Water hardness is usually one of the first things to be found out about any given water supply. Most water authorities will state the hardness of a particular water supply.But when that hardness exceeds a specific level, it is widely considered a problem. Excessively hard mains water is poor for washing and cleaning and leads to spotty dishes and glassware. Thanks to the residual build up it causes in pipeshard water can also lead to low water pressureas these pipes become clogged.
America has many water supply problems (and some of them much more serious than hard water), but excessively hard water supplies are one the reasons there is a strong national market for alternative water products. Synergy Science, a company specializing in alternative water products like hydrogen water and purified water, say that there is nothing short of a total national dissatisfaction with the quality of U.S. drinking water to thank for the massive market for their products. In fact, sub-optimal water hardness effects 85% of American households.
What is Hard Water?
So, we know the problems it can cause, but what is hard water? What gives it these adverse qualities? Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. This certainly doesn’t mean that what’s coming out the faucet is akin to a bottle of mineral water, but it does mean that there is a great deal of excess material in the water itself.
However, it may come as a surprise to many to learn that there are actually health benefits to moderately hard water. As mentioned, it contains many minerals, some of which are known to confer health benefits. Accordingly, we should not be overly worried about water hardness where our health concerned – certainly, there are much worse drinking water problems (lead contamination, arsenic content, and harmful bacteria content) that should worry us in this department. Nevertheless, as mentioned, hard water is far from ideal for household use.
But how do you know you have hard water on your hands? If it is especially hard, some simple observations should be enough. Sometimes a moderately hard water supply can cause problems much more stealthily and over time. You might not know you have a hard water supply until your water pressure goes on account of calcification in the pipes.
How to Test for Hard Water
Knowing how to test for hard water isgood knowledge to have, not only because you can find out if you have a problem, but you can anticipate certain further problems before they arise. This can beespecially useful as the type of plumbing problems hard water can cause are best dealt with as early as possible. Here follows some simple ways to test your water hardness:
Soapsuds and Water Bottle
Hard water does not lather well. Accordingly, you can test for it by adding a little detergent to someof the water in a bottle. Give it a shake. If there are no fluffy bubbles or the water appears cloudy/milky, then it is hard.
Check With Your Provider
You have the right as a citizen to see the latest water quality report. Sometimes the reports can be pretty technical, but they should say whether the water is considered hard or not.
A Home Water Test Kit
These are cheap and widely available. Not only can you tell your water hardness with a test kit, but you can get all sorts of other useful quality data as well.
Hard water is one of the most common issues with U.S. municipal water. But knowing what you are dealing with is already half the battle.