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Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
Thursday, April 8, 2010
If you suspect that you have a hard water problem with your household water, you can have the water tested yourself or you can get information from your water supplier. For those who get their water from city or county water systems, the water authority can supply information on the water hardness to you. By law, they are required to test for hardness and to offer the results to their customers upon request.

If you get your water from a private water supply, such as a well, it advisable that you have the water tested for hardness by a certified lab. You can locate local water testing facilities by doing a quick online search for your area. There is generally a fee for this testing but it is normally reasonable and the results you get back will be very helpful when it comes time to obtain a softening device or system for your household water.

A third option you have for checking the hardness level of your water is by using a water hardness testing kit. These kits are available through water testing supply companies, both online and offline. These do-it-yourself kits are inexpensive and are a good way for most homeowners to get a general idea of how hard their water may be. For the most accurate results, however, work with a certified water testing laboratory.

Test Results: What do they mean?

In almost all cases, the hardness levels of your household water will be reported in either grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/l), or as Parts Per Million (PPM). One grain of hardness equals 17.1 mg/l or PPM of hardness. As you might imagine, the higher these levels are the harder the water is.

It is important to know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established standards for drinking water. These standards fall into two categories: Primary Standards and Secondary Standards.

Primary Standards: These are the standards that must be adhered to as they are based on health considerations. For example, while ingesting a higher level of calcium is not considered a health risk, ingesting a high level of lead is.

Secondary Standards: These are the general standards the EPA has established for such issues as color, odor, taste, etc. These standards are primarily associated with the aesthetic quality of the water rather than any health issues.

Water hardness results, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Interior and the Water Quality Association, are as follows:

Classification --------- mg/l or ppm ------- grains/gal
Soft------------------------17.1--------------------0 - 1
Slightly hard ------------17.1 - 60--------------1 - 3.5
Moderate-----------------60 - 120---------------3.5 - 7.0
Hard ----------------------120 - 180--------------7.0 - 10.5
Very Hard----------------180 & over------------10.5 & over

Please note: Depending on who does the testing for you, other values may be used. Always read the test data information in order to understand what your results mean.

Please go to our next article in this series, "How to Treat Hard Water" to learn how you can solve your hard water problems.

by: Chris Tracey


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