We use water all the time and for many it is something we are lucky enough to take for granted. We may question the water quality when we go abroad and shy away from drinking it direct from the taps, but we often don’t think twice about the state of the water we’re consuming closer to home. People assume that the water coming out of the tap is safe and drinkable. But what is in your water? Well, you’re about to find out!
What is water hardness?
Hard water is water that holds higher levels of magnesium and calcium. It’s very common to get hard water from your water supply – it’s all natural! In fact, hard water has great health benefits such as the strengthening of our bones and teeth.
Water becomes hard when its filtered through rock and chalk, when this happens, compounds from the rocks dissolve into the water and pass through our supply. The level of hardness in your tap water depends on where your business is in the UK – some areas have high levels of magnesium and calcium whilst others don’t. You’ll be able to see whether your business has hard water by checking plug holes for soap scum or you can check the office kettle for any water spots and limescale. You can also find out the hardness levels of the water in your area by checking your wholesaler’s website.
What is soft water?
Alternatively, soft water is formed due to the lack of calcium and magnesium and a higher level of sodium in your water supply. Like hard water, having soft water depends on the region your business is in because different areas tend to have different rock types that do not filter through calcium and magnesium to our water. You can tell whether you have softened water in your area as soap will readily form a lather, whereas hard water struggles to do this.
Limescale isn’t harmful to consume, but some may find it unsettling to look at in the workplace. One way to prevent your kitchen appliances from the build-up of limescale is to empty the water out of your kettle after each use, we also recommend you to not reheat the water in your kettle
Newer kitchen appliances such as dishwashers have built-in water softeners that prevent your dishes from getting a misty white residue caused by hard water- If your appliance doesn’t have a softening built-in, softening products can always be added to your machine.
Our hands come into contact with tap water all the time, and some professions like chefs and florists are constantly using water. Hard water can sometimes leave your skin feeling dry so we recommend keeping a good moisturiser next to your sinks. Alongside this, you could also turn the temperature of your hot water down to 60C or lower (doing this will reduce the amount of limescale too!)