Published: April 9, 2015

    America’s Hardest Water

    Hard water affects countless communities throughout the United States; however, it’s far worse in certain regions. To understand why, it’s important to know what causes hard water in the first place.

    What Is Hard Water?

    As water pushes through deposits of chalk, dolomite, limestone and calcium, it gathers up minerals that give it the so-called “hard” quality. Although it’s generally not regarded as a health risk, hard water can cause serious problems to homes and appliances. In addition to leaving lime scale deposits on dishes and other surfaces around the home, untreated hard water can form harmful buildup within water heaters, electric heating elements and pipes.

    Which States Experience the Greatest Impact?

    Since minerals dictate the prevalence of hard water, states with the greatest deposits tend to have more hard water problems. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the softest waters are found in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, the South Atlantic-Gulf States and various parts of New England. On the other hand, moderately hard waters can be found along rivers in the Great Lakes region, in Tennessee, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. Likewise, the USGS reports that very hard waters can be found in isolated circumstances anywhere in the country where streams interact with small yet dense mineral deposits. For the most part, very hard water can be found in the central and southwest parts of the country, including Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and southern California.

    What Can You Do?

    To combat hard water, many people use traditional salt-based water softeners that rely on ion exchange. Because they rely on salt, however, these devices can have a negative impact on the environment. In addition to wasting more than 150 gallons of water every week—a 7,800-gallon annual waste—the average salt-based water softener usually contaminates the soil and surrounding waterways with salt brine water. This can have a long-term impact on plant life, agriculture, and wildlife in and around lakes and streams.

    Fortunately, modern water softener alternative devices effectively neutralize the destructive effects of hard water without any damage to the environment. In fact, innovative, cost-effective devices, such as Pelican’s NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative with Salt Free Technology eject no harmful brine back into the water supply, while wasting absolutely no water. Pelican NaturSoft® water softener alternatives also provide economic benefits for users, since they don’t demand a brand new bag of salt every week and require no electricity or annual operating costs.