Hard & soft water

How where you live affects the quality of your water

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Hard water areas of the UK


Some areas of the UK are based on non-porous rock, such as granite. When rainwater hits the ground in these areas, the rock is too hard for it to soak into so the rain simply flows off into rivers and streams, without picking up mineral deposits. These areas have soft water.

However, many other parts of the country have soft rock bases like chalk or limestone. Here, rainwater soaks into the ground and picks up minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, which convert it into hard water. When hard water is heated up by a boiler, kettle or other household appliance, the calcium and magnesium turn into limescale.

Roughly 14 million households in the UK are in hard water areas and suffer from limescale problems.


A water softener passes the water through a chamber containing resin. As hard water flows through the cylinder, calcium and magnesium are attracted to the resin like a magnet, leaving just the softened water to come out the other end. The softener then flushes itself through to ensure the deposit left behind are washed down the drain rather than being put back into your household water supply.

In short, the water softener strips out all the bad, leaving you with the good.

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