What is Hard Water

Hard water is something that you may have heard a lot about. The entire topic has been explained right back in our high school science syllabus. We all know that hard water is the water that does not form any lather when mixed with soap. But beyond this effect, we know little about the hard water and its effects and properties. Well, hard water is not seriously unpurified with any toxins. However, hard water contains some seriously heavy mineral content. The water thus becomes quite unsuitable for some industrial or household tasks of washing or even other such duties and chores. So, hard water can make things quite difficult for the homemakers or even those units that need a lot of pure water. So, the hard water needs to be given a proper look in detail.

How does the hardness of water take place? Essentially, the water becomes hard when it is unpurified with certain quantities of magnesium and calcium. These are the hard chemicals which end up making the water hard. But there are some other minerals which contain these minerals in large quantities. Examples of these are minerals like gypsum or even calcite. However, it should be comprehended that hardness can be of two types. The first type of hardness is the temporary hardness. Such hardness is caused primarily by the action of the cations of the magnesium and calcium. So, these minerals actually cause only a temporary hardness of water. The hardness can be curbed and countered with boiling of water or addition of lime which would make the water soft.

But there is another type of water hardness. This is the case of permanent hardness. Permanent hardness is not the action of calcium or magnesium carbonates. Instead, it is caused by the adversity of the suplhates and chlorides of the minerals. The hardness of water is quite severe and it cannot be countered with just a boiling of water. The most common effect of hardness of water is that it does not form a lather with natural soap solutions. The hard water absorbs the entire soap solution instead of mixing with it to form foam. In place of the foam, the water will have a soapy white precipitate. This makes the water unsuitable for washing clothes and other such chores. So, this is the major problem with hard water and its industrial and household use.

However, hard water also leads to another serious adversity. This happens as a direct consequence of the carbonates, sulphates and chlorides which become a precipitate with the soapy liquid. When the water passes through the sewers and drains, the water may pass through the pipes and sewers. However, the mineral precipitate will collect and cram the ends and openings of the sewers and drains. When this happens, the drains and sewers will be fully clogged after a time. So, the hard water needs to be cured in some way or the other. The temporarily hard water should be softened by boiling or adding lime to the water. At the same time, the permanently hard water can be made slightly less hard with some chemical solutions which will help to reduce the severity of the suphates.

The people can benefit a lot from a general understanding of the problem of hard water. It is possible to treat the hard water and make it soft for the industrial tasks and also the household chores and activities. But there is also something known as permanent hardness of water. This may happen with the action of the sulphates and chlorides of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Such hardness can be cured with the action of some rather strong chemicals as well.