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.

fishing bottled water water clarity monitor corps allens creek reservoir drilling fish kill rights organic water code storage effluent system hydropower medicine salt lake watershed E coli water supply water plants emergency use granbury spillway taste canoeing TCEQ anaerobic golden algae bay contract dam potable sludge pharmaceuticals salinity hunting gate agriculture water quality dissolved solids stream dock soil flood control lake water rights acre-foot infection maps clarity environmental fork contaminants corps of engineers impound hydrologic cycle gulf basin agricultural river smell direct re-use jobs groundwater invasive plants classification camping pollutants insurance solids climate limestone treatment chlorine PAM employment lake level quality evaporation rain well surface water chlorides consumption electricity tdh appropriation parasite brackish precipitation sanitation industry permit channel marsh wildlife releases bed and banks subwatershed drinking water mission municipal streamflow minerals habitat hydrology legislation fertilizer cfs electric companies mainstem environment hydrilla canoe inland aerobic mgd spring beneficial use flood pool boating septic system water speaker wetland costs recreation gage usgs supply gas map conservation ground water main stem industrial kayak riverine aquifer golden algea possum kingdom volume E. coli runoff drought reservoirs landscaping acre-feet mitigation biosolids use depth water treatment algae watercourse streamflow wetlands water planning subsidence authority sediment indirect re-use septic sewage xeriscape measure water cycle flood subsidence district lake levels lakes calcium wastewater turbidity governance oxygen reservoir tributary lawn inundated planning farming water use estuary riparian Board filter