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Hard Water Areas : Are You Affected?

Different parts of the world have different water. We know that in some countries it is safe to drink the tap water, whilst in others it isn’t recommended. This is largely because the authorities that regulate the water in different countries don’t meet the same standards that we impose on our own water supplies here in the U.K. But one of the more subtle differences in water that isn’t addressed by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is the hardness of water. This is understandable as hard water is perfectly safe to drink. But hard water does have some other side effects that could cause the average house or business owner some concern.

The U.K. is particularly renowned for having hard water. So much so that well over half of us live in areas supplied with hard water. But what is it and why do we get it?

When rain falls from the sky, it is soft. That is because upon evaporating in the oceans, it has been unable to carry heavier particles into the air with it. It may absorb small amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but it generally won’t contain heavier particles.

After a droplet of rain lands, it filters through the earth and down to the rocks below. If the rocks below are non-porous such as granite the water cannot permeate the rocks. But much of the U.K. is made up of sedimentary rocks such as limestone and chalk, which water can pass through.

Water is a solvent, so, as it passes through these sedimentary rocks, it dissolves chemical compounds such as calcium and magnesium that are a part of the rock. It carries these particles away and they become a part of our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

It doesn’t take a lot for water to become hard. In fact, we consider water to be hard if it has just 200 particles of hardness per million particles overall. And the impacts of that small quantity can be surprising.

The impacts of hard water can be found mainly in the South-East of England, but areas of moderate hardness can travel as far west as Somerset and Wales, and as far north as Northumberland.

There are online tools that will let you know if you live in a hard-water area, but most of the time we like to judge on a case-by-case basis. If you feel like your water might be causing issues in your home, you can book a free site survey with us today – we will be able to tell you how hard your water is, and advise you of your next steps.