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    Published: August 10, 2016

    States with Hard Water: How Many States Are Affected?

    The second week of Water Quality month sees us shifting away from Water Scarcity. In order to keep our readers aware of the hidden dangers and possible contaminants in their drinking water, it’s time to discuss a complex topic that countless products claim to correct or alleviate.

    This week’s topic is “Hard Water.” What exactly is hard water? We’ve discussed it at length before, but here’s a crash course: hard water occurs when water passes through or over certain minerals via deposits or in natural sources like rivers before the water is treated.

    Calcium, dolomite, limestone, and chalk can all give water that distinctive “hard” quality. Hard water doesn’t necessarily pose many health risks, but it has a distinctive taste and can damage appliances and other facets of your home. Scale and deposits in water heaters and pipes are some of the most immediate dangers of pumping hard water into your house.

    Hard water is much more common in states like Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota, which are mountainous and contain a large amount of limestone. But those aren’t the only areas affected – in total, 7 states list hard water as one of their top three water issues, including Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

    Indianapolis, Indiana contains some of the “hardest” water in the country. The amount of chemicals and minerals in the drinking water causes soap to be less effective and gives the water a distinct (which can sometimes translate as unpleasant) taste and odor.

    And this water issue is extremely common across the country. Hard water isn’t life threatening, like lead or uranium contamination, so in states with severe water quality issues it doesn’t make the list of the top three problems.

    However, that doesn’t mean there are only seven states with hard water. Many water systems around the country pump hard water into homes, but only a few regions have water clean enough to consider water hardness a top concern.

    As a homeowner, the best investment to protect your family from hard water is a filter and water softener combination system, which reduces contaminants in your water while making it softer and more delicious to drink.

    Stay tuned throughout the week as we explore more topics related to your water quality. Explore our interactive map for a deep dive into the main water issues all over the country. To research more topics relating to your drinking water, check out our blog.