What is a Water Hardness Chart and How Does it Affect Me?

Hard water? Water harness chart? What does that mean and how does it affect me? Do I really need to be concerned about it?

The most common problem with water in America is hardness. In fact 85% of water in this country is hard. What that means is that most of our water has excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium in it.

As water flows over the rocks and the soil on its way to our homes, it picks up these minerals naturally. Simply put, if there is a greater than average amount of these minerals present in the water it is “hard”. Hard water can affect everything from how clean your clothes and skin are to the longevity of your appliances.

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension (make sure to check out the water harness chart they include in the quote below):

Total hardness is measured in grains per gallon of water (gpg) or milligrams per liter (mg/l). Grains per gallon (gpg) is a unit of weight for a volume of water, as is milligrams per liter (mg/l).

Sometimes hardness is measured in parts per million (ppm). Parts per million (ppm) measures the unit(s) of a substance for every one million units of water.

Milligrams per liter (mg/l) and parts per million (ppm) are roughly equal in water analysis. One gpg (1gpg) is equivalent to 17.1 ppm or mg/l. When conducting chemical analysis, laboratories usually measure
hardness minerals in either grains per gallon (gpg) or milligrams per liter (mg/l).

You can evaluate the hardness of your water supply by referring to the following chart.

Water Hardness Chart, Table

Does hard water cause problems?

Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task from doing the laundry and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming. Clothes laundered in hard water usually look dingy and feel scratchy. Dishes and glasses may be spotted when dry.

Hard water may cause a film on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, etc. Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. Water flow may be reduced by deposits in pipes.

One out of five Americans surveyed by the National Water Quality Survey expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of their water supply.

Where does hard water occur?

According to usgs.gov(they’ve got one of the best water hardness charts I’ve ever seen):

Patterns of hardness in the United States are shown on the map of accounting units below. Softest waters were in parts of New England, the South Atlantic-Gulf States, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii.

Moderately hard waters were common in many rivers of Alaska and Tennessee, in the Great Lakes region, and the Pacific Northwest. Moderately hard waters were common in many rivers of Alaska and Tennessee, the Great Lakes region, and the Pacific Northwest.

Hard and very hard waters were found in some streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters (greater than 1,000 mg/L) were measured in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California.

Water Hardness Chart Map

How do I get rid of hard water?

Some people take one look at a water hardness chart and rush out to buy a water softening system to get rid of hard water. This is not the best solution, however, because large amounts of sodium and potassium are added to your family’s drinking water. It is not an environmentally friendly solution because all those chemicals are harmful to plants and animals.

A safer and more responsible choice is Aqua Magnets, a system for conditioning water that will decrease operating costs, decrease equipment replacement costs, and make your water healthier for your family, your pets, and your lawn and garden.

Be responsible and use Aqua Magnets to fix the problems caused by your water hardness chart! Try them today …