What is hard water?

The UK is known for having very hard water, most of us live in hard water areas, but what exactly does having hard water mean?

Hard water is defined as water that has high mineral content. Hard water occurs in areas within the UK where the bedrock is made of sedimentary rocks like limestone, chalk, flint, and sandstone, which has formed over millions of years. The South East of England has the hardest water, as it is mainly made up of chalk and limestone regions.

Hard water is made by rainfall percolating through the ground that contains high levels of magnesium and calcium. As the water travels through the ground, it starts to gather in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, from there it passes into our water supply, eventually coming through our pipes at home.

When rainfall percolates less porous rock such as granite, present in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, remains soft as it has not been able to collect minerals from the ground, on its way into our water supply.

Hard water is safe to drink and use within your home, however, when left untreated it causes limescale to build up. Limescale build-up can cause costly problems and damages, to your appliances and plumbing over time.

A common way to treat hard water is to install a water softener, a water filtration system that filters out the hard water minerals.

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