Water Expert Andy Ball: Hard Water


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Andy Ball



What is hard water?


Hard water is the type of water that has high mineral content (in contrast with soft water). Hard water minerals primarily consist of calcium (Ca2+), and magnesium (Mg2+) metal cations, and sometimes other dissolved compounds such as bicarbonates and sulfates. Calcium usually enters the water as either calcium carbonate (CaCO3), in the form of limestone and chalk, or calcium sulfate (CaSO4), in the form of other mineral deposits. The predominant source of magnesium is dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2). Hard water is generally not harmful.

The simplest way to determine the hardness of water is the lather/froth test: soap or toothpaste, when agitated, lathers easily in soft water but not in hard water. More exact measurements of hardness can be obtained through a wet titration. The total water 'hardness' (including both Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions) is read as parts per million or weight/volume (mg/L) of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the water. Although water hardness usually only measures the total concentrations of calcium and magnesium (the two most prevalent, divalent metal ions), iron, aluminum, and manganese may also be present at elevated levels in some geographical locations.

Hardness Hardness in water is defined as the presence of multivalent cations. Hardness in water can cause water to form scales and a resistance to soap. It can also be defined as water that doesn't produce lather with soap solutions, but produces white precipitate (scum).

Permanent hardness Permanent hardness is hardness (mineral content) that cannot be removed by boiling. It is usually caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium sulfates and/or chlorides in the water, which become more soluble as the temperature rises. Despite the name, permanent hardness can be removed using a water softener or ion exchange column, where the calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged with the sodium ions in the column. Hard water causes scaling, which is the left over mineral deposits that are formed after the hard water had evaporated. This is also known as lime scale. The scale can clog pipes, ruin water heaters, coat the insides of tea and coffee pots, and decrease the life of toilet flushing units. Similarly, insoluble salt residues that remain in hair after shampooing with hard water tend to leave hair rougher and harder to untangle. In industrial settings, water hardness must be constantly monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that comes in contact with water. Hardness is controlled by the addition of chemicals and by large-scale softening with zeolite and ion exchange resins.

Andy Ball
862-354-7698




Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Little Sprouts holds graduation
Excited parents, grandparents and siblings were on hand recently to celebrate the graduation of 11 students from the preschool class at the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center.
Read more »
Image

Hero Club deals with loss through art
Members of the "Hero Club," were recently recognized with a plaque and champagne reception at the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center in Augusta. Each members of the...
Read more »
Image

Library to add evening hours
The Sussex County Library System is pleased to announce that the Main Library in Frankford will be open Thursday evenings beginning in July.
Due to the July 4 holiday the...

Read more »

Rotondi elected Sussex County Democratic chair
Katie Rotondi has been electetd chairwoman of the Sussex County Democratic Committee.
She recently served as chairwoman of the Young Democrats of Sussex County.
Rotondi...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST READ

Business & Real Estate
Vernon home just reduced
  • Jun 12, 2019
Local News
Cafe travel group plans meeting
  • Jun 14, 2019
Local News
Cedar Mountain students display art
  • Jun 14, 2019
Entertainment
Skylands Stadium announces concert lineup
  • Jun 12, 2019

MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Lafayette, NJ