Have a Water Softener, but Your Glasses are Permanently Fogged?
Silica comes from the bedrock that your water source flows through and can be present in private or municipal water sources. Your city’s water treatment plant won’t treat for silica since it doesn’t cause any health issues.
Water with silica (glass) in it will often create white spots on glass shower doors, glass table ware and other materials but hardness will also do that. In order to determine if the spots are caused by hardness or silica a simple test can be performed. Try to clean the glass with any acid such as vinegar or a scale/lime removing cleaner. If the cleaner is completely ineffective no matter how hard you clean then it is very likely that your water has dissolved silica in it, and it’s slowly etching surfaces in your home. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the etching is to remove and replace whatever it was that got etched. This can lead to expensive damage to glass showers!
How do I treat for silica?
Any Cascadian treatment system with PolyHalt will treat silica problems. A reverse osmosis system will remove silica.
A salt-based water softener will not treat silica problems. Fortunately if you do have a salt-based softener you can add an system with PolyHalt to treat the silica.
Good To Know
Silica is found in all natural water, water that has not been treated to remove silica. Silica is not as well understood as other minerals in water. Nobody knows how much silica is acceptable or at what level of concentration it requires treatment. Every water is different and not all require treatment. If you see silica problems that's when you know you need treatment.
Also, there are two practical ways to treat silica, reverse osmosis and PolyHalt. Silica is tough on RO membranes, it plugs and shreds them leading to high maintenance costs do to more frequent membrane replacement. We have found treating with PolyHalt prior to a RO system reduces membrane maintenance and cost problems caused by silica.