In simple terms, it means dissolved calcium and magnesium ions in your water. Although there are other dissolved ions in your water, those are the primary components.
How does it get there? Rain already has some hardness, and as water travels through the earth’s crust and underground to your well, it dissolves more hardness ions. You can’t see it when you pour a glass of water, just like you can’t see dissolved sugar in your water, but it is there. How much depends on how much contact your water has had with those hard water ions.
Why should you care? There are no known health regulations for hardness in drinking water but hard water can be a real nuisance in your home AND on your body.
The Primary Symptoms of Hard Water Are:
- Scaling – hard, white residue deposits on everything your water touches including your pipes, dishes, bathtubs, shower walls and doors, shower heads, tanks, boilers, appliances, and even your diamonds!
- Interference with heating and cooling efficiency and increased energy costs – because of the scale buildup
- Soap Scum – commonly seen as bathtub ring. You will usually see grey, dingy water too.
- Excessive amounts of detergents, shampoos, cleaning agents – to overcome the hard water
- Dry skin – hard rock coats your body and prevents your body’s natural oil from moisturizing your skin
- Unmanageable hair – hard water hair is frizzy, dry, and dull
- Clothing – hard water gets into your clothes’ fibers and shortens their life
Treatment Options? Currently, nothing works better than a Water Softener. Salt-free devices including magnetic, electromagnetic, and electrostatic, among others, are still shrouded with controversy. We are watching that development closely, but independent studies have yet to find them reliable.
Next Step? Call your local water treatment company. Be sure they are a member of the Water Quality Association. Most will provide a free water test in your own home.