Results of Softener Benefits Study Discussed at WQA Aquatech USA

Results of the Battelle Institute Study on the benefits of water softeners—and how the results can be used in marketing materials—will be offered at WQA Aquatech USA 2010.

An overview of the study was offered on Wednesday, March 10 at 9 am. It was conducted by Joe Harrison, P.E., CWS-VI, WQA technical director and Vincent M. Kent, MP, CWS-I, CI Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc.

One of the keynote speeches is titled “How to Effectively Market the Softened Water Energy Efficiency Study (a.k.a. The Battelle Study).” The marketing presentation will take place on Thursday, March 11, from 9 to 9:50 am. A panel presentation, it will feature Robert A. Hague, CWS-VI, Hague Quality Water Intl.; Douglas S. “Sam” Karge, Pentair Water; Vincent M. Kent, MP, CWS-I, CI, Abendroth Water Conditioning, Inc.; and Eric B. Rosenthal, Culligan Intl.

The Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit international science and technology enterprise, recently completed its testing. Battelle was retained by the Water Quality Research Foundation to develop and run the tests. Battelle engineers evaluated the energy and costs in heating water versus the savings with softened water. They also examined effects on washing machines, faucet fixtures, showerheads, and dishwashers using hard water versus softened water.

The U.S. Department of Energy says, “water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.” It is the second highest energy consuming area of a home, next to heating and cooling. Battelle conducted tests to determine how much energy savings household water softeners can provide homeowners.

Results of the study have shown that untreated hard water can cause significant efficiency losses and added costs in water heating – up to 48% in some cases. Battelle also found hard water to rapidly lead to clogged showerheads, in some cases possibly as soon as a year and a half of regular use. After just one week of constant testing with hard water, more than three-fourths of showerhead nozzles became clogged, according to laboratory results. Showerheads using softened water, meanwhile, performed nearly as well as on the day they were installed.


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