that isn’t right for your home. Call us at (512) 388-0022 today for a consultation or for an appointment water softener installation in Round Rock, San Marcos, Austin, or nearby areas!


Top 3 Reasons You Need a Water Softener in Austin

Water Softener Round Rock - Eliminates hard water in your home or business

Have you noticed a continuous scummy build up around your drains? Do your dishes never seem squeaky clean, even after being washed? Does your drinking water just taste off?

If so, you may be among the 85% of Americans dealing with hard water. Don’t settle in your frustrations. Water softeners, especially our preferred brand Kinetico, can solve these annoyances and give you clean, fresh-tasting water.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is a common issue caused by a buildup of dissolved minerals in your water system. These minerals typically consist of calcium and magnesium but can also contain aluminum, iron, zinc, and more. When regularly passing through your pipes, this hard water can wreak havoc on your water system and beyond.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that isn’t inhabited by high levels of mineral ions. It occurs naturally in rainfall and certain parts of river basins. Many people who deal with hard water problems in their home water systems will soften their water with a water softening system. This type of system can prove itself beneficial on many accounts.

Top 3 Reasons You Need a Water Softening System:

#1: You Will Save Money

As hard water continuously passes through your pipes, mineral ions build up. This mineral accumulation causes appliances and plumbing to malfunction more rapidly than if that build up wasn’t present. Though installing a water softening systems seems costly up front, it can save you thousands in plumbing and repair bills down the road.

#2: Improved Taste and Smell 

Many people opt out of drinking their house tap water because of the funky taste or smell. As hard water minerals pass through and stick to the insides of your pipes, a scummy taste and smell forms. A water softening system removes those minerals and clears those pipes, resulting in clean-smelling and fresh-tasting drinking water.

#3: Self Care Benefits

Hard water mixed with soap causes a slimy consistency instead of a rich lather. This residue remains on your skin and hair, depleting them of their natural softness. On the contrary, soft water reacts with soap in a way that forms a gentle lather and rinses properly from your skin. This leaves your body’s natural oils intact and your hair and skin feeling soft, clean, and hydrated.

There is no need for anyone to live with hard water any longer. A simple water softening system can relieve much unnecessary stress on your plumbing and keep you from the expense of repairs or buying bottled water.

Kinetico water systems come in various styles for your differing water softening needs. Our specialists can help determine the right water softener system in Round Rock for your home or work space. Call us today at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about our water systems for homes and businesses.


Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

It is no secret that drinking water is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, not all water is safe for consumption. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the potential dangers of drinking tap water. However, many people are still in the dark or simply choose to ignore the negative effects that tap water can have on their health and overall wellbeing. Despite stringent government regulations, countless contaminants could be lurking in your unfiltered tap water. These contaminants often go undetected and end up in a drinking glass. While the United States has higher quality tap water than most other countries, it is still not perfect and there are many potential dangers to consuming unfiltered water.

The Possible Dangers of Unfiltered Water


Lead can enter your tap water through corroded service pipes and faucets. Tap water contaminated with lead is most common in homes built before 1986. The health effects of lead consumption can be seriously detrimental, especially in children. Lead exposure can result in learning disabilities, damage to the nervous system, impaired hearing, and more.


Chlorine is widely used as a way of killing microorganisms and disinfecting drinking water. However, the chemical has been linked to many forms of cancer. When chlorine interacts with organic compounds in water, trihalomethanes form, which can damage or destroy important cells in the body.


Arsenic is another contaminant found in tap water that can do serious damage to your health. The chemical can enter water through natural or human activities. The consumption of arsenic can have cancerous effects on the skin, kidneys, lungs, liver and more.


The addition of fluoride to public drinking water was widely debated. The intended purpose behind water fluoridation was to decrease the rate of cavities and tooth decay. However, recent research has shown that the chemical does a lot more harm than good. Fluoride can actually damage children’s teeth and lead to bone disease.

Play it Safe with a Filter

When it comes to tap water, it is better to be safe than sorry. The water softening and filtration products and services at American Water can eliminate the potential dangers found in tap water. Our staff is prepared to help you find the right water system that will fit your needs, as well as your budget. Contact us today at (512) 388-0022.

What to do during a water outage

You never know when your water will get cut off. Water outages could last for several hours or days and occur when there’s ongoing street work in the area or the pressure in the water line is too low. Here are some tips to help you make it through water outage:

  • Buy water – Always stock up on water in your 72-hour emergency kit to ensure you have enough safe drinking water during the outage. You can also fill your bath tub with water that can be used when flushing your toilet.
  • Shut down your heating system – Turning the water heater off will prevent it from overheating or catching fire when the line runs dry.
  • As much as possible, limit usage of any household appliance that requires water.

If you or someone you know is experiencing water problems, our team of water softener and clean water specialists can help you. We at American Water are knowledgeable about different water systems and can provide solutions to your concerns. Get in touch with us at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about your options.

Water outage in Hays County

The West Travis County Public Utility Agency (WTCPUA) conducted an emergency repair on a 16” transmission main break in Hays County. Water service was interrupted for several hours because of the December 4th issue, which was reportedly caused by a broken air release valve. Because of this, consumers living in the affected areas should expect the water pressure to drop to 20 psi. WTCPUA urges consumers to boil the water prior to consumption to avoid harmful bacteria and microbes that may become present at a low water pressure. Residents may opt to purchase bottled waters or get water from other safe public drinking water systems.

