Living with hard water

Civic issue

Living with  hard water

Getting adequate water in certain pockets of the city had always been a problem. To top it now, getting good quality water has become a distant dream for many. The most common water quality complaint reported by consumers these days is hard water.

What is hard water? Hard water is high in mineral salts, especially calcium and magnesium. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon, with a degree of hardness ranging from 1 to over 10. Hard water, generally, is not harmful to our health but can pose serious problems in industrial settings where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers and other equipments that utilise water.

Even though other minerals exist in hard water, calcium and magnesium mainly create problems. When heated, these minerals precipitate out of water and encrust themselves onto holding items as mineral deposits affecting the performance of household appliances. These deposits are unsightly in bathrooms and kitchens and it is a challenge to remove them. Soaps and detergents lather poorly in hard water.

Metrolife spoke to few residents in Delhi who face problems using hard water. Sudipta Kumar, a resident of Vasundhara Enclave shares her horror story on how the hard water in her area has spoiled many utensils. “Firstly, hard water minerals clog pipes and reduce water flow from the taps.

I often face a problem of less water supply from the taps because calcium and magnesium deposit and form a hard coating on the inner walls of pipelines. It ultimately leads to choking and corrosion of the pipe metal. Also, this water has spoiled most of my steel utensils. Once they accumulate, it is very hard to remove and often leaves marks on the utensils.”

Although hard water doesn’t have any harmful affect on health it is very harmful for the hair. Washing hair with hard water can leave it looking dull and limp. Anamika Ghosh who resides in Lajpat Nagar complains about the same. “Delhi tap water is really damaging for the hair. My hair is really thick and coarse to begin with, and when I wash it in the hard water we get, I end up feeling like I haven’t  washed them at all – they become so stiff.”

Also, minerals in hard water, combined with dirt in clothes, form an insoluble soil that leads to clothes losing their shine. This also means that dirt cannot be removed easily from the clothes in the next wash.
 
Homemaker Savita Khanna living in Mayur Vihar Ph I, says, “It becomes very hard for me to wash my children’s dirty clothes, especially when they have badly dirtied them from playing. The detergent also forms less lather because of the quality of water. Each dirty cloth needs at least two-three washes to remove the stains fully.”

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