How to Measure Water Hardness
What is hard water?
Hard water is the most common problem found in the average home. Hard water is water that contains dissolved hardness minerals above 1 GPG.
How water hardness is measured?
Water hardness usually is measured or reported in grains per gallon, but some laboratories use milligrams per liter, or parts per million.
One part per million (PPM) is just what it says: out of one million units, one unit. Grains or a grain per gallon (GPG) is a weight measurement taken from the Egyptians; one dry grain of wheat, or about 1/7000 of a pound. It takes 17.1 PPM to equal 1 GPG.
If measured in parts per million or milligrams per liter take total hardness and divide it by 17.1 to get hardness in grains per gallon. For example if your water test shows 250mg/l hardness you actually have 14.62 grains per gallon. You convert milligrams per liter or parts per million by dividing the total by 17.1 to get grains per gallon hardness.
Most Common Myths About Hard Water
Hard Water Minerals are contaminants
Fact: Scientific findings supported by officials from the World Health Organization have shown that drinking water rich with essential minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium protects good health and leads to lower instances of heart disease and stroke.
Salt water softeners filter water
Fact: Salt water softeners do not filter water; they exchange sodium for healthy minerals. In other words, water softeners merely take ordinary, chlorinated tap water and turn it into ordinary, chlorinated, salty water. There is also a need to install a reverse-osmosis system to remove salt, sediment and chlorine to produce palatable water for drinking and cooking, but only at the kitchen tap. Chlorinated, salty water still runs throughout the rest of the home.
Hard water is harsh, fades clothes and dries skin and hair.
Fact: Hard water does not fade colors or dry skin and hair; chlorine does, and salt water softeners do not remove chlorine and disinfection byproducts.
Salt water softeners are safe for the environment.
Fact: According to Ann Heil, a Supervising Engineer. Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, automatic salt water softeners waste water and put a salty brine discharge into the waste water stream. High salts in the waste water streams can harm aquatic life and can damage crops irrigated with downstream waters.
Water with low mineral count is naturally slippery
Fact: Naturally softened water does not feel slippery to the touch. Salt-based water softeners add sodium or potassium to the water which makes the water feel slippery.
Salt Based Water Softeners being Banned
Did You Know Salt Based Water Softeners are being BANNED? – Many communities throughout the US, or even the states themselves, have or are considering legislation prohibiting certain types of water softener brine discharge. Among them, in addition to Texas, are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Hard Water and Kidney Stones
Does hard water cause kidney stones?
Some studies show that dehydration increases the chances of having kidney stones, and drinking plenty of water may very well prevent the formation of them. People living in the southeastern United States may have more kidney stones than people living elsewhere, and it is thought that the cause may be related to temperature and dehydration.
For example, studies report the highest occurrence of kidney stones in the southern region of the US and the lowest in the West. One study suggested that the higher risk may be due to a higher rate of hypertension in the South and certain dietary habits, particularly lower intake of magnesium and low use of calcium supplements. Higher rates of kidney stones have been reported in areas of Australia where magnesium levels in drinking water are low. Hard water tends to have higher amounts of protective calcium and magnesium, although evidence suggests that the hardness or softness of water does not significantly affect risk.