As you may already know, a water softener is a highly specialized piece of equipment that is used to make “hard” water “soft.” Through a process called ion exchange (where resin beads attract and then hold onto positively charged water hardness ions, exchanging them for the negatively charged ions of sodium or potassium), a water softener takes out the offending hardness minerals and replaces them with trouble-free ions of sodium or potassium. The resulting soft water leads to a noticeable improvement in a variety of everyday activities that occur throughout the whole house – from cooking to cleaning dishes to doing laundry.
By design, these remaining healthy minerals are able to pass through our filters. So, we utilize an activated carbon filter. By itself, carbon is a highly absorbent material that can absorb thousands of different chemicals. Activated carbon is carbon with a slightly positive charge to it, which makes it even more absorbent to chemicals and contaminants. As your water passes over the charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are attracted to the surface of the carbon granules. Activated carbon effectively removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, benzene, radon, cancer-causing chlorine byproducts such as THMs, and hundreds of other chemicals in tap water. Finally, here's the magic...activated carbon filters are NOT particularly effective at removing dissolved inorganic minerals/salts.
Combining the benefits of a softener and a drinking water system are, for many, the best solution to healthy water for your home and your body.