Is hard water bad? | Know the Effects of Hard Water

Hard water contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, and magnesium and tastes mostly metallic and sometimes salty. If you boil the water in any utensil, it may leave crystal deposits. If the calcium level is more than 120 mg/ l, then the water is termed as hard water, and the level for soft water is 60mg/l. 

What is Hard Water image
What is Hard Water image

What is Hard Water, is it Harmful?

Hard water ingestion may lead to health hazards for humans and animals. Hard water deposits the minerals on the pipelines, forms crystals on the utensils in which they were boiled or stored and on the plumbing materials. Salt and minerals deposition is commonly found in the water heaters, storage tanks, and pipelines and leads to reduced flow rate and damages the household appliances. 

If ferrous ions are present, they will get oxidized into ferric form and create a reddish-brown stain on the surfaces and ceramic wares. In the boilers, 

All About Soft Water

Soft water is surface water that contains a low concentration of ions such as magnesium and calcium. They are obtained from rainfall and river basins, where the water moves around the hard calcium rocks and other mineral deposits. Soft waters tend to have more concentration of sodium.

Difference between Hard and Soft water

We cannot classify the water as hard or soft by looking at them, but we can classify them as hard or soft by using simple tips.

  1. If you feel any film on your hand after washing with soap, then the water is termed as hard.
  2. Any spots of deposits on the glasses and silverware, you can conclude that it contains calcium carbonate.
  3. If there are mineral stains in your clothes after washing them in the washing machine, then you can conclude that hard water is used.
  4. When the pressure of water coming out of the pipeline has decreased within months, then it may be due to the deposits of minerals from the hard water on the surface of the pipe. 
  5. Water hardness is measured with colourimetric test strips. These strips provide you with the exact mineral content of the water. If the water is too hard to consume, then water should be softened with proper treatment. The allowed mineral content in the water is 17 PPM or less. 

If the water is soft, then soaps will have more lather while washing your clothes, vessels, hands, and body. The clothes will be brighter and cleaner than before. Water pressure will be good in your pipeline after months of usage. 

Health Risks with Hard Water

Hard water does not cause major health problems for individuals. However, it is found to contribute to the dryness of hair and skin. The high mineral content of the water changes the pH balance of the skin and breaks the bacterial barrier. As a result, the skin becomes prone to bacterial infections, and those who are with eczema are also vulnerable to infections. Hard water contains a good concentration of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for our body. So, you may get your daily dose of minerals by drinking hard water.

How to Convert Hard Water Into Soft Water? 

 We can convert the hard water into soft water by using a softener. A water softener removes minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the water through the ion-exchange process.

·         Ion-exchange process

It is the process of removing the cations from the water and replacing them with other minerals. The most commonly used minerals are salt (Sodium chloride) and potassium ions.

·         Reverse osmosis

In this process, water is forced to pass through Shower filters, to filter out all the impurities in the water along with calcium and magnesium salts,

·         Chelation

Chelation is the process of conditioning the ions in water such that they will not combine with other chemicals. It is a commercially used application in factories, restaurants, and laundry.

Thus by using water softening techniques, we can convert hard water into soft water for everyday usage.

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