CBS Systems, Inc., Logo

Phone Icon (830) 980-3515




Tannins in water create a yellowish cast in most cases.  Sometimes it can be mistaken for other contaminants such as iron.  Tannins are natural organic matter that can result from a natural fermentation process as water passes through the ground levels of decaying vegetation.  Tannins are typically found in shallow wells, in swampy or marshy areas as well as coastal areas.

Tannin removal can be accomplished by ion exchange very similar to water softening which uses ion exchange to remove hardness.  Sometimes both types of media can be used in one piece of equipment to both soften water and remove tannins.  This is often referred to as a 'mixed bed' softener.



Activated Carbon

How familiar are you with activated Carbon?

If you've been researching water treatment devices and soft water systems then you have probably come across Activated Carbon. What exactly does activated carbon do within a water softening system?

Without turning this into a science lesson, activated carbon is commonly used to absorb natural organic compounds, taste and odor compounds, and synthetic organic chemicals in drinking water treatment.  If you live in Texas, you may be familiar with the plague of hard water and the effects of high chlorine levels.  Aqua Systems says it best:

"For the removal of dissolved chemicals from municipal, or other chlorinated water supplies.  With simple back washing, activated carbon can provide years of trouble-free chemical removal.  This media is especially effective at removing chlorine."

Check out the Aqua Systems Smart Choice Genll Models- you won't be disappointed!



Do you have a well?

Are you among the 15% of Americans that rely on a well to provide your family with drinking water?  Unfortunately, if you live in Texas (and have a private well) you may be familiar with IRON and SULPHUR.

Why is iron an unwelcome resident in your drinking water?

Iron builds up and stains such things as appliances and clothing.  This build up can require harsh chemical cleaners to be used on your toilets, sinks, showers, etc.  The build up within your pipes can be quite terrible also!

Why can sulphur be damaging?

Sulphur causes black oxidation on pipes...and that's no good!

Learn more about this topic from the EPA at



Licensed Professionals

What are the benefits of hiring a licensed professional to service your water purification systems?

With everything that can happen in a day, isn't it nice to know that you've got licensed professionals available to help?  Not every technician that comes to your home or business is qualified to make repairs or install equipment that makes your life easier.  Just as you have invested in a water Softener or Reverses Osmosis Drinking Water System, the company servicing your equipment should invest in proper training, licensing and continued education of their service technicians.

We, at CBS Systems, take pride in our qualifications, education, and abilities to service and install Water Softeners and Reverse OSmosis SYstems.  We find it important to educate our customers on the products that we sale and we value new technologies that are introduced into the area of Water Conditioning.  Keeping up to date with education, alerts, and information benefits our customers and adds value to your service experience.  Find out what is required to become a licensed professional in Texas...



Hard Water

As you travel throughout the USA, you may notice that drinking water is not all the same.  States have different requirements for treating drinking water...but federal regulations require that water come from an "approved" source.  What does this mean for your family?  It means that your drinking water MUST be of safe and sanitary quality.

Depending on where you live, your water my be supplied by surface water sources or from ground water.  If you live in Texas, your water comes from underground and, in many areas, is surrounded by limestone.  Here are some of the things found in untreated Texas water:  sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, organic material and metals.  Hard water is defined, by the World Health Organization, as:

"Water hardness is the traditional measure of the capacity of water to react with soap, hard water requiring considerably more soap to produce a lather.  It is not caused by a single substance but by a variety of dissolved polyvalent metallic ions, predominantly calcium and magnesium cations, although other cations, e.g. barium, iron, manganese, strontium and zinc also contribute.  Hardness is most commonly expressed as milligrams of calcium carbonate equivalent per litre; water containing less than 60 mg of calcium carbonate per litre generally being considered as soft."

Water Conditioning or Softening can remedy your hard water issue, in turn, helping to protect pipes from corrosion, faucets from buildup, and preventing consumption of additional minerals into your body.



Water Damage?

Has your home been the victim of water damage?  We certainly hope not!

According to Angie’s List, not all insurance carriers cover ALL aspects of water damage so it’s important to know HOW to protect your home.  Understanding how to Bypass and Shut Off your water softener is just as important as knowing how the unit works.

Although the systems that we install are made of quality materials and meant to last for years, emergencies do occur and some home remodeling projects do require water shut offs.   Each system that we install is accompanied by an Owner’s Manual which includes step by steps instructions from setting the display clock to putting the unit into Bypass. The Aqua Systems Smart Choice Genll Models advanced electronics provide extensive information about water usage, identify plumbing leaks and other uses that waste water and provide historical information logs on water-usage patterns. 

Angie’s List recommends the following for water leaks…and we agree!

