The Black Berkey® purification elements are designed to remove heavy metals, but will not remove mineral salts, which are added by a water softener. The salt used to soften water will not be extracted by the Black Berkey® element. You can use one of our purification systems on a regular basis by bypassing your water softener to get your drinking water. Most water softeners have a bypass valve or way to get water before it passes through your softener. Therefore, we highly recommend that you obtain pre-softened water directly from the source rather than run softened water through your Black Berkey® Elements.