Understanding the Hardness of Tap Water

The hardness of tap water generally refers to the amount of minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, found in tap water. The mineral most folks are concerned with is calcium due to the enormous impact calcium carbonate (or scale) build up has in pipes and fixtures. The more calcium, the higher your hardness of tap water.

Hardness of Tap Water

Hardness of tap water or the minerals in tap water is considered a curse by most people due to the problems of scale buildup, but in reality water without minerals is, as far as life is concerned, dead water.

My wife, years ago, ventured into the world of aquariums and fish. We had had every other type of animal for the kids, why not fish. So she bought a small aquarium, bubbler thing, and a bag full of fish. Being health oriented she decided to get the purest water she could, so she filled the aquarium up with distilled water, water that has had all the solids removed, especially the minerals.

The next day the family awoke to an aquarium full of dead fish. People, fish, and animals need minerals. For fish we found that without minerals in the water they will die. Fortunately for humans and many other animals they can get minerals from other sources, but a major source for people, plants, and animals is the water they drink.

Getting back to the mineral calcium in water, it is generally agreed by experts that the human body does not absorb much calcium from normal hard water as the calcium is in a rock like formations similar to long strings. These are hard for the body to absorb.

Interestingly when the tap water is passed through an Aqua Magnets water conditioner, it changes the calcium from the rock like calcium carbonate into powder like calcium aragonite which is easier for the body to absorb.

While identifying the “perfect” taste of water is very individual, it is generally accepted that the hardness of tap water will determine how good the water tastes. We lived on five acres in the country where our water came from a deep well.

It was considered hard water, but everyone really loved the taste of our water. Water without minerals tends to taste flat. Consequently, companies who sell purified bottled water will often add minerals back into the water to bring the taste of the water back up. However, hardness of tap water and taste is a balancing act.

Many people think that water with too little minerals or too many minerals departs the “good tasting” area for water. Just ask anyone from a community that has mineral hardness four or five times normal. It gives water a really strong taste.

How is the hardness of tap water measured? The most common method is to test TDS or Total Dissolved Solids. This method tests minerals and all other solids in the water. It can be done with a meter that can be purchased off the internet or from specialty stores.

One way to improve the problems associated with hardness of tap water is to condition it with an Aqua Magnets water conditioner which will increase the amount of oxygen in the water. It is amazing to see the difference in tap water once it has been conditioned.

If you have problems with hardness of tap water, give Aqua Magnets a try!

[Image Credit: jonrawlinson]