What Is Water Hardness...?
Water hardness is created when rainwater (which is naturally soft) falls on to the land and drains through sedimentary rock (e.g. chalk and limestone), and absorbs some of these minerals in the rock in the process. (Calcium and magnesium ions).
Water falling on to non-sedimentary rocks such as igneous or metamorphic rock will remain soft - thus the hardness of the water is dependant on the type of rock where the water is collected. As a rough guide, in Britain you will find that, apart from the highlands of Scotland, Northern Ireland and some areas in the far north of England, north Wales and parts of Cornwall, most of our rock is sedimentary.
The hardness of water also varies depending on the nature and age of the sedimentary rock through which it has drained – generally speaking the younger the rock, the harder the water draining through it will be. As a very rough ‘rule of thumb’ guide, sedimentary rock dates from under 50 million years old in the south east tip of Great Britain to nearly 1000 million years old in the far north west.
Thus you can generally say that our mains water is hardest in the south east and the further north west you go, the softer it tends to be. In the whole of the UK (and Europe) approximately 50% of mains water supply is classified as hard.
The Effects of Hard Water
Splash scale deposits will be noticed on surfaces in and around your home or business, ugly build up of deposits in and around taps and sinks will develop. However some of the effects are not so immediately obvious but you are paying for them just the same. Heating elements in boilers, washing machines, dishwashers and central heating systems become increasing coated with limescale dramatically reducing their efficiency. Consequently the heating elements of these systems have to work much harder and use much more electricity to transmit their heat through the limescale and into the water, thereby costing more in energy costs. Eventually of course excessive limescale build up will cause these items to fail completely with subsequent replacement and fitting costs!
At the same time most water pipes will become restricted and begin to narrow due to scale deposits with associated problems. These problems are caused when the dissolved minerals are deposited on to surfaces. The deposits are due to evaporation on external surfaces, and to heating the water on internal surfaces. All these effects will mean that equipment using hard water will fail very much quicker and heating costs will be much higher.
European WaterCare has the solution for all your hard water problems.