“Once the water is shut off, your responsibility is to protect the home from further damage. Place buckets in rooms with active leaks, and move valuable and light furniture to a safe place.”

Check us out on Angie’s List!



Stinky Water?

Does your water stink?!  Are your clothes coming out of the wash stained?!

If you get your household water from a well and you are experiencing these issues then you may have an iron or sulfur problem.

Going back to a previous post…15% of Americans rely on a well to supply their homes (and businesses) with water.  Smelling the “rotten egg” odor every time you turn on a faucet can be overwhelming and upsetting.  Washing a load of laundry only to find iron stains once the cycle is complete can be frustrating.

Aqua Systems has a system called The Eradicator and The Eradicator O3…these could, possibly, be the answer to your stinky and staining water problems!




Resin…Why do I need it inside of my water softener?

As you may know, Calcium and Magnesium are readily available in our Texas water.  In order to prevent these minerals from entering your home, a Water Softener is needed.  According to a 1998 article by Popular Mechanics, “The heart of a water softener is a mineral tank. It's filled with small polystyrene beads, also known as resin... The beads carry a negative charge. Calcium and magnesium in water both carry positive charges. This means that these minerals will cling to the beads as the hard water passes through the mineral tank.”

Will the resin last forever?

Good question!  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Chlorine is also in our water, and can be in higher concentration as you near a water treatment facility.  Chlorine damages resin beads over time causing the need to have the resin beads replaced.  This is a fast job but can be costly. states it best: “If enough force is put on a resin bead, it will break. Sunlight, ozone, chlorine, exposure to air — all these things damage resin over time.”

As with any large investment, you’ll want to consider ALL replaceable components and their cost prior to purchasing.



Bottled Water vs. RO Tap Water

Are they the same quality?

Basic facts, the FDA regulates bottled water while the EPA regulates tap water…are there breakdowns and standards regarding bottled water?  *Americans spend around $16 billion a year on bottled water…so there must be a difference, right?!

The FDA classifies water used for bottling into the following categories:  Artesian, Mineral, Spring, Purified, and Well Water.  As far as standards go, all of the categories must meet the FDA quality standards.  This means that the well water and artesian waters come from an underground source while spring water comes from a surface source and mineral water contains at least 250 parts per million of TDS (total dissolved solids).  **All bottled water must be “processed, bottled, held, and transported under sanitary conditions”.  The water sources must be “protected from bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminates”.  Quality control and testing should be used to ensure safety.

Some popular bottled brands get their water from local sources and the water is usually treated prior to being bottled.  Treating water without chemicals is done by running the water through a conditioning process that is also called Reverse Osmosis.  This RO process is a multi-step filtration journey that the water takes and involves removing particles and odor from the water before it dispenses into your drinking glass.

Some people opt to have a Reverse Osmosis System installed rather than purchasing bottled water.  Whether this personal choice is to save money in the long term or to avoid accumulating plastic bottles, it may be worth doing your homework on the Bottled Water vs. Treated Tap Water debate.

Should you choose to have a RO installed in your home, the process is quite easy and quick and does require annual replacement of the filters.



Water Heaters & Water Softeners

Have you jumped onto the tank less water heater train yet?!  Many home builders have and the home buyers love it!  Whether you have natural gas or electric supplying your home, there are pros and cons when making the switch from a traditional water heater to a tank less one.

This article from Angie’s List points out a few good and bad notes to keep in mind if you are searching for a new water heater:

Doing your “due diligence” prior to a purchase can save you woes down the road.  Most, if not all, tank less water heater manufacturers require a water softener to be installed BEFORE the water heater as well as regular servicing to clear debris from damaging any components of the tank less version.  Traditional water heaters, normally, do not require these things.  Many factors come into play while considering a new water heater…such as space, amount of available hot water, lifespan of the unit, etc.

No matter what your preference, there’s a water heater for everyone!  Whether you buy tank less or traditional, keep a water softener in mind to preserve the efficiency of your unit and your peace of mind.



Greensand Manganese

Greensand Manganese…ever heard of it??

Best described by Water & Waste Digest as “a specially processed medium for iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide removal.”  This process has been used within the USA since the 1950s.  So how does this help if you get water from a well?  Maganese Greensand is not soluble and backwashing, periodically, keeps the greensand fresh.  If you are new to water treatment and are trying to figure out if a water softener is right for your home, consider all that your water has to offer.  Do you have red tinted water?  Does your water have a smell?  Depending on the complexities of your water, there may be more options than you realize. Hearing things like Greensand Maganese and High Iron can be intimidating and scary…but they don’t have to be.  Water Treatment is our specialty and we are happy to guide you to the RIGHT water filtration system for you and your family.  Call or email us today!



