Two minerals, calcium and magnesium, are the main culprits when it comes to water hardness in Wyoming, MN. The experts with Aquarius Water Conditioning know how to eliminate them from your home’s water supply. We can install a Kinetico system that will get rid of your hard water problems for good. Here’s a quick rundown of the significance of magnesium and calcium in water hardness, their sources, measurement, and their impacts on water quality and household activities.
The Significance of Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are essential minerals that are crucial for human health. They contribute to many bodily functions, such as bone development and muscle contractions. These minerals enter our bodies primarily through food, but they can also be present in our drinking water. However, when calcium and magnesium are present in excessive amounts in water, they can lead to water hardness.
Sources of Calcium and Magnesium in Water
Calcium and magnesium ions enter the water supply primarily through geological processes. As water flows through or over rocks and soil, it can dissolve minerals that contain these ions. The primary sources of calcium and magnesium in water are:
Limestone and chalk: Rocks like limestone and chalk are rich in calcium carbonate, which readily dissolves in water.
Dolomite: Dolomite rock contains both calcium and magnesium carbonates, making it a significant contributor to water hardness.
Gypsum: Gypsum is a mineral that contains calcium sulfate. While it contributes to hardness, it does so to a lesser extent than calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Measuring Water Hardness
When experts measure water hardness, they typically express it in milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm) of calcium carbonate or grains per gallon (gpg) in the United States. The measurement reflects the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. The hardness level can be classified as follows:
- Soft water: 0-60 mg/L (0-60 ppm or 0-3.5 gpg)
- Moderately hard water: 61-120 mg/L (61-120 ppm or 3.6-7 gpg)
- Hard water: 121-180 mg/L (121-180 ppm or 7.1-10.5 gpg)
- Very hard water: Above 180 mg/L (above 180 ppm or above 10.5 gpg)
Impacts of Calcium and Magnesium on Water Quality
The presence of calcium and magnesium ions in water can have various effects on water quality and daily activities:
- Taste and odor: Calcium and magnesium ions can give water a slightly mineral-like taste and odor. This can impact the overall palatability of drinking water and the flavor of beverages like coffee and tea.
- Soap scum: Hard water can react with soaps, forming soap scum. Soap scum can accumulate on surfaces like shower walls, faucets, and glass shower doors, making cleaning more challenging.
- Scale formation: When hard water is heated, such as in water heaters or coffee makers, the calcium and magnesium ions can precipitate out and form scale. Scale buildup can reduce the efficiency and lifespan of appliances and plumbing systems.
- Soap and detergent efficiency: The minerals in hard water can reduce the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. This can increase soap usage, dingy laundry, and stiff clothes.
- Reduced water pressure: Over time, calcium and magnesium ions can accumulate in plumbing, reducing water pressure in faucets and showers.