When it comes to water supplies, there is no problem more common than the problem of hard water. Hard water is water that contains excess levels of magnesium, iron, sulfates, and a bevy of other minerals.
For the most part, having hard water is a negative. There are a number of negative effects caused by using hard water. These effects include everything from water system functionality problems, to aesthetic problems, to health problems, and more.
What are the Negative Effects of Hard Water?
1. Clogged Pipes
One of the hugely negative effects of having hard water is that your water pipes are prone to getting clogged up. While this is not the case with PVC or copper pipes, it’s almost always the case with old school, steel pipes.
Over time, as more and more minerals pass through the pipes, they start to build up on their sides. If these minerals are never cleared from the insides of the pipes, they become like plaque that blocks an artery; that is to say, they restrict the flow of water through the pipes. Allowing minerals to build up in this manner will almost certainly result in water backups.
Once your water supply has backed up, you’ll need to call a plumber in order to unclog it. This will cost you not only money, but time as well.
2. Ugly Stains
Have you ever found washed clothing that’s tinted with a light brown color? Have you ever seen red, orange, or yellow stains on your bathtub or water fixtures? If so, you’re more than likely dealing with hard water.
Hard water is notorious for causing staining on clothing, bathtubs, fixtures, and other items that come into heavy contact with it. In its direct liquid form, hard water will not cause any staining. However, over time, as they’re given a chance to oxidize, the minerals in hard water will almost certainly produce stains.
3. Skin Problems
If you deal with dry and itchy skin, the culprit could very well be hard water. While hard water is not always the cause of dry skin, it is just as capable of producing it as anything else. The problem with hard water is that, because it’s filled with minerals, it does not easily allow soaps and detergents to dissolve in it.
So, when the water and soap is applied to your skin, it produces a thin layer of mineral residue that lingers throughout the day. Allowing this residue to linger can result in fairly severe skin irritation, causing general dryness and discomfort.
4. Increased Chance of Health Problems
Over the years, hard water has been linked to a number of health problems, including organ malfunction, and even cancer. Hard water typically only causes these conditions when it’s consumed in large amounts over long periods of time. However, for many people, this is a reality.
For children who drink hard water regularly, there is a risk of growth retardation. Hard water is also believed to increase the chances of developing ovarian, gastric, colon, and esophageal cancer. There is also some speculation that diabetes and brain disease could be linked to hard water. Studies are inconclusive at this time, but could reveal a litany of negative health consequences that have to do with using hard water.
At this point, you’re betting off being safe than sorry by doing everything you can to eliminate excess minerals from your water. This can be done by installing a water softener, reverse osmosis water filtration system, or something similar.
If you’re interested in installing a water filtration system in the Chicago area, contact us at Johnson Water Conditioning today!