Indiana is known to have “hard” water throughout the state, requiring many home owners to install a water softener. But does water quality change from area to area? Is the water in Carmel less hard than in Indianapolis? If so, is it enough to really make a difference? Water that contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals, including calcium, magnesium and iron salts, is considered “hard water.”
According to the Indianapolis Water Company, Indy’s water hardness averages about 12 to 20 grains per gallon, the measure used to determine water softener settings. (Water hardness of 0 to 3.5 is considered soft, 10 is very hard.) Water hardness can even vary in different parts of the city, depending on the hardness of the source water used to supply different treatment plants, but even so, it’s pretty apparent that a water softener can improve the quality of Indianapolis water.
“Carmel’s water quality is ‘Excellent,'” stated Carmel Mayor Brainard in a 2000 Water Quality Report. While that may be so, according to City of Carmel Utilities, Carmel’s water contains up to 8 grains hardness per gallon, which is considered moderately hard water. For some people, this level of hardness may be acceptable to use without treating it further with a water softener, for others, not so much. Whether the water is soft enough without further treatment is something Carmel home owners must decide for themselves.
Hard water is objectionable for two main reasons:
- The calcium, magnesium and iron salts react with soaps and forms insoluble soap scum that reduces cleaning power, and sticks to fabrics to give a dingy appearance. This scum is also responsible for forming that hard-to-clean ring in the bathtub. Excess soap has to be added to react with all of the calcium, magnesium and iron salts.
- Hard water can build up “scales” inside boilers. At high temperatures the calcium, magnesium and iron salts dissolved in the water form solid mineral matter coating the boiler or heater. Scale is a poor conductor of heat, and energy is wasted to heat the water.
Visit water softeners page to read more about their pros and cons, plus additional information to help you make the decision whether or not to install a water softener in your Indianapolis, Carmel, or Noblesville home. Or give us a call, (317) 850-51144. It can be a complex and confusing issue, and we’ll be glad to answer your questions to help you make the decision.
(Article updated to reflect City of Carmel Utilities 2014 Water Quality Report.)