When it comes to enhancing the quality of your household water, you might find yourself pondering the differences between water softening systems and reverse osmosis. In this blog, we’ll delve into these different water treatment methods, helping you decide what’s right for your home.

What Does a Water Softening System Do?

A water softening system is designed to remove minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium ions, from the water. It works through a process called ion exchange, where these hardness-causing minerals are replaced with sodium or potassium ions. This process results in “softened” water that is free from the negative effects of hard water. The main purpose of a water softening system is to:

  • Remove hardness.
  • Extend the lifespan of appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines.
  • Improve cleaning results in laundry, dishwashing, and personal grooming.
  • Preserve plumbing.
  • Enhance skin and hair.
  • Reduce soap consumption.

Water softening systems are typically installed at the point where water enters your home, which is known as the “main water supply entry point.” This strategic location ensures that all the water entering your household is treated to remove hardness-causing minerals like calcium and magnesium. This way, all the water flowing into your plumbing system is treated, ensuring that your entire household benefits from softened water.

Top-tier systems, like the Pentair Pro Elite, are accessible through Simply PURE Water Filtration, Inc. as a trusted Pentair True Blue Partner and Authorized Distributor of Pentair Products. These systems are designed to provide comprehensive water treatment solutions for your home.

Long Island’s Hard Water Problem

Hard water is a very big problem in Long Island. Long Island grapples with moderately hard-to-hard water, with an average hardness ranging from 7 to 12 grains per gallon (GPG)​​. This elevated level of hardness is a result of the abundant mineral content, primarily calcium and magnesium, found in the local groundwater and aquifers. As a result, water softening systems have become essential, offering a multitude of advantages. These include significant energy and cost savings, enhanced cleaning efficiency, improved skin and hair health, and a noticeable enhancement in water taste and quality.

What Does a Reverse Osmosis System Do?

A Reverse Osmosis (RO) system is a vital component in ensuring the purity and quality of drinking water. It works by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane, effectively removing impurities, contaminants, and even some minerals, leaving you with exceptionally clean and safe drinking water.

RO is a multi-stage process that purifies water, making it clean, safe, and delicious. Most RO systems consist of three or four filtration stages, including a specialized RO filter, and follow these essential steps:

  1. Initial Filtration: RO systems consist of several filtration stages:
    • Sediment filters trap larger particles.
    • Smaller sediment filters catch finer impurities.
    • Activated carbon filters eliminate organic chemicals and chlorine.
  2. The RO Filter: The star of the show is the RO-specific filter with a semi-permeable membrane. It lets only water molecules pass, leaving contaminants behind.
  3. Optional UV Sterilization: Some RO systems add an ultraviolet lamp for sterilization, ensuring no harmful microbes remain.
  4. Final Touch: A second carbon filter captures any remaining chemicals, ensuring the ultimate purity.

Why Combine Water Softening and Reverse Osmosis?

So, is a water softener sufficient for your water treatment needs? While water softening systems are effective in reducing the hardness of water by removing minerals like calcium and magnesium, they may not address other potential contaminants such as bacteria, heavy metals, or certain chemicals that have been present in Long Island water for decades now. This is where RO systems come into play.

By combining a water softening system with an RO system, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The water softener tackles hardness, preventing scale buildup in pipes and appliances, while the RO system provides an additional layer of purification, ensuring that your water is not only soft but also free from a wide range of potential pollutants. The result is not only better-tasting water but also improved overall water quality, making it a popular choice for those seeking the highest standard of drinking water in their homes.

Why Reverse Osmosis and Softening Work Well Together?

Considering the synergy between these two systems, it’s common for households to integrate a point-of-use reverse osmosis system alongside a whole-home water conditioner. This strategic combination yields a variety of benefits, such as:

  1. Complete Purification: Water Softeners handle hardness, while RO systems remove a wide range of contaminants, ensuring both purity and softness.
  2. Improved Taste and Clarity: The combination provides not only better-tasting but also crystal-clear water, enhancing your overall water experience.
  3. Health and Appliance Benefits: Softened and purified water is not only safe to drink but also protects appliances and enhances their performance.
  4. Reduced Bottled Water Expenses: With RO and softening, your tap water becomes high-quality, saving you approximately $800 to $1,500 per year on expensive bottled water purchases.


If you’re ready to enhance your water quality, why not kick start the process by requesting a free water quality analysis from us? We can effectively tackle a range of water quality concerns and offer a comprehensive solution for your home’s water needs. Our experts will promptly analyze your water for contaminants and hard water particles, deliver rapid results, and offer customized solutions tailored specifically to your requirements.

About Simply PURE Water Filtration Services

Living in and serving the Long Island community, we strive to make sure everyone has access to clean, healthy water. We have the experience, knowledge, and industry-leading technology to provide clean water solutions for water impurities, contaminants, hard water, bad tasting/odors, well water, acidity & pH regulations.

