The rapid increase in population and its growing needs has led to a sharp decrease in the availability of potable water. Desalination of brackish water to obtain drinking water has become a very important option. One of the most important techniques is membrane separation process. In this investigation, electrodialysis (ED) and ultrafiltration (UF) techniques have been experimented with a view to soften the brackish water to potable levels. Waters from five localities in the Madras Metropolis have been acquired and analysed for their constituents and are processed for softening through ED and UF equipments. These influent waters along with sea water have been analysed for six ions, dissolved oxygen and total dissolved solids. The performance of both these techniques is compared with reverse osmosis (RO). Amongst the three, ED has been found to be the most effective method.