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Hard Water

Feb 02, 2018  |  By Brham Trim (Calgary)  |  General Plumbing

Dripping faucet 1

You may have heard the term 'hard water' before, but do you know what it means?

Water hardness refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium minerals present in common household water. These minerals generally make their way into your water as a result of water travelling through limestone and chalk deposits.

Though there are some proposed health benefits to drinking hard water, harder water is tied to issues such as soap scum buildup, residue on dishes and clothing left after washing, can lead to plumbing problems such as pipe blockage and reduced effectiveness of heaters and boilers.

Calgary water is comparatively hard, though hardness varies during different times of the year and even between South and North Calgary. On average, Calgary's water is reported to be around 13.4 grains per gallon (190.8 milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre), however North Calgary's water is actually softer at 11.6 grains per gallon than South Calgary's, which is on average 15.1 grains per gallon. To put this in perspective, Vancouver, which boasts some of the softest tap water in Canada, is reported to be only 0.3 grains per gallon, while Regina reports an average of 29 grains per gallon!

Though Calgary water hardness is not generally a concern to many residents, some people elect to install water softening systems into their homes to combat the negative effects of hard water.