Hard and Soft Water FAQ's

Water from your faucet may be hard or soft, may have a distinctive taste or none at all, may be clear or somewhat cloudy. These characteristics - and many others - distinguish water in one location from water in another, and make up what is called water quality.

If your water leaves deposits in the tub, washing machine or tea pot, it's probably hard; if you get all kinds of suds with just a plain old bar of soap, it's probably soft.

Is Harwich Water Hard or Soft?

Harwich water is slightly soft.

How Hard is Hard?

Calcium and magnesium are the two most common contributors to hard water. The US Geological Survey defines hardness by measuring the amount of calcium carbonate in it in parts per million (ppm) with 60 PPM being the upper limit for soft water. One group defines 70 milligrams of calcium or magnesium per liter of water as the point that separates hard from soft. Another measurement sometimes used is grains per gallon, with around four grains per gallon being the dividing line between hard and soft. By and large, water that comes from lakes and rivers, which is called surface water, tends to be softer than water from deep groundwater wells and underground aquifers - ground water - that has been exposed to various layers of rock. The amount of iron in water has nothing to do with its hardness. You could conceivably have enough iron in your water to cause rusty deposits in your laundry and still have soft water!

Hard vs. Soft

Hard water needs a good deal more soap to make a good, rich lather in the tub or shower. That doesn't matter as most detergents contain water softeners.

If water is too soft it tastes funny, and so does your coffee, soup, lemonade, and whatever else you may mix it with. Soft water tends to be corrosive, doing gradual damage to household plumbing pipes and fixtures. There is evidence too, that softer, more corrosive water contributes to the leaching of lead from pipes and connective solder into the drinking water in you home plumbing systems. The US Environmental Protection Agency has determined that even small amounts of lead in drinking water are a potential health hazard.

Water Utility Controls Hardness

As with most other characteristics of water quality, Harwich treats water to balance hardness/softness to provide you with water that is neither too hard not too soft.