You may already know about the harmful effects hard water may have on your economy and about the benefits of installing a water softener in such situations, but are you aware of the impact using hard water can have in your health and appearance?
Some of the biggest complaints people have about hard water is in relation to the impact it has on their health and it is not uncommon for people to decide to buy and install a water softener, spurred by the worsening effects on the appearance of their skin, hair and nails.
The excess of dissolved salts also interferes with the action of soap and shampoo forming a sticky scum known as soap curd, and making it much harder for them to clean your skin and hair and remove dirt and. Also, as soap curd sticks to your hair and skin as is harder to rinse and remove, you need to use more water, essentially putting more salts into it and worsening the curd; and, the additional use of water will cost you more money. It is also important to note that the dissolved salts in water that cause hardness, can irritate your skin so much that it can cause an inflammation known as eczema, which manifests itself with redness, swelling, itching, flaking, cracking, crusting, dryness, oozing and even bleeding; water hardness will specially predispose children to eczema, who are more at risk of developing it.
But not only are dissolved salts the only harmful substances that may be found in your untreated water supply which can also have a harmful effect on your health and physical appearance. The second most commonly found harmful substance in untreated water is chlorine. As you may know, this substance is usually added by municipalities to disinfect water and reduce the level of algae and bacteria. Chlorine is frequently used but sometimes Chloramine or Hypochlorite is used, however, all of these substances have the same harmful profile. These substances dry the skin and hair, stripping them of their natural essential oils and leaving your skin sensitive to sunlight and its UV rays, facilitating sunburns and cracks in your skin. Your hair is also left dry and stiff, hard to manage and with a lifeless and dull appearance.
Chlorine, Chloramine and Hypochlorite can all be removed by boiling the water or by letting it sit still on an open container. However, water has to be allowed to sit still for several hours to remove these chemicals, with Chloramine needing more than 24 hours and Chlorine taking at least 2, and it is obviously very impractical to boil or leave still all the water you will use to bath.
On a good side, chlorine and he similar disinfectants and the excess of salts are not found in concentrations high enough to be particularly harmful when ingested, and a small study even observed that the salts may possibly have a very tiny protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. However, the evidence for such positive effect is considered weak at best, and even if real, such protective effect would be very small and would not warrant the consumption and use of hard water.
As you can see, the harmful effects of hard water may be moderate but if present they will worsen over time and cause an additive effect. It is for this reason to be alert and watch out for the signs of water hardness on your home, and to take the necessary measures as soon as possible if you discover you have a problem with water hardness and consider the installation of an appropriate Water Softener System for your home and your situation, be it a Whole House System or a Shower Head Water Softener.