How hard is your water? Water hardness in the UK map.

How hard is your water? Water hardness in the UK map.

We all love water, it is vital to our health. However, the taste of the water we drink very much depends on the area where we live. In this article we explain what hard water is, and give a quick guide to the areas of the UK which have hard water.

Water hardness makes a big difference to the taste and quality of water. It is more difficult to wash clothes in hard water, as minerals in hard water stay in the garments and, ultimately, make the clothes last less. Hard water stops soap from lathering well. It creates limescale stains on bathroom and kitchen surfaces and taps. Hard water scale deposits clog water pipes, corrode and damage the heating elements in home appliances. Hard water can exacerbate eczema and dry skin conditions.

Soft water is water that contains low concentrations of ions - in particular those of calcium and magnesium. Soft water leaves clothes clean and soft after washing. It makes bath times more pleasant, as you need less soap to produce more foam. Soft water is good for hair and skin, as it does not make them dry. Bathrooms and showers look better and cleaner in homes with soft water supply, as there are no limescale stains and unsightly hard water deposits.

Why does water become hard?

When rainwater falls on to the ground, it is soft. In areas which have high concentrates of soft rocks, like limestone and chalk,water collects calcium and magnesium minerals. Upin absorbing these minerals beyobd merely trace levels, the water becomes “hard”. After that, the water goes into our water supply systems, and in to our homes.

The presence of limescale and chalk in the ground is determined by the geology of the region. It just so happens that a lot of the areas in England have this type of geology. Especially areas around Bristol and the East of England.

Hard water can be softened by a variety of methods, but the best and the most economical option is using a home water softener system. Water softeners normally come with their manufacturer’s warranty, and last for a long time. A "whole house" water softener helps the household save money, as it significantly prolongs the life of appliances and boilers and helps to save on washing detergents.

Please see the map of the water hardness in the UK by area. More than 13 million homes in the UK suffer from the effects of limescale because they are located in the hard water areas.