If you’ve been researching water quality solutions, chances are you have come across the terms hard and soft water. So, what does this actually mean for your water supply?
Although water is typically crystal clear, it contains minerals and chemicals. Water hardness refers to the mineral content within the water.
Rain is considered soft water because it has yet to come in contact with minerals. Hard water is formed when water percolates through the earth, and water that has higher than normal amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium is considered ‘hard’.
Water hardness is measured in milligrams per litre.
Anything below 60mg/l is considered soft:
- Soft below 60 mg/l
- Moderately hard between 60 – 120 mg/l
- Hard between 120 – 200 mg/l
- Very hard above 200 mg/l
Hard water, though just as liquid as its soft counterpart, can cause major problems in your household or industrial settings, particularly in equipment that handles water.
During its journey from the source into your taps or other outlets, water carries and deposits these dissolved microscopic particles in your pipes.
What’s the difference between hard and soft water?
Instead of having higher levels of calcium and magnesium, soft water tends to have higher concentrations of sodium or salt.
You can’t usually tell by looking at water whether it’s hard or soft. In domestic settings, signs of hard water include:
- Feeling a film on your hands after washing them. This is caused by the soap reacting with calcium to form soap scum. You may need to rinse your hands longer if the water is hard.
- Spots on glasses and silverware coming out of the dishwasher.
- Mineral stains on clothes when they come out of the washing machine.
- Less water pressure in your home due to mineral deposits forming in the pipes and reducing water flow.
Hard water is water in its most natural state. There are differing opinions on whether hard or soft water is the healthiest for us to drink. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines dictate that drinking water must be treated to a high standard.
Whilst the quality of drinking water in Australia is highly regulated, water hardness is not. Therefore, we can see that the water’s origin across Australia plays a huge role in how hard or soft it is.
Hardwater in the home may build up and greatly damage the performance and lifespan of your appliances, such as kettles and coffee machines.
Hard water can also pose critical problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water.
Mining operations are often limited to using groundwater for everything from potable water for accommodation camps, through to flushing and downhole water systems used in drilling applications.
This highly mineralized water causes ongoing problems for asset owners across the mines processes and infrastructure.
Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water’s adverse effects.
Water softening systems
Fortunately, water softening systems are available to reduce mineral deposit build-up. Soften your water supply, quickly, safely and affordably.
The EcoSoft Water Conditioner is unparalleled in its field for the treatment, prevention and removal of damaging minerals caused by hard water. EcoSoft is committed to chemical-free, eco-friendly solutions across water quality needs.
EcoSoft Water Conditioner utilises a unique, factory blended, alloy that is tough to withstand the severities of the harshest water all the while providing chemical-free, maintenance-free peace of mind.
Located in Perth, WA, with over 21 years of experience, EcoSoft is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of hard water treatment systems for domestic, commercial, industrial and mining applications.
Don’t wait. It’s time to get tough on Hard water.