Health Effects of Hard Water

Water in the US is generally hard, meaning that it contains significant amounts of metal ions such as calcium and magnesium. States with the “hardest” water with more than 1,000 ppm (parts per million) include Texas, Kansas, and California. That’s all well and good, but what does it really mean when one has hard water in the home? Is it a health hazard?

The minerals that are in water are (usually) natural occurring, and sometimes an area may have particularly rich deposits of these minerals, which gets into the water and thus into homes. Extensive studies into the health effects of hard water per se shows no indications that it is harmful to the human body, and there is evidence that reasonably hard water may actually have health benefits.

Health effects notwithstanding, hard water has a peculiar taste and smell that most people find distasteful, and can alter the taste of food and drinks. In areas where the water has excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium, this is can be too much of a good thing.

Hard water can also be actively harmful in other ways, specifically in depositing residue on clothes and glass surfaces as well as clogging water pipes. This can have serious financial consequences, especially when clogged water pipes lead to damage to appliances such as the water heater. Even if no appliances ate damaged, the pipes themselves gradually become useless and will eventually have to be replaced.

Homes in areas such as Austin in Texas know firsthand how bad it can get, and yet a surprising number of people have never considered the obvious solution to this problem: water softeners. It can treat the hard water before it gets into the pipes, thus preventing the cumulative effects in the first place. Contact a reputable water treatment company in your area to get a free water test and a quote for what your home needs to be hard water-free.

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