Pennsylvania’s drinking water is considered hard. However, across PA, water quality differs, county to county, city to city. Some areas having higher water hardness than others, amongst other contamination issues. How you treat your water depends on your water source, whether that be from a public or private source. Testing your drinking water will help you determine which water quality issues you’re experiencing. Many homeowners may not be aware that they have hard water, so it is important to look for the signs.
Measuring Water Hardness
The average PA water hardness is 151 parts per million (PPM). Water hardness is typically determined by the number of parts per million of calcium carbonate present in the water. This is because hard water is made up of excess levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium. Having your water tested will determine the levels you have.
Here is a simple scale that breaks down the different levels of water hardness:
- Soft: 0-17.1 PPM
- Slightly hard: 17.1-60 PPM
- Moderately hard: 60-120 PPM
- Hard: 120-180 PPM
Pennsylvania’s water is monitored by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Many PA residents get their drinking water from surface and ground resources. Nearly half of Pennsylvania residents’ drinking water is supplied through public drinking water systems. Many also use private wells for their drinking water. If you live in PA there is a high likelihood you have hard water, but the level of hardness will vary. For this reason, many PA residents look into water treatment solutions for their water such as water softeners or conditioners.
Common Water Hardness Issues
Hard water is not a threat to your health. The most common issues people notice when having hard water are: water stains on dishes, dry skin, dry hair, and stains on their laundry. It can also cause a build up of calcium or mineral deposits on your appliances. You may notice this on your faucets or shower head. Read our other blog to learn about the common home and commercial water quality issues so you’re aware of the signs!
Chloramine and its role in disinfecting water
We often hear Pennsylvania residents mention there is a chlorine taste or smell to their water. This is due to a chemical called chloramine that disinfects our water. The Disinfection Requirements Rule (DRR) was published on April 28, 2018. It’s intended to protect public health through a multiple barrier approach to guard against microbial contamination. The DRR ensures PA’s drinking water is safe for consumption.
Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. Together they work to disinfect drinking water. It is a more stable disinfectant compared to chlorine. Its disinfecting benefits are spread throughout a water utility’s distribution system. Compared to chlorine, it is a weaker disinfectant, but just as effective. This disinfectant has been used for around 90 years and is closely regulated.
Why is this important to mention? As a Pennsylvania resident, chlorine smelling or tasting water and water hardness are the two biggest issues we hear about and treat. A common solution for both issues is installing a water softener. Water softeners can help reduce or eliminate the chlorine smell in water.
While the primary function of a water softener is to remove minerals that cause water hardness, some models also feature activated carbon filters or resin beds that can help remove or reduce chlorine and its associated odor. Not only will your hard water issues be resolved, but your water will smell like it’s supposed to – like nothing!
How Suburban Water Technology Can Treat Your Hard Water
Suburban Water Technology offers many eco-friendly, low maintenance residential and commercial options to treat your hard water. We can add a water softener or conditioner to treat your hard water, we’re also able to install a reverse osmosis unit to remove unwanted impurities. We can even come up custom solutions built specifically for your property’s water problems. Contact us today at 1-800-525-6464 to get your water tested!