Get To Know Your Water Quality- Hardwater



“Hard Water” is a reference to the high mineral content within water, and is considered the most common of all water problems.



Water picks up a little part of everything that it touches, including natural minerals from the ground. Excess Sulphur, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese, Iron, are all contributors to the hardness of your water. A homeowner reading their yearly water quality report will see that “hardness” is listed as parts per million (ppm) or grains per gallon (gpg).

The average hardness level in the United States is 10 Grains, meaning roughly 85% of the United States’s water is actually classified as Hard Water.

Most municipal water in the St. Louis area ranges between 7-11 grains of hardness with some areas reaching as high as 24 grains. 

 

Hardness Classification Table


Watertable

Table adapted from Water Treatment Fundamentals, prepared and distributed by the Water Quality Association : U.S. Geological Survey Water Hardness Explanation | Water Quality Association Water Hardness Classifications


Is Hard Water Harmful?

High mineral content is not particularly harmful to the majority of people, BUT, Hard water creates a lot of problems and costs the average family of 4 over $2,000 per year to have it flowing through the pipes.

Common Hard Water Problems:

  • Dry itchy skin and dull brittle hair
  • Wastes soap and detergents
  • Yellows laundry, dulls colors and shortens the life of the material
  • Unsightly soap scum in shower, bathtub, and sink
  • Spots and streaks on glassware and dishes
  • Damaging scale buildup in water appliances and plumbing

 

Softening Water Is NOT A Choice

What most people don’t know is that buying a “water softener” is not really a choice at all. Popular brands of laundry detergents / misc. soaps are bought because they work.

The chemists that formulate them know 85% of the United States has hard water and things don’t come clean until the hard minerals in the water are neutralized.

Most of the soap and cleaning products that are used in the home are full of water softening chemicals to help neutralize the hardness or minerals in the water so that the little bit of soap and surfactants in the container can actually do their job cleaning.

The truth is most everyone has to softener their tap water. The only choice a homeowner has is which way to soften their water:

Spend money to fight the water Chemically—a bottle, bar, box or tube at a time and deal with all the aggravation.



How do I get it out of my Water?

The best, and by far the most effective way to remove hard minerals from water, is to use an Ion Exchange Resin Filter or otherwise known as a Water Softener.

The Benefits of Soft water are known and loved by those that have it. The only downside to a water softener is having to put salt or potassium in the brine tank from time to time but it’s a minor inconvenience compared to the life-changing benefits and tremendous savings that a homeowner will enjoy by having it.

The Trionics Series Eco-CM and CMT (Twin) Water Softeners provide soft water at every tap in your home at an affordable price with the durability and reliability of a commercial-grade construction. These systems provide superior removal of hard water ions that damage expensive plumbing and appliances. The resulting soft water will provide a host of benefits including money savings and protection for your home.

Invest in your own whole house water softener and enjoy all of these benefits:

  • Softer, healthier skin and hair
  • Cleaner, healthier showers and baths
  • Cleaner clothes & dishes
  • 75% savings on soap and cleaning products
  • Water Heater –Energy Savings
  • Protection for your home’s plumming

Warning about Salt-Free Water Softeners

Products such as salt-free, magnet and electromagnet systems that make claims of softening the water are not really water softeners at all. These types of systems do not remove the hard water minerals from the water but rather restructure it so that it does not build up inside the plumbing. The reality is that the minerals are still there and the claims made by many if not all of these types of systems are overstated.

The Economics of Hard/Soft Water.

Hard water cost homeowners thousands of dollars yearly. Below is a hard water cost study. The study found an average family of 4 spends about $190 per month in areas like plumbing and appliances, beverages, clothing, but the biggest area of cost to the family was in the area of soap and cleaning products.

The figures below are national average figures based upon the average family of 4 with an average water hardness of 10 grains per gallon.

watercosttable

Compiled from the following sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor, National Industrial Conference Board, Water Conditioning Research Council, National Restaurant Association, American Laundry Institute, and Orange county California Research Study, U.S. Bureau of Standards, University of Illinois, and University of New Mexico.

Cost /Savings associated with removing minerals (soft water)

A Trionics consumer research study found the A family of 2, on average spends approximately $60-$70 a month to buy soaps, chemical cleaners, skin lotions and others cleaning and personal products to help fight the direct and indirect effects of hard water.

  • A family of 3 ……$70-$80
  • A family of 4 ……$80-$90
  • add $10 a month per family member to the total bill

Here is how the money adds up for a family of 4.

  • $80 x 12 months= $960.00
  • $960.00 x 5 years = $4,800.00

That’s $4,800.00 over the next 5 years for chemical water softeners but unfortunately without the benefits of actual real soft water and you will still be dealing with all the negative effects of your hard water.
According to the study an average family of 4 homeowner can save up to 75% of their soap and cleaning bill with softened water.
When you consider that you really don’t use anything in your home more than water doesn’t it make sense that it should be the best for your family and home? Especially when you consider that you have to spend the money anyway.

What About the EPA and My Water Provider?

The EPA does not regulate the Hardness Level of tap water. Because excessive levels of hardness can make it expensive to maintain water service some water providers will reduce the hardness level in the water by using industrial water softeners.

About the author: Aric Huckstep