Water School

What makes water hard or soft?

The mineral content determines whether your elements water is either “hard” or “soft.”  The higher the mineral content, the harder the water. Minerals affecting water hardness can include calcium and magnesium bicarbonate or calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride.

The harder the water, the more soap is needed to make foam or lather. Hard water also produces scale in hot water pipes, heaters, boilers and other places where the water is kept at higher temperatures.

Soft water is considered to have no more than 60 milligrams of minerals per liter (mg/l). Moderately hard has 61 to 120 mg/l; hard has 121 to 180mg/l and very hard has more than 180 mg/l.




The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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