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Peat softening water

Can anyone tell me, in relatively simple terms, how filtering water in peat
moss lowers the hardness of the water?  It's fairly obvious to me that the
addition of humic acid from the peat would lower the pH, but how is it
effecting the change in the hardness? My only guess is that it acts as some
sort of a natural ion exchange resin, but I'm only guessing.  And will
running the amber coloured result of the process through carbon make the
water clear afterwards? 

Enquiring minds want to know....

Ron Barter,
Perth, Ontario