Water is not without contents, unless you talk about distilled water. Minerals are among the common things found in water, and some mineral ions signify water hardness. Hard water is expressed in calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and it signifies the presence of magnesium and calcium ions in the body of water. Water hardness has certain effects when humans consume or use it, and it must be consideration, especially since hard water is present in certain areas where large numbers of humans use it.
Effects of Water Hardness
There are certain amounts of mineral ions in water body to define water hardness; 75 milligrams of ion per liter means soft water, 76-150 milligrams per liter means moderately hard, and above 150 milligrams per liter means hard water. Some areas might have hard water due to the content of the soil, which can contribute to the water hardness, but some water body might get its high mineral ion content through absorption from surrounding industry.
There are several effects of water hardness, particularly in daily use, such as:
- Stains on clothes when the water is used for washing.
- Buildup on heaters and water boilers.
- White scale buildup inside kettle, pot and pan.
- Difficulties in lathering soaps when washing clothes or dishes.
- Small flow of water because the pipe is blocked by the buildup.
Seeing such effects on various household stuffs makes many people wonder whether water hardness brings severe health effects or not. However, according to Vermont Department of Health, hard water actually poses no significant risks toward out health as drinking water. In fact, some studies have shown that people who drink hard water usually has lower cardiovascular disease possibilities. However, this does not mean that methods of softening hard water are obsolete.
Methods to Remove Water Hardness
Water softener installment is the most common way to remove water hardness. This softener works by replacing all the magnesium and calcium molecules with sodium; 0.46 milligrams of sodium molecules replace 1 milligram of calcium and magnesium molecules. The softener has three types: manual, semi automatic, and automatic. All work in softening process with three steps: backwash, brine, and rinse, and the size of the softener depends on water hardness level and the daily volume of water your household or building use.
While the water softener reduces water hardness and makes daily chores easier, replacing magnesium and calcium molecules with sodium can affect the health, especially for people who have low sodium diet or high blood pressure. People who have these kinds of health problems must not consume water that has 20 milligrams of sodium per 1 liter, which can lead to dehydration or extra spending for water brands that come from distilled or natural spring water.
In the end, hard water is something that is problematic for daily chores and household stuffs, but has no effect on health when used for consumption as well as it is boiled well. However, softening water hardness brings higher health risk because of rising sodium level.