If you’ve ever experienced water spots on dishes, shower doors or faucets then you likely have what’s known as “hard water”.

Water that is considered “hard” has high mineral content and it is formed when water percolates through natural deposits. These deposits include; limestone, chalk, or gypsum, largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.


Water is measured most commonly in grains per gallon and parts per million. They are related because one grain per gallon (gpg) equals 17.14 parts per million (ppm).

Water is considered “hard water” when it reaches about 7 grains per gallon and gets increasingly more complex. It gets more destructive to the home the higher the grains.

For instance, water that has between 7-10 grains per gallon would be considered hard water. If left untreated, you may notice things like crust rings on faucets, build-up in pipes, and spotting on dishes. You might also see deposits on shower doors and likely some drying of your skin and hair.

When the grains per gallon measure 10.5 or more, you would have what’s considered “very hard water”. Again, when left untreated, you might notice signs like crusty white scale buildup on faucets and shower heads. Possibly, reduced water flow due to clogged pipes, dishwashers that may no longer clean dishes, And, you might see soap that refuses to lather. You may also have hard-to-clean film and scale on surfaces. Hard-to-clean film and scale on surfaces, or scratchy towels can also be a sign. In addition, you might have an increase in energy bills.


Interestingly though, it can actually be beneficial for our health. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned when left untreated can really be destructive to your home’s infrastructure and expensive appliances and fixtures.

Scientific studies have been performed by The National Library of Medicine and further show the potential health impacts of hard water.


Water softeners have been the go-to solution and are still one of the most popular choices in treating this problem. That said, they are not the only treatment method with merit. Non-salt conditioning systems are an alternative to traditional salt systems, Fortunately, for some areas, you can get many of the benefits of salt systems without the negative environmental and health concerns or maintenance associated with softeners. One of the best non-salt conditioning methods is Template Assisted Crystallization which you can learn about here.

If you think you may have issues with your water and aren’t sure what to do about it, talk to one of our water specialists to learn more about how we can solve your hard water woes!