According to the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, the main disadvantage of water softening is the potential health risk for people who are on low sodium diets, as water softening can increase a person’s sodium intake. Moreover, soft water is not suitable for drinking. Because metals are partially soluble in water, when water is softened, it leaches metals from water lines much more aggressively.
Aquatechnology explains that with soft water, there is a high chance that the initial drawing of cold water from a faucet contains above normal lead content. Thus, softened water from the tap must not be used for drinking or cooking. Water softeners are not effective in removing lead and other metals, chlorine and chlorine by-products.
Furthermore, Aquatechnology points out that the chloride component of the sodium or potassium chloride compound in soft water has serious implications for the hydration of humans and plants because potassium and chloride restrict the free flow of water into the cells of the body. The BBC points out that softened water should only be used for washing clothes.
Water softeners are also expensive to run, because they waste up to 120 gallons for each 1,000 gallons delivered. Maintenance is another issue. The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences states that it is typically necessary to pay for every additional feature for models with special features.