Hard water has been a long-standing problem in many households across Canada. Traditionally, the Canadian government monitors average hardness levels for different municipalities and provinces as a way to measure water’s capacity to react with soap. High mineral concentration of calcium and magnesium essentially makes the water less effective for rinsing and lathering. As a result, you tend to use up more soap, detergent or shampoo, and therefore, more water as well. This all makes for high water consumption and less efficient water use.

Water hardness, however, doesn’t only affect the home’s water efficiency. Drinking water quality also drops if your water supply has a hardness greater than 200 mg/L. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality also considers a hardness level of 500 mg/L unacceptable for more domestic purposes. Using hard water under these conditions for drinking or culinary purposes is not recommended.

While water hardness in Edmonton and nearby areas such as Spruce Grove is measured at an ideal rate of roughly 107 mg/L (6.3 grain per gallons), homeowners are still advised to install water softening systems at home.

Aesthetic Concerns

Most immediate concerns about hard water are mainly aesthetic in nature. For instance, it has a distinct and quite unpleasant taste due to excess calcium and magnesium. Doing chores with hard water is also a bit of a nuisance since it can make newly washed clothes look dingy, and you might even notice spots on your plates after doing the dishes. Bath tubs will also look like they are covered in a film of dirt and soap scum.

Damage to Water Pipes

Aside from excessive soap consumption, hard water can also cause significant damage to your pipes. Continuous usage can lead to calcium residue build up in pipes and incrustation in distribution systems. In the long-tem, this results in corrosion and scaling. It also shortens the lifespan of water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers since these appliances will consume more and more energy to heat up water or rinse off soap.

Potential Effects on Health

Although the government doesn’t treat water hardness as a direct public health concern, some research suggest that the presence of calcium and magnesium in water might be linked to some health conditions. A report from the World Health Organization cites epidemiological studies that show an inverse relationship between water hardness and cardiovascular mortality.

Water softening systems can help you save money by using less soap, prolong the life of appliances, reduce energy bills and avoid health risks. Call local plumbers from companies like Capital Plumbing & Heating to have water softeners installed in your home today.


Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Hardness in Drinking-water, WHO.int