The Facts About Hard Water
Minerals in hard water can influence the taste of your household water, but is perfectly safe to drink!
However, it can leave residue or film on appliances, dishwashers, tubs, sinks, and glassware.
The average American uses 100 gallons of water a day.
On average, Americans spend about $100 per person each year on bottled water.
For larger households, the cost can easily add up to several hundred dollars each year. All the while, tap water that is even overly rich in mineral content (hard water) is perfectly safe to drink!
Hard water is generally high in mineral salts, especially calcium, and magnesium carbonates. The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases.
Due to local geology, mineral deposits build up in water as it travels through the soil. New Braunfels’ water ranges between 13.7 and 17.4 grains per gallon and is considered ‘very hard’ water.
|WATER HARDNESS CLASSIFICATION||GRAINS PER GALLON (GPG)||MILLIGRAMS PER LITER (MG/L)|
|Soft Water||0 – 1||0 – 17.1|
|Slightly Hard Water||1 – 3.5||17.1 – 60|
|Moderately Hard Water||3.5 – 7.0||60 – 120|
|Hard Water||7.0 – 10.5||120 – 180|
|Very Hard Water||> 10.5||> 180|
Telltale signs of hard water include:
- Reduced effectiveness and suds of soaps and detergents,
- Soap scum on surfaces,
- Scale buildup on pipes and water appliances
- A film that remains on your skin after bathing.
No, there are no adverse health effects from drinking hard water. In fact, your body needs minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and some studies show that hard water has been linked to lower mortality rates for cardiovascular disease.
While it is perfectly safe to use and consume hard water, the most common approach to reducing the hardness of the water in your home is through an ion exchange water softener. Other methods for softening water include reverse osmosis treatment, magnetic filtering, and boiling. Setting your water heater to a lower temperature will help reduce calcium scale buildup as well.
Choose a water softener with sufficient capacity to handle the needs of your household. Next, choose the method through which freshwater will be introduced to the system to regenerate the resin beads. Demand-initiated regeneration is the “smartest” and most efficient method through which to control water softener regeneration. Using a timer is the most wasteful of water and salt. Check online for third-party product reviews or consult the Better Business Bureau for a list of the top water softener manufacturers and be sure to consider the manufacturer’s reputation and available warranties.
Depending on the type of water softener installed at your home, you may need to set it up based on the hardness of the water (we suggest starting at 13 grains per gallon) and the average water usage of your home, as well as the softener manufacturer’s recommendation.
Yes, it does. New Braunfels Utilities uses a mixture of chlorine and ammonia as its primary disinfectant to help keep our water safe to drink. Over time, chlorine may degrade the performance of your water softener’s resin beads. Some consumers choose to filter water on its way into the softener. New Braunfels Utilities’ water typically carries a chlorine residual between 2–3 mg/L. Your water softener manufacturer or professional can suggest appropriate in-line chlorine filters.
Understanding the Effects of Hard Water
Since we know it’s safe to use hard water, no matter the circumstance, NBU has put together the following information to help customers understand the effects of water hardness. See other guidelines and resources online as well.Watering Guidelines and Resources