What is hard water

How can water be hard?

By July 23, 2010 March 1st, 2021 No Comments

DID YOU KNOW? Most people prefer the taste of hard water to that of soft water.


When someone asks you about hard water, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of thick layers of ice on a nearby lake? The sting of a belly flop in the middle of summer?

In reality, the term “hard” refers to the amount of minerals in your water. These minerals are found underground (usually in calcium carbonate, limestone, chalk, or calcium sulfate) and are absorbed into water before it is pumped to your home or business. The most common minerals in hard water are calcium and magnesium, though some areas have high levels of iron as well.

Because hard water comes from the minerals in the ground, the hardness (or softness) of water varies from city to city. The city of Minneapolis, as well as a number of its suburbs, get their water from the Mississippi River, which is much softer than water taken directly from the ground. For example the water hardness level in Minneapolis is 4-4.5 grains (on a scale of 25) compared to 17-20 grains in the city of Minnetonka.


So how can you tell if you have hard water? There are a few tell-tale signs  you can easily check for:

  • The most notable sign of hard water is the appearance of mineral deposits, known as scaling, that are left over after water evaporates. Scaling looks like white spots or powder on drying dishes, as well as a coating or film on the inside of coffee pots.
  • Eventually, scaling can build up in your plumbing: clogging pipes and putting additional stress on water heaters — leading to additional maintenance.
  • Because of the way minerals react with soap, hard water makes it difficult to lather soap.
  • The minerals in hard water may remain in your hair after a shower, which can leave your hair feeling dry and rough.
  • Iron in water can cause rust stains to form in tubs and sinks.

If you want to know the exact hardness level of your water, you can also call Peterson Salt & Water Treatment and we will test your water for you — at no cost.

If you know you have hard water, what can you do about it? Again, call Peterson Salt & Water Treatment! We install new water softeners, repair existing softeners, and we even deliver softener salt right to your door. For a free estimate, call us at (952) 929-0422 or send an e-mail to sales@petersonsalt.com