WTCPUA will issue the cancellation of the notice once the repair is finished. Some of the areas affected in the interruption include:

  • Village of Bear Creek
  • Bear Creek Estate
  • Hills of Texas
  • Friendship Ranch
  • Fox Run
  • Reunion Ranch

For all your drinking water concerns, feel free to get in touch with our water softener and clean water specialists at American Water. Contact us at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about which home water system suits your needs.

EPA, UT simulate water models over flooding concerns

Once again, following a season of flooding in central Texas, concerns regarding the water quality of the area arose. Citing these fears, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas a $3.9 million grant.

An associate professor from UT that’s been included in the program, Dr. Ben Hodges, claims that the grant money will be put towards creating water infrastructure models, meant to study where flooding collects and flows. Alongside UT and EPA cooperation, other partners and participants include the Urban Watersheds Research Institute, a nonprofit that works in improving water standards from their base in Denver; Texas Tech University; Brigham Young University; and North Carolina State University.

It is Dr. Hodges’ hope that, through community involvement and support, the models will become self-sustaining after the end of the program or when involvement from the original team dissolves. Furthermore, when the grant money runs out, the study contributors will be turning to funding from private firms and businesses.

For your drinking water concerns, at American Water, the Austin water softener and filter experts can help you choose the water system that meets your every need. Contact them today at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about which home water system is right for you.

Austin Gives Green Light to $500,000 Wastewater Repair Project

Austin Water Utility recently authorized an emergency repair project that would allow $488,000 to go towards repairing the Southland lift station that was damaged during a flood in August. The flood caused a surge of runoff water to infiltrate the station’s dry well through vents, damaging the electrical and motor controls and overflowing sanitary sewer water. As a result, 50,000 gallons of sewage spilled into a South Austin tributary.

While the spill did not affect the city’s water supply, any amount of spillage near Austin’s local waterways could present a health hazard. Currently, the project is being executed on an emergency basis. It is speculated to take about seven months, during which repairs should prevent the lift station from overflowing in the future.

Lift stations are particularly vulnerable during floods and this is not the first time the Southland station has overflowed. Reports in 2014 confirmed a similar incident that caused a 47,000-gallon spillage into the same tributary.

Clean, sanitary water is one of the most basic necessities of life. The clean water specialists at American Water can help you determine which water filtration system best fits your needs and can ensure that your water source is not contaminated. Call (512) 388-0022 today to learn more about our services.

Legionella bacteria made one American Airlines worker ill

In a statement from American Airlines spokespeople, the company has reportedly found that the source of Legionnaires’ disease, which affected one employee, was based in the water supply from four maintenance hangars in Texas.

On Friday, October 7, the employees of the airline received a letter confirming that low levels of the Legionella bacteria had been detected in eight of the shower heads, several faucets, and some fountains at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hangars.

One worker did face illness with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea suggesting it was from the bacteria. Fortunately, the employee avoided the potentially deadlier symptoms, which include pneumonia. The spokesman of American Airlines, Matt Miller, told reporters that the airline had been in collaboration with authorities and purifying their water supplies.

For your water filter and softeners needs, American Water offers Austin water softener and filter expertise that meets every need of a home or industrial water system. Call them at (512) 388-0022 to learn more about their full line of Kinetico’s innovative water filtration systems.

Report contends Texas Railroad Commission’s practices are flawed

According to a report released in August by environmental advocacy group Clean Water Action, over the past three decades, the state of Texas has allowed the drilling of oil and natural gas injection wells in some areas near drinking water sources. Texas claims that these effort pose “little to no risk” to the subterranean reserves.

Texas is being accused of failing to comply with EPA standards that require safeguards near aquifers. The state has allowed thousands of injection wells to be built while almost completely ignoring these federal guidelines. Clean Water Action has pointed out that the Texas Railroad Commission has no idea how many of these wells exist.

A spokesperson for the Railroad Commission said that the commission will use grant funding to verify that permits issued to oil companies do not present a danger to underground water supplies and that it prioritizes water safety.

The Clean Water Action report says the problem is potentially quite serious due to the sheer number of injection wells that have been in operation since 1982. The report concludes that Texas “routinely prioritized the concerns of the oil and gas industry over the long term drinking water needs of Texas residents.”

Even if the Railroad Commission is right and there is no danger of water being contaminated by injection well waste, a water filtration system is still a good investment. At American Water, our Austin water softener and filter experts can help you choose the water system that meets your every need, so call us today at (512) 388-0022.

AISD quells parents’ fears of lead in water fountains

Parents of Austin Independent School District students have been told that their childrens’ drinking fountains have been cleared of suspicion of lead through recent tests. The district released a report in March that said they had not, up until that point, been testing their water for lead, inciting the fearful reaction from parents.

One fountain at Zavala Elementary School was found to have higher levels of lead than acceptable, but the district quickly removed the fountain and did more extensive testing at that school. Their results found that no other tested school or fountain at Zavala had lead content above what is safe.

Though lead testing is not required in the area, AISD has many schools that are over 50 years old, making them more likely to have lead fixtures that would contaminate the water, leading to concerns.

Paul Turner, AISD’s executive director of facilities, stated that the response to parent worries was done simply out of an abundance of caution rather than any serious concerns.

When it comes to your drinking water, there is no way to be too safe. For all of your concerns, contact the American Water at (512) 388-0022.

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