Proud members of the WQA (Water Quality Association), and the EWQA (Eastern Water Quality Association), we adhere to strict guidelines and the WQA code of ethics. As a Pentair True Blue Partner and Authorized Distributor of Pentair Products, there’s nothing comparable to the performance, and efficiency of our whole house purification systems, water softeners, neutralizers, whole-house filters, and alkaline reverse osmosis systems for drinking in the convenience of your home.

NSF Water Filtration System
Pentair Water Filtration System

Our products are all NSF / ANSI certified, meeting the highest safety standards and quality performance. Providing our community with only the best experience of high quality water that’s Simply PURE from our family to yours!

Simply PURE utilizes accurate testing methods before and after system installation, as well as annual maintenance of all your water treatment equipment. Our Revolutionary Custom Built Water Treatment systems upon the completion of a Free In-Home Water Analysis, or an in-depth Comprehensive Water Analysis of your choice sent to our Certified Laboratory.

Customers Frequently Ask..

The answer to this question depends on which kind of drinking water you’re talking about. There are multiple agencies responsible for regulating water quality in the U.S., and there are some who are more critical about the way it’s handled.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in charge of overseeing the water that comes out of your tap. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees and regulates the quality of bottled water.


Individual states are responsible for regulating water that is bottled and sold within their borders. Finally, your municipality must make sure it is following federal and state standards regarding water quality.


The EPA does not regulate private wells, and rules for testing differ from state to state. In many cases, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure their well water is safe.

Certain things can affect the flavor, odor, and appearance of your tap water, not all of them are necessarily harmful.


Many people with public water can taste the chlorine, although the most noticeable problems tend to come from private wells. Contaminants like sulfur can impact the smell, while iron will cause discoloration and staining.


The overall amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in your tap water will definitely affect the taste, smell, and appearance. While many of these issues are not serious concerns, they can certainly be a nuisance. Water filtration systems, including a high-efficiency water softener to reduce hardness, can provide solutions.

This process is called “reverse” osmosis because the pressure forces the water to flow in the reverse direction (from the concentrated solution to the dilute solution) to the flow direction (from the dilute to the concentrated) in the process of natural osmosis. RO removes ionized salts, colloids, and organic molecules down to a molecular weight of 100.


You can get a whole-house RO, but more commonly, a point-of-use RO system would be on your countertop or installed under the sink. They’re great for treating water for cooking and drinking, but they don’t usually produce large amounts of treated water — more like 3 to 10 gallons a day. For that reason, typically people choose to install RO-treated faucets in the most popular areas of the home such as kitchens and bathrooms, as opposed to installing it for every drinking tap. Just like any other kind of filter technology, reverse osmosis systems require regular maintenance. That includes periodically replacing the unit’s prefilters, postfilters, and membrane modules.

Due to the media attention Flint, Michigan, received over its water crisis, a lot of people have questions about lead in public water systems around the U.S.


Lead (as well as copper) typically enters the public supply by leaching into water from corroded fixtures and outdated plumbing. Homes built before 1986 will likely have plumbing with copper pipes using solder that may contain lead.


Lead can cause serious negative health effects, especially in children. The challenge is that it is undetectable by human senses. You can check with your local water authority for information about lead levels, but it’s important to note that the CDC and EPA say there’s no level of lead recognized as safe for consumption.


If you have concerns about the presence of lead in your water, you can have it tested in a state-certified laboratory. You can also read more in our article on lead in drinking water.

Softening hard water can mitigate many of its objectionable effects. Water softening can be done either at point of entry or point of use. One of the unique advantages offered by point-of-use water softening is the opportunity for homemakers to have either hard or soft water for drinking. This choice is not available if the water supply is softened municipally. Hardness minerals can be reduced in water to make it “softer” by using one of three basic means:

  • Chemical softening—lime softening, hot and cold; lime-soda softening
  • Membrane separation softening—Nano filtration
  • Cation exchange softening—inorganic, carbonaceous, or organic base exchangers
  • Softening water for home needs is done almost exclusively through the use of cation exchange.

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Customer Testimonials

"Absolutely amazing service from beginning to end. Trustworthy and reliable to work with. And the water taste!! It’s incredible the difference after we installed our water filtration system throughout our house. Also knowing my kids are drinking the purest of water is the biggest game changer. I would absolutely recommend Vinny and staff."

Randi Demetriou 

"We had a recent installation done by Vinny at Simply PURE and we couldn’t be happier. Vinny is reputable, reliable, efficient and the service is great. The water is so clean and tastes great, we don’t have to think twice about what is coming out of our faucet! Thank you Vinny!

Mike D.