One of the first projects we had to take on was getting some soft water into the restaurant. I’m sure you’re wondering: why?
Well, a lot of our friends in the industry had the same question. They were under the opinion that soft water isn’t even good for cooking.
They couldn’t be further from the truth.
We like soft water because:
- The food tastes a lot better. The water here isn’t that great and with water filtration and softening we can guarantee a certain standard in the water.
- The appliances tend to last longer. This isn’t as public-facing as the first reason, but if our appliances are breaking down from accumulated minerals in the pipes that raises our costs. We’ve had this issue before but have always inherited or rented a space where it wasn’t feasible to do anything about it – plus we didn’t even know to think about it. We’re more seasoned and experienced now, so this is something we’re planning out from the start.
- The dishes look better. Believe it or not, it’s a pain to clean dishes with hard water and it’s awkward to explain to a diner that the spots they see on the glasses are just water deposits. We’d rather have everything looking perfect for you when you eat out with us.
Okay, so enter the water loop.
What’s a soft water loop?
It’s the spot where the outside water interfaces with the inside water. So for us, we don’t really need the water we use for watering the lawn or grass to be soft, it’s a waste of water softener. We’d rather just have it flowing where we need it.
You can think of a soft water loop as the pipe which is accessible from the outside for turning the soft water filtration on or off. That exposed pipe is where a soft water loop can be installed.
So the main purpose is for us to have water inside which is soft and water outside which is hard. But there’s a wrench thrown into things: we still want our ice and drinking water to be hard.
Why is that?
It’s funny the things you plan for with a restaurant and how the smallest details can add up together to create a larger effect. People love to chew ice, and what we’ve found is that if the ice is made with hard water it crumbles gently in your mouth. If you make it with soft water, it’s harder and generally unpleasant to chomp down upon.
Another small detail: hard water tastes better. But didn’t we just say we’re moving to soft water to improve the taste? Yes, of the food, but in our water those very same minerals which cause issues for our appliances and food are what add the important flavor to our water.
Also, running less water through the loop is going to save us material and energy.
This we’re still in the process of installing our soft water loop, but we basically had to locate the point where water is entering the building. We were lucky that we have a mechanical room that has the correct pipes to plumb, so we can just installer the water softener right there next to the loop.
We’ll post pictures later on as the project is completed – it’s a lot more work than we thought it would be but getting everything right from the start will be well worth it.