Cleanly defined, hard water is water with an excess of minerals present. It occurs when rainwater collects metals and minerals in the ground while trickling down to your aquifer and your well. When it goes unfiltered, of course, it then goes into your drinking water.
It doesn’t just create cloudy water. It can have serious effects on your body and on your home. Here I’ll point out exactly how it can be problematic—and I’ll also talk about the different ways to rectify hard water problems.
How It Hurts Your Pipes
With hard water, sediment will collect in your pipes and this can lead to more serious problems in the future beyond just slow water flow. If left untreated, the minerals and hard metals in your water will damage your pipes—possibly leading to bursting. So you want to think about ways to soften your water to make your pipes last.
How It Hurts Your Appliances
Do you use tap water for your coffee and tea? The minerals and metal present in hard water can damage your coffee maker and will also compromise the longevity of your teakettle. Your dishwasher, your refrigerator, your washing machine – all of these appliances can be damaged from hard water over time.
How It Hurts Your Hair
The minerals in unfiltered shower water will leave your hair damaged—and it could damage your skin. When your skin and hair are exposed to those levels, it could potentially have lasting effects. Have you ever left for work with your hair feeling especially rough? That could be a telltale sign of your water being hard.
How to Solve It
There are ways that you can soften hard water. With both a water-softener (which replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium ions) as well as a water filter, you can make sure that you’re getting cleaner water without the minerals and metals that occur naturally through ground filtration. And, if you’re especially worried, contact a water technician who can test the levels of your water to know if the mineral and metal content of your water is problematic.