hard water

Hard water is water that has a high content of dissolved minerals. The degree of hardness becomes greater as the amount of dissolved minerals increases.

How does water become “hard”?

As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water “hard.”

Is hard water bad for you?

Hard water is not a health risk. However, the mineral buildup on fixtures and pipe, and poor detergent performance can become a nuisance.

In the home environment, hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for laundry and washing. It takes half as much soap for cleaning with soft water. Hard water and soap combine to form “soap scum” that can’t be rinsed off, forming a “bathtub ring” on all surfaces, and it dries leaving unsightly spots on dishes.

Using soap on the body in hard water can cause the formation of a scum often referred to as “curd.” Curd remains on the skin even after rinsing, clogging pores and coating body hair. Curd can serve as a medium for bacterial growth, causing nappy rash, minor skin irritation and skin that looks dry and continually itches.

How to treat and fix hard water

The two most common ways you can treat hard water.

Ion Exchange Water Softener is a technique that involves using minerals to perform a chemical reaction with the minerals in the water and alter them enough that they will not precipitate out onto clothing, fixtures, possessions and bodies. Ion exchange units are the typical, tried-and-true water softeners that you will see used in most applications.

Polyphosphate feeders are dissolves into the water and coats the iron, calcium and magnesium in it, making it impossible for these agents to precipitate out of the water and create the problems associated with hard water.