what is hard water

What is Hard Water – Its Types, Signs, Advantages & Disadvantages

Hard water’ is a commonly used term that everyone must’ve heard at least hundreds of times. Although the name suggests that it’s just a type of water, you may be wondering what hard water is and if there is a way to define the hardness of water. 

What is Hard Water? 

Although water is a crystal-clear liquid that does not have a colour or smell of its own, it contains a number of minerals and chemicals. Hard water contains a high concentration of certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, etc. The concentration of these minerals is the main determinant of the hardness of water. These minerals are found naturally in the ground, and when dissolved into water, they increase the level of hardness. This happens when water moves through rocks like limestone and chalk. These rock formations consist of minerals such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, which make their way into water. The most common sources of hard water include underground aquifers, wells, etc. 

Also read: Water Pollution And Its Effect On Water Quality In India 

Types of Hardness of Water 

There are two different types of hardness of water, depending on the ease of elimination: 

Temporary Hard Water 

Temporary hard water, as the name suggests, can be softened either by boiling it or adding some lime to it. This type of water hardness is caused by the carbonates and bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium. 

Permanent Hard Water 

This type of hard water is referred to as permanent because the hardness cannot be eliminated by boiling. Some sort of chemical treatment is required for softening permanent hard water. Generally, permanent hardness is caused by sulphates and chlorides of calcium and magnesium. 

Signs of Hard Water 

Usually, you can’t determine the hardness of water just by looking at it, as there is no difference in the appearance of hard water and soft water. However, due to its high mineral composition, hard water can leave a few signs. Some of the most common ones are: 

  • Heavy build-up of soap scum in the bath area 
  • Clogged drains and pipes 
  • Scale deposits on water taps and other fixtures 
  • Strange smell in the water 
  • Difficulty in washing clothes 

Advantages of Hard Water 

Like any other thing, hard water also has certain good and bad things. However, the disadvantages of hard water outweigh its advantages. Some of the most common advantages are: 

  1. Better TasteWhen compared to soft water, hard water is known to have a better taste. This is caused by the presence of minerals that lead to the hardness of water. 
  2. Improved Bone and Teeth Health- This is a well-known fact that calcium is the building block of human bones and teeth. Due to the high composition of calcium, it is also considered good for maintaining bone and teeth health. However, it is also important to consume water that has calcium and magnesium only within the permissible quantities. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

Here are a few major disadvantages of using hard water: 

  1. Inefficient Cleaning- While washing clothes, lather is one thing that helps get rid of all the dirt and stains from the cloth. Due to the presence of minerals, hard water cannot form lather when coming into contact with soap. It forms a white precipitate instead, which is also known as soap scum. This not only leaves the clothes dirty but also fades their colour. 
  2. Scale Build-up – When hard water is used in the bath area, it leaves cloud-like watermarks on the tiles, taps, and other fixtures. Due to the minerals present in the water, these stains form every time water splashes on a surface. When not cleaned regularly, it results in a hard-to-remove scale build-up over a period of time. 
  3. Skin and Hair Issues – If you shower with hard water for a long period of time, it can lead to several hair- and skin-related issues. Minerals present in it are known to be the root cause of frizzy and rough hair as well as dry, itchy skin.

Is it safe to drink hard water? 

Although drinking hard water is not known to have any major adverse health effects, sometimes its exceptionally high mineral composition can lead to a few health issues. So, it advisable to consume hard water only after treating it first. There are a few different ways of softening water, but using a water purifier is the most effective of all of them. This can not only make hard water more soluble by replacing the minerals with sodium ions but also improve overall water quality. 

Given the number of options available in the market, finding a reliable RO water purifier at the best price can be a real challenge. At Livpure Smart, you can find a wide range of water purifiers that come with a 7-step water purification process. They can easily remove any kind of impurity from water and make it suitable for consumption. 

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