Hard water: myths and truths

If you have a water well in your house probably you are familiar with this term. But if you are starting to look for a way to have a well in your house and are confuse about that, you can find some information here.

Water well wise home building

As water moves through soil (after some rain, for example) it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Water described as hard has a high amount of dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not a health risk, but a nuisance because of mineral buildup on fixtures and poor soap and/or detergent performance. Hard water is very common to be found in New England region because of the characteristics of the soil.

Hard water can satin my clothes during washing: TRUE 

Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dish washing to bathing and personal grooming, and even more problems can happen:

  • Clothes laundered in hard water may look dingy and feel harsh and scratchy.
  • Dishes and glasses may be spotted when dry.
  • Hard water may cause a film on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks and faucets
  • Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull.
  • Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement

Hard water can damage my appliances: TRUE

Hard water also contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water-using appliances. The water filters in some refrigerators can quickly be clogged.

Hard water is dangerous for health: MYTH

Hard water is not a health hazard. In fact, the National Research Council from the National Academy of Sciences states that hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs. They further state that in some instances, where dissolved calcium and magnesium are very high, water could be a major contributor of calcium and magnesium to the diet.  The problem with hard water can be the arsenic content, and because of that is recommended for every well installation that you perform a test in qualified lab facilities.

Hard water can easily be managed by installing a softener system: TRUE

The water softener is just a special type of “filter” that removes the calcium and magnesium in hard water by using plastic beads and cleans itself periodically by a process called regeneration.

Water softeners have three main components: a mineral tank, a brine tank, and a control valve. We will talk about them in other posts. The cost to install a system can vary from several hundred dollars up to several thousands, depending on what you would like to do with your water within your house. You can also add filters and more complex process (like the reverse osmosis) to have almost a completely sterile water.

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