Hard Water vs. Soft Water
Hard water is the most common water problem within the Tampa Bay Area. Most of our water comes from the Florida Aquifer where it is exposed to the minerals that make our water hard. According to the Water Quality Association of the United States, hard water is water that contains dissolved hardness minerals above 1 GPG (grains per gallon). The most common hardness causing minerals in a water supply are Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. Hard water carries with it Totally Dissolved Solids (TDS), which are left behind when the water evaporates.
Calcium deposits are very evident in the shower, on your glassware, and at your kitchen sink and are commonly referred to as soap scum and water spots.
These particles are also left behind in your dishwasher, hot water heater and the plumbing throughout your home. While they are not as obvious they still cause problems and decrease the life span of the appliances.
Hard water also has an adverse effect on your laundry. The particles essentially beat up your clothes and towels leaving them dingy and rugged looking.
Probably the most noticeable difference between hard water and soft water is with your hair and skin. Removing the hard water particles allows your soap and shampoo to lather properly and provide your skin and hair with a much cleaner feeling.
Water Quality Association defines hard water as:
- Soft = Less than 1.0 GPG
- Slightly Hard = 1.0 to 3.5 GPG
- Moderately Hard = 3.5 to 7.0 GPG
- Hard = 7.0 to 10.5 and greater GPG