If you receive hard water in your home, you are not alone. It’s estimated that 85% of American homes have the same problem. Hard water causes a number of issues in our homes, including stains, scale, soap scum, dry skin, brittle hair, and more. The crusty white substance left behind on plumbing fixtures is the most visible evidence of hard water. This residue is left behind after the water evaporates; it’s the mineral content that is left on our skin after taking a shower or tangled in the fabrics that seem to wear out too quickly. In this article, we will take a closer look at the source of hard water and how you can remove it from your home.
Why is My Water Hard?
Hard water contains elevated concentrations of dissolved minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals and metals occur naturally; they are present in the soil and rock that the water passes through after it falls as rain. Water is a solvent, it can dissolve many materials that it passes through, and they are added to the makeup of the water. The water hardness can vary by location depending on the concentration of hard water minerals and metals in the area. The public water treatment plant doesn’t remove hardness from the water supply, and private wells are especially prone to this problem. For these reasons, many people install their own water softener systems to remove the hardness and to make the water easier to use and kinder for their homes.
What is a Water Softener?
A water softener is a device that you can install in your home to soften the incoming private well water or municipal water supply. There are few methods, but the most reliable option at this time is an ion-exchange system. The incoming water is passed through a bed of resin beads that are coated with water softener salt. The dissolved mineral ions have a negative charge, and they are attracted to the positive charge of the resin media. An exchange takes place, the mineral ions stick to the resin beads, and the salt ions are added to the water. Although this takes place on a very small scale the result is softer water that’s easier to use.
Is Hard Water Safe to Drink?
Yes, there are no known negative health problems related to the use of hard water for drinking or cooking. Some people believe that the minerals in hard water are beneficial, but this is not true. The mineral uptake of minerals that have not passed through cellular material, such as plants and animals, is inferior. A healthy diet will provide all the calcium, magnesium, and iron that are required for health from food alone. Although some salt is added to the softened water, this is not a health concern for most people. But, if you are sensitive to salt, you can use a potassium-based water softener salt that is more benign than the sodium variants. If you are unsure, consult your doctor for professional advice.
If you want to install a water softener in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.