The Black Berkey® Elements remove heavy metals. They are not designed to remove mineral salts. Water softeners use an additive process to add mineral salts to the source water. Black Berkey Elements do not extract these salts from the water. For Berkey owners with water softeners, we recommend bypassing your water softener to get your drinking water. Water softeners typically have a bypass valve or a pre-water softener access to get water before it passes through your softener. Using softened water with your Black Berkey® Elements may significantly decrease their life and will void the manufacturer’s warranty.