What is Hard Water? | Wolverine Water Systems

What is hard water?

You’ve heard the term, HARD WATER. What is it really and why should you care? Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. In most cases, it contains calcium and magnesium, often with traces of other minerals.

The more calcium and magnesium is present in the water, the harder the water. This occurs as a natural result of minerals like these accumulating during the water cycle. Because this is a natural occurrence, water hardness is typically present in well water, and even city water. The presence of hard water can often vary, as a result, from area to area within the same state. Hard water is one of the most common challenges in Michigan water treatment

How concerned should you be about hard water? Technically, hard water is safe to drink, clean, and wash with, but over time it can lead to costly problems like:

  •  Ugly stains in sinks and tubs
  • Higher water bills because water appliances work harder
  • The cost of replacing clothes and linens ruined by hard water

Signs of hard water?

  • White, chalky residue or spots on dishes and in your dishwasher
  • Clothes and linens that feel rough and look dull
  • Scale buildup on faucets and ugly stains on white porcelain
  • Dry skin and flat hair – because soap just doesn’t lather or rinse completely away
  • Low water pressure from showers and faucets due to clogged pipes
  • High soap usage & need for fabric softeners

Understand your hard water level.

85% of American homes have hard water – water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Water hardness is measured in GPG (grains per gallon). The map below shows just how water hardness varies across the country. Even if you don’t live in the “very hard” or “extremely hard” water zones, you may start to see the effects of hard water at around 7 grains of hardness.

The degree of hardness standard as established by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (S-339) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) is:

Degree of Hardness Grains per Gallon (gpg) ppm (or mg/L)
Soft <1.0 <17.0
Slightly Hard 1.0-3.5 17.1-60
Moderately Hard 3.5-7.0 60-120
Hard 7.0-10.5 120-180
Very Hard >10.5 >180

Click here for national data on hard water occurrence from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Wolverine Water Systems can help treat hard water.

Wolverine’s whole home water purification systems are custom designed to address and treat the effects of hard water. Schedule a free water test for your home or business today. Our experts can help you manage your water treatment needs and find the system that works best for you