Hard water, or 'air sadah' as the Indonesians call it, conceals a high concentration of minerals—primarily calcium and magnesium—that make it difficult to distinguish from regular water. But, its usage often leaves behind a telltale residue: a filmy layer on the skin after handwashing or spots on surfaces like pipes. The accumulation of these minerals can lead to stains and deposits inside pipes, reducing the diameter of water flow and potentially causing metal corrosion.
The Implications of Hard Water
Hard water earns its classification when it contains more than 60 parts per million (ppm) of calcium or magnesium. While this can cause issues in plumbing, it's not always a bad thing. Many studies suggest that drinking hard water is safe and may even have beneficial effects for individuals with cardiovascular diseases. Drinking hard water is also associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, such as stomach, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer due to calcium, as well as esophageal and ovarian cancer due to magnesium.
Hard Water and Health
Moreover, the combination of calcium and magnesium in hard water can relieve constipation if consumed in appropriate amounts. However, hard water is not always recommended for consumption, especially if it appears cloudier or has a more intense color due to the high concentration of minerals. Such a high concentration can also alter its taste when the calcium concentration exceeds 100 ppm.
Softening Hard Water
There are ways to deal with hard water. Removing the calcium and magnesium can result in water that cleans better, creates more lather, and reduces soap scum buildup. Soft water has a mineral content less than 7 grains per gallon (120 mg/L) and thus none of the harmful effects of hard water. Families can remove up to 99% of contaminants from their drinking water, filtering water for their entire home, enjoying luxurious baths free of chlorine, softer skin, silkier hair, whiter whites, brighter brights, spotless dishes, and stemware. Plus, cooking with soft water enhances food's flavors and reduces impurities.