Conventional water softeners are sometimes effective for removing iron and small amounts of manganese. Water softeners are typically used to remove calcium and magnesium hardness in water by an exchange process. The calcium and magnesium are removed from the water and sodium is .
It is a method to improve mining by using microorganisms for in place (in situ) mining. This biological approach removes desired metals from ores while leaving the surrounding environment undisturbed and saves energy in the mining process.