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The Cause and Effects of Hard Water

May 25, 2018  |  By Brham Trim (Lethbridge)  |  General Plumbing


Dripping faucet 1

If you've ever heard the term 'hard water' before, you might have been confused as to what it actually means.

Water is described as 'hard' when it contains a certain amount of calcium and magnesium minerals, which it picks up when flowing through limestone and chalk rock formations. The more these minerals are found within the water, the ‘harder’ that water becomes.

While certain health benefits are sometimes cited with drinking hard water, harder water can cause other problems. Washing clothes or dishes with hard water can leave a white, chalky film on items, and often is the cause for soap scum buildup in bathrooms. Perhaps worse, however, is that hard water can lead to calcium buildup in your home’s plumbing systems.

In Lethbridge, the water is considered to be fairly hard, averaging around 10.7 grains per gallon (184 milligrams of calcium chloride per litre). In contrast, Regina’s water is reported to average around 29 grains per gallon, while Vancouver has only 0.3 grains per gallon!

Though water hardness is not considered a big issue by most in Lethbridge, some, however, choose to use water softeners to lessen water hardness and prevent some of the problems associated with harder water.