Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Soft Water Affect a Low Sodium Diet Restriction?
Because salt is used in most water conditioning environments, sodium levels in softened water can be too high for some folks on a sodium-restricted diet. However, Hawkins Water Tech offers a Sodium Free Water Conditioner product that is the answer for people on a sodium-restricted diet regimen.
What is a "Brine Tank"?
The word “Brine” literally means water full of salt. As part of the water conditioning process, water enters the Brine Tank from the Water Conditioner tank where the resin beads have absorbed the hard water ions. The salt inside the Brine Tank “re-charges” these ions so they can be ready for the next regeneration of hard water.
What is a Demand Initiated Regeneration (DIR) Water Conditioner?
Demand Initiated Regeneration (DIR) units use sensors or meters to regenerate when soft water runs out. Because they adjust to the amount of water actually used DIR units consume up to 50 percent less salt and water than preset automatic softeners.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
It’s all about chemistry. The U.S. Department of the Interior classifies hardness based on the concentration of grains per gallon of calcium and/or magnesium. Through a process called “Ion Exchange” water is altered to a more neutral chemical state. An “Ion” is an atom or group of atoms that have lost or gained one or more atoms making them positively or negatively charged. A Water Softener exchanges the ions of hardness minerals for sodium or potassium ions effectively reducing the concentration of hardness minerals to insignificant levels. After a period of use, the sodium or potassium ions are completely exchanged and the unit has to be “Backwashed” or “Regenerated”. This requires the use of sodium or potassium chloride, which is loaded into a “Brine Tank” and dissolved to form a briny liquid used to recharge the system.
How Do I Know If I Have Hard Water or Contaminated Water?
Hawkins Water Tech provides basic field water testing services for hardness, nitrates, iron, total dissolved solids, and the presence of arsenic. Additionally, Hawkins Water Tech can facilitate the delivery of water samples to an independent laboratory in situations when specific levels of contaminants are necessary to build the appropriate water conditioning system.
What is "Mushing"?
“Mushing” is a term used to describe what can happen to some brands of pellet salt as it is exposed to water during regeneration over a period of time. Mushing of salt reduces its effectiveness for future regeneration cycles. Hawkins Water Tech recommends the use of solar salt crystals which are far more resistant to mushing. We offer many different types depending upon individual needs.
Is there fluoride in your bottled water?
Fluoride compounds are naturally found in low concentrations in drinking water and some foods. Water with underground sources is more likely to have higher levels of fluoride. Seawater contains a higher concentration than freshwater. During the Reverse Osmosis process used to produce our bottled water, Fluoride compounds are removed from the water. Most bottlers do not add fluoride and fluoride concentrations are not usually labeled on the bottle. Because of this, people who choose to drink bottled water instead of water from their tap may be reducing the amount of fluoride they take into their bodies. If, however, these same people substitute bottled water for beverages with sugar or acids (soft drinks and fruit juices) the impact of the lack of fluoride is lessened because of the reduction of other ingredients that degrade the surface of the teeth. Your doctor or dental professional can provide more specific solutions to a reduction in fluoride in the water that you drink.
Where does your bottled water come from?
A Hawkins Water Tech. obtains its water from a bottling plant that meets our strict requirements for water quality. This plant operates in a limited-access secure building and processes water utilizing Reverse Osmosis and Ultra-Violet Light sterilization.
Is Reverse Osmosis water safe for plants?
Because Reverse Osmosis water is water in its purest form, it lacks many of the naturally-occurring minerals and elements and toxins found in ground water. If you choose to water your plants with RO water, check with your local garden center to determine the best supplements and/or fertilizer to use for your specific plants.
If there is a boil order, can I drink Reverse Osmosis Water?
For the safety of you and all members of your family, even water treated by Reverse Osmosis should be boiled during a boil order. While the Reverse Osmosis process runs water through filters that trap most unwanted elements and bacteria, it does not serve as a sterilization process. Once the boil order is lifted, be sure to empty the tank of water processed by the RO system. This will allow the system to treat water that has passed the safety inspection of your water provider.
Do you deliver on Saturdays?
At this time, Hawkins Water Tech does not deliver salt or bottled water on Saturday. We do, however, offer many convenient delivery options to our clients. Just give our office a call – we’ll listen to your needs and set up a delivery plan that will work for you and your specific situation.
How long can I store bottled water?
Many factors contribute to the safe storage of bottled water. Bottled water should be stored in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. Additionally, great care should be taken to ensure that the bottles are not cracked or seals broken. At least a monthly check of stored water should be made to look for cracks and any cloudiness of the water inside the container. If these conditions are met, water can be stored for up to 6 months.
What is Bacterial Iron?
Bacterial Iron is a bacterium that feeds on iron. As water with iron is stagnant, the bacteria flourish causing a reddish-brown color and slime to occur on surfaces. This bacterium is most frequently found in toilet flush tanks. Check out the product “Iron Magic” on our Iron Stain Removal page. Iron Magic can help with the removal of bacterial iron in various household areas.
Why do I need Salt in the Water Softener Process?
While you may hear of companies that tell you salt is not necessary, in our opinion it really is. Salt bonds with the Calcium and Magnesium particles that are attracted into the water as it falls to the ground in the form of rain and then travels through the ground and into water treatment systems. Calcium and Magnesium cause the cloudy “soap scum” that you see on showers and tubs. We all know that these elements can be obtained by eating dairy products, certain fish, and nuts so eliminating these elements from your water should not be bad for your overall health. Additionally, replacing these elements with sodium should not affect your daily sodium intake levels in a dramatic way. As an example, in a household with moderate water hardness (10 grains per gallon of untreated water), the sodium content in 3 quarts (96 ounces or 12 – 8 ounce glasses) of softened water would be 222 milligrams. The USDA reports that 1 ounce of bread contains anywhere from 95 to 210 milligrams of sodium and as you might imagine 4 ounces of a frozen cheese pizza contains 450 to 1200 milligrams.
How do I Chlorinate my well?

If you have a well that supplies drinking water to your house, you may need to chlorinate it from time to time. Bacteria can enter the well and contaminate the water. If you suspect that you have bacterial contamination, you may chlorinate by performing the steps numbered below. Of course, if you have questions or need supplies, feel free to call us.

  1. Bypass water softener and shut off drinking water system – if applicable.
  2. Locate and remove the cap from well Set aside excess pump wires.
  3. Pour in 2 gallons of liquid chlorine Pour in 5 gallons of water…this is done to rinse off the pump wires.
  4. Replace pump wires and well cap.
  5. Run water until chlorine is smelled.
  6. Allow well to sit idle – with NO usage – for at least 8 to 12 hours (the longer, the better).
  7. After sitting idle, run water at an OUTSIDE spigot until chlorine is gone.
  8. Turn on water softener and drinking water system.
Who are Bob and Nancy?
Bob and Nancy Hawkins founded Hawkins Water Tech. in 1967. In 2003, they transitioned the business to the next generation through a buyout by son Dave and son-in-law Jim Freeze. Though retired, Bob and Nancy are still often seen in the office as their wisdom and advice are always welcome.