Almost all water in Minnesota contains hardness mineral, whether it is from a private well, or from the city. The amount of hardness in the water will vary. Hardness mineral gets into the water from limestone deposits in the ground. Hardness minerals can cause problems in the home because it builds up on pipes, fixtures, appliances, water heaters, clothing, etc.
85% of homes in the U.S. have hard water according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Some people think they don’t have hard water, but they do. The build up can be seen on shower doors, sinks, faucets, and on glassware and flatware after being washed in the dishwasher.
It is not practical or cost effective for the city to remove the hardness mineral, although a few cities reduce the hardness level. Because only a portion of the water the city treats is used for bathing and washing in the home, (we call this “working water”.) Most of the water is used for street cleaning, fire fighting, factories, watering lawns and golf courses – water that does not need to be treated to the degree that the working water in your home needs to be.
Look down the detergent aisle at any grocery store. Almost all of the detergents are formulated for homes with hard water – they contain chemicals to “soften” the water. People are chemically treating their water to counteract the effects of hard water. When you install a mechanical water softener that uses a process called ion exchange, that physically removes the hardness ions from the water, you will not need harsh detergents for cleaning in the home. You will be able to use soap products formulated for softened water that contain little or no harsh chemical additives or detergents.
When water enters the home, most people, once educated on water quality, choose to have a “point of entry” water treatment system installed to treat all the water used in the home. This includes a water softener.