The Facts on Hardness in Well Water

Water hardness can sometimes be an issue if you receive your water from a private well. This is a direct result of the geology of your area. Hardness or hard water is caused by naturally occurring minerals, which dissolve as water moves through soil and rock deep underground and into your ground water supply.  Because water is a perfect solvent for dissolving calcium and magnesium, if those minerals are present in the geology surrounding your well or feeding your ground water supply, you can end up with hard water. Only a water test can accurately tell you what sort of contamination is in your well water.


Hard water can be a bit of an annoyance. It can impact and interfere with almost every cleaning task in the home. Laundry can look dingy and feel rough or scratchy. Dishes and glasses may show spots and a film can build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks, and faucets. Bathing in hard water can leave you hair sticky and dull. In extreme cases or after a significant period, hard water can affect water pressure throughout your house by leaving a build up in your pipes.


Is Hard Water Dangerous To Your Health?

The short answer is no. There are no laws or state or federal agencies that regulate water hardness. In fact, calcium and magnesium are beneficial minerals and if present in your drinking water can help ensure that you meet the average daily requirements for these minerals.

The main issue with hard water comes from the mineral buildup on plumbing fixtures along with weak soap and detergent performance. It causes mainly aesthetic problems like an alkali taste to your water, which can make coffee taste bitter. The build up of scale on pipes and fixtures can affect water pressure, build up deposits on dishes and utensils and lower the efficiency of water heaters.


Testing and Treatment Options for Hard Water

If you believe you may have hard water or excessive mineral levels in your well, testing is available. Skillings & Sons can perform the water test for you and uses a state-certified lab.  The EPA recommends annual water testing to maintain the safety of your well. Most labs will offer mineral testing as a part of your overall annual test. There are also less expensive home tests that can be purchased at most local hardware or home supply stores.


It’s possible to treat hard water when washing laundry or in the dishwasher by adding a water softener to the machine. If you are concerned about your potable water, it is possible to treat your water with a “point of entry” ion-exchange system. This is placed between your well and your main water line into the home. An ion-exchange system can increase the sodium content of your water. This may pose health concerns for members of your household. You can learn more by contacting your local or state health department. Your state-certified well water contractor can offer other options for water treatment.


Your well is your most valuable asset as a homeowner. Treatment options can address a variety of contaminants including water hardness and mineral content. Contact a Skillings and Sons water expert to speak with one of our state-certified well water professionals to learn more.