A water softener replaces the “hardness” minerals with sodium or potassium. The amounts of these elements added to the water are relatively insignificant in comparison to what is ingested from your food and should not pose a health problem.
Most often, water softeners are regenerated with salt and water. Regeneration is a process by which the softening materials inside the softener can be used over and over again. Once the regeneration is completed, the salt and water solution is flushed into the drain.