Potassium is a natural and essential element in plants and animals, and humans are exposed to it primarily through food. The most common source of potassium in drinking water are water softeners using potassium chloride. The use of a water softeners using potassium chloride can significantly increase the levels of potassium in drinking water, even at water hardness levels considered to be acceptable.

Potassium in drinking water does not pose a health risk in healthy individuals. Potassium levels in drinking water from water softeners using potassium chloride can be very high, and may significantly increase an individual's intake of potassium that could cause hyperkalemia in susceptible individuals. As a consequence, people with certain medical conditions (and medications) that potentially cause hyperkalemia should avoid the consumption of water (for drinking or cooking) from water softeners using potassium chloride. If there are concerns about potassium intake from drinking water due to medical conditions or medicine, it is recommended that you discuss this with your doctor.

Although potassium does not pose a health risk for healthy individuals, its presence in well water may indicate groundwater quality issues or other problems with the well. Increased potassium in the water should initiate for an inspection of the well construction and testing for coliform bacteria.

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Potassium levels were detected in your water sample. There is no health-based standard for potassium. If you have concerns about the levels detected, please consult your physician.

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In cases where potassium is added to water through the use of a water softener, the recommended strategy is to limit or prevent the addition of potassium to water that will be ingested. This can be done by having a proportion of the water bypass the softener altogether. Although removal technologies are available to remove potassium, they are generally more expensive and redundant when combined with the softening treatment.

If a water softener is not installed or the cold water is already by-passing the water softener, you can consider:

  • Reverse Osmosis
  • Distillation
  • De-ionization
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