Home Improvement

When it comes to your home, how do you invest?

Doing major repairs or upgrades can certainly improve the re-sale value of your home; but did you know that adding a Water Softener is a beneficial investment?  Installing an Aqua Systems Smart Choice Genll Water Softener helps save you money immediately by decreasing the amount of soap and detergent you use.  It also helps in the long run by keeping your home’s pipes clear of mineral and iron build up.  If you want clean water to flow through your home then think of adding a Water Softener, the investment is worth the benefit!



Spring Cleaning

With Spring fast approaching, it’s time to clean and spruce up your home!

Did you know that by changing out your Reverse Osmosis filters, you can keep your system working at its full potential while eliminating mineral build up that can occur when filters are left in place past their “expiration date”?  Keeping up with filter replacements will keep your drinking water clean and help prolong the life of your RO system.

If you own an Aqua Systems Pure Choice 435 RO system we recommend changing out your filters annually.  If you do not have an Aqua Systems brand RO make sure that you swap out the correct filters to avoid malfunctions.

Just one quick and easy tip to help make your Spring Cleaning a success!



Water On The Go

With so many choices for hydration on the go, how do you make the right selection for you and your family…you’ve got:  Bottled Water in one-time-use plastic bottles, glass bottles, stainless steel bottles…the list could go on!  We’ve all heard the debates over glass vs. plastic but how pure is the water inside the bottle?

Bottled water comes from many different sources but the drinking water that comes from your home should be the purest.  Running your water through an Aqua Systems Pure Choice Reverse Osmosis System is even better than just filtering alone.  RO Water is taken through a longer purification journey and includes more steps than those faucet attached filters or those pitcher filling filters.  Store bought filters and filtering systems do well but they don’t capture molecules and spores that are trapped by a Reverse Osmosis membrane.

If you prefer to take fresh, pure water with you then we suggest carrying Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water in a safe, chemical free bottle.



Purifying Water

Are you trying to find a way to make your drinking water pure? There are different ways to achieve water purification so it simply becomes a matter of personal preference and cost.

One way to purify drinking water is to use purification tablets…these are effervescent tabs that are dropped into your drinking glass.  These tablets are usually made up of chlorine, iodine, chlorine dioxide, etc. and are used to deactivate bacteria and water borne viruses.  If you camp or hike often then you may be very familiar with these tablets.  The cost involved with using these tablets can vary and they do not eliminate all micro-organisms within your drinking water.

Another way to purify drinking water is to run your water through a Reverse Osmosis System.  These systems are designed with a 3 or 4 chamber filter catchment route.  Water traveling through an RO can produce the most pure water by taking out impurities and odors at the molecular level.  The cost involved with using an RO includes a one-time install fee plus annual filter replacements.

Check out our Aqua Systems Pure Choice 435 Reverse Osmosis System…it’s a great fit for your family’s drinking water needs!



A True Bargain?

Owning a home often calls for “bargain hunting”.  Due to unforeseen expenses and costly repairs, a homeowner can quickly run into a financial roadblock.  How is one to know which brand is the best…or which company offers the best service?  Are you apart of the 84% of Americans that trust online reviews or do you rely on recommendations from friends and family?

When it comes to water treatment, CBS Systems isn’t your “run of the mill” Water Softener dealer.  We, at CBS Systems, cater to those homeowners that require a more custom approach to their water needs.  Our equipment isn’t “one size fits all”…it’s more “one size fits most, under certain circumstances”.  We take into account the type of water problems that you are having PLUS your daily life activities PLUS any potential households changes PLUS your budget PLUS your house size…we can go on and on.  There are so many factors that come into play when you consider a water softener and reverse osmosis system.

Is it bad to purchase a water softener or RO system online or from a big box retailer?  No, not at all!  One question to ask yourself (if you are leaning towards an online purchase) is: Will I get the service I need once the equipment is installed?  Things can happen once a system has been installed.  From defective mechanical parts to human error, it’s important to make sure that your service technician is experienced and licensed to provide you with the correct help- this will save you time and money down the road.



Chlorine & Your Water Softener

What does Chlorine do to your water softener?  There are so many things that you could read on line…some opinion and some fact.  We like to look at the science!

If your tap water is supplied by a well then chances are chlorine only makes its way into the water supply once a year for disinfecting.  If your tap water is supplied by a municipal source then chances are you could have higher amounts than your neighbor.  Municipal sources treat water with chlorine to kill bacteria.  Depending on where your house is located in proximity to the water inlet for your neighborhood, you could have higher or lower amounts of chlorine within your drinking water.

A water softener is designed to reduce chlorine slighty (along with many other minerals and chemicals) and prevent it from getting to your tap.  During this process, chlorine damages the resin bead causing it to breakdown or weakens the structure.  Usually, resin can last for 5-10 years; however, depending on the chlorine amount of your untreated water, that life predictability can change.

