TomC wrote:And the Brita system wont remove minerals, so the effect may be negligible.
My understanding is that the Brita does remove minerals (hardness), but not fully, and that the effect is only applicable to a filter that's no older than 3 weeks, per Chris Coffee.
I found this on Brita UK's FAQ (by Googling "does Brita remove minerals?")
The BRITA water filter cartridge only partially removes the hardness from drinking water. This part is temporary hardness, which causes scale deposits during cooking. It does not remove all of the minerals from the water. It reduces the concentration of calcium and magnesium with cation ion exchange resins, but theses substances are not completely removed as in desalination systems or industrial plants that use reverse osmosis or distillation processes, for example.
In any case, I popped in here because I live in El Cerrito and get water from the Orinda plant. I will do some testing but it seems that I don't need to soften the water at all.