You must be wondering what is Hard water? How can water be hard, it is a liquid, it can’t be Hard or soft, right? So today I shall tell you all about the hardness of water and how water can be hard and soft as well.
We all are well aware that water exists as liquid at normal temperature which quenches our thirsts. It is the most important ingredient for Human survival. Now while drinking water you must have sometimes felt the tatse a little off, whilst washing hands many a times a layer of residue is left on the hands. Ever wondered why that happens ?
The major reason behind it is the Hardness of Water.
It is common knowledge that water is extracted from various sources to filter and use for drinking purposes. Many of these are underground sources which are rich in minerals and salts. When the water extracted from such sources was analysed, it was found that it containes high amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium elements.
So, on the basis of the presence of these elements water is classified into Hard water and Soft water.
Hard water has huge amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals which cause various positive and Negitive Effects on Human Body. Comparitively Soft water has lesser amounts of Minerals and only contains traces of sodium. This was all about what Hard water is, Now, I shall explore the effects of its consumption on us.
Hard water has healing properties, it can cure several ailments. There are mineral rich springs found in Bath, United kingdom which have shown to cure minor ailments. Several people flock to these springs every year in want of a natural healing process.
Another Positive effect of hard water is that , consumption of Hard water helps you fulfil the daily need for calcium and Magnesium minerals.Because these minerals are abundantly present in hard water thus they fulfil the daily requirement.
There are some negative effects of hard water as well, which can be understood as,
- Excess of minerals present in hard water cause Dry skin and hair. Washing hair with it leads to itchiness on the scalp.
- The minerals present in hard water are known to change the pH balance of humn skin which results in the weakening of skin against bacteria and infections. So beware , if you find any of these symptoms you might want to look at the water ou are using.
- Clothes which are repeatedly washed in hard water tend to fade out faster.
- Due to excess mineral Hard water causes stains on sinks and Bathtubs as well as causes problems in the plumbing of the house due to salt deposits.
- You will also find that hard water causes a rise in the Water consumption bills of the house.
If you find any of these issues in your house then it is time to find a softening agent. Because water is an important part of our daily life and is used in almost all chores , so it becomes necessary.
Hardness of water is measured in parts per million ( ppm ). This reading tells us how many particles of which mineral are dissolved in one par per million. This table can help you in determining how hard your water is.
|51-100 ppm||Moderatly Soft|
|101-150 ppm||Slightly Hard|
|151-200 ppm||Moderately Hard|
|276- 350 ppm||Very Hard|
|More than 350 ppm||Agressively Hard|
United Kingdom has more than 60% areas which have Hard water. In these areas you will find approximately 200 mg of Calcium Carbonate salt present in the water per litre.
The determining factor is geology of the regions, the hardness of water depends upon the geology of the place.
The more rock based terrains have higher possibility of Hard water, because when rainfall occurs it brings soft water with less minerals. But when this water seeps into the rocks and percolates slowly it begins gaining on minerals and accumulation of minerals leads to Hardness.
The South and East of England have the hardest water in whole united Kingdom. States Bath,Bournmouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Dartford, Dorchester, Enfield, Canterbury , Croydon, Guildford, Hemel Hampstead, Hereford, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Romford, Salisbury, Sheffield, Slough, Southall, Southampton,Telford, Wakefield and York are known to have Hard water.
There are several methods of water softening which you can employ in your house.
The most common method of softening hard water is ion-exchange resin method. In this method when the Hard water enters from the tank , then it is passed through a bed of spherica resin beads . These beads are charged with a sodium ion.
When the hard water passes over these beads then they grab the minerals from it and the Sodium ion is released into the water. Thus the water is stripped of its hardness and soft water flows out.
Some more commercially applied methods of water softening are RO ( Reverse Osmosis) method and Chelation method.
Reverse osmosis method is widely used in many houses, it involves the softening of water by passing it through several filters and finally getting softened water.
Chelation method is applied in large scale water softening processes , it involves the process of conditioning the hardness cursing ions so that they do not combine with other Hardness causing ions to form limescale. It is used by restaurants, aand factories.
In these areas where naturally only Hard water is available a water softener is a necessary requirement. There are two types of water softeners available Metered regeneration and Timed Regeneration.
Regeneration is the process in which we use a salty brine solution to wash over the resin which replenishes the Sodium ions in the resin.
The Metered regeneration comes with a pre -setup from the manufacturer while the Timed regeneration is initially programmed. When the time comes for regeneration it automatically regenerates.
You can easily find several water softeners available on Amazon by checking out the link