It’s a good idea to have you water tested prior to purchasing a Water Softener…that will help you in determining which system is best for your family!



Soft Water Options

Are you comparing Water Softeners?  Have you shopped around and just can’t decide which route to take?

You have had your water tested and the results are as follows: Hard Water Consisting of Minerals .  This leaves a buildup on your shower heads, shower doors, faucets, glassware, etc.  Combing through the internet, there are so many devices, systems and opinions on water softening and water purification that you could, quickly, get confused.

We, of course, recommend having a dedicated Water Softener installed that can provide you with years upon years of soft and pure water but if that option is out of reach at the moment there are others to consider, depending on your needs.  There are “disposable” water softening units that can provide you with soft water for an extended period of time and they, generally, cost less however they do not have parts available should your system need a repair due to electrical outages, human damage, chlorine damage or other unforeseen things that can occur.  There are also “water softening devices” on the market such as shower heads and faucet attachments. These come in at a much lower cost but are considered “point of use” and do not help to eliminate the damage that can be caused by mineral buildup within your pipes.  These devices do provide you with soft water, for that specific faucet and function, for a very short time.

So, when it comes to Water Softeners, we understand that it can be overwhelming…call us with your questions…we are happy to help!



Hiring An Experienced Professional

When it comes to home repair or home improvement, what do you value most…customer reviews, experience, project cost?  With DIY on the rise, would you tackle water treatment yourself or hire an experienced professional?

Here at CBS Systems, we believe in educating ourselves in the chemistry behind and involved in water treatment and water purification.  Shortcuts and cheap materials are NOT acceptable when it comes to helping our customers achieve their drinking water goals.  Your families wellbeing is at the center of our recommendations and we value your trust.  Whether we install a water softener or reverse osmosis system for you, we take pride in educating you on the equipment.

When hiring a professional, please keep in mind WHY you are hiring them in the first place.  Make sure they have the experience, education, and honesty to complete your job correctly- the first time.


Why You Need a Water Softener with Vortech Design

Water Softener technology and designs continue to improve and evolve so why should you stick with outdated equipment??  Energy efficiency and water saving techniques are at the forefront of our minds, here at CBS Systems, so we value the Vortech design!

The Vortech design “…creates fluidity of the media bed and extends contaminant removal capacity; which means less regenerations and significant reduction of water use.”  This also results in using less salt or potassium.  Savings all around!


Terminology To Know

If you’re in the market for a water softener you may have heard a few words that need some explanation.  It’s not a bad idea to get familiar with the terms frequently used…just so that you’re ‘in the know’ when comparison shopping.

Grains Per Gallon- A unit of measurement to know, exactly, the amount of hardness present in the water.

Parts Per Million- Some tests will report hardness in the PPM to convert to Grains Per Gallon…just divide by 17.12 and that number equals Grains Per Gallon.

Resin Tank- Usually, a tall tank (9”x48” or 10”x54” or 13”x54”). This tank holds resin that actually softens the water. The larger the tank usually means more resin inside and more capacity.

Brine Tank- A canister that holds the salt or potassium to be used during a regeneration cycle.

Regeneration- This is when the unit is exchanging calcium ions for salt ions.  This enables the unit to soften again.

Salt Bridge-This is when the salt sticks together and forms a “bridge”. The water in the tank does not come into contact with enough salt for a proper regeneration.*Pro Tip: Square and Oval tanks are some of the worst when it comes to bridging! At CBS Systems, we only use Round Brine Tanks that virtually solve the bridging issue.


Can your water make you ill?

If you’ve got bacteria growth and more in your well water you may need some extra help. One way to prevent that harmful growth is by installing a UV Light System. The Ultra Violet rays actually reach the microorganisms within your water and neutralize them…making them nonexistent in your drinking glass. On some occasions, sediment filters and a softener are needed to help clear the debris within the water so that the rays can do their job. You’ve got enough to worry about this upcoming cold season- don’t let your water add to that list!


Salt and Potassium Usage

The Fall season is almost here…are you planning for visitors this holiday? Did you know that your salt or potassium consumption could increase if you have visitors staying in your home? This simply means that more baths/showers are being taken, more loads of laundry are being done and the dishwasher is being used more frequently…all of this uses water…which uses salt or potassium. No matter which brand of Water Softener you have, we recommend using pellets versus crystals. Why, you ask? Over time, the crystals slough off tiny dirt particles which build up within your brine tank. Cleaning a dirt ring from your brine tank is just one more chore that you do not need! Consider making the switch to pellet salt or potassium, you’ll be glad you did!