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Hard water

Water is something we all take for granted. Turn on the taps and it's there, safe to drink, safe to bath in, safe to wash our clothes with. In fact, water is so much a part of daily life that it's tempting to think that one drop of our tap water is very much like another. Unfortunately it isn't.

The quality of our water varies enormously from region to region. Basically, there are two kinds of water, hard water & soft water.

Hard water is usually obtained from underground sources. Rainwater passing through the porous chalk and limestone regions of the country collects the hardness forming minerals of calcium and magnesium. How hard this "ground" water becomes depends on how many of these minerals it dissolves.

Soft water is much closer to natural rainwater. The rain falls on rocky ground which it rarely penetrates. With less chance of gathering the hardness forming minerals, this "surface" water remains relatively soft.

The effects of Hardwater on a hot water cylinder

Limescale
Clean

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West Midlands
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Independent Evaluation of: East Midlands Water Company GAC Filter

Commissioned by: Dr D Walke, East Midlands Water Co

Comments

The East Midlands Water Co BTU 1 filter proved to be extremely effective at removing both free and total chlorine, this effectiveness remained at a high level >93% throughout the projected life of the filter (40,000 litres).

There were also good removal rates for aluminium and copper, these being between 77% and 94% removal.

The filter was also tested to identify any problems with pollutants being "dumped" back into the outlet water from the filter medium. This test was carried out after a throughput of 35,000 litres towns mains (STW plc). Samples were taken immediately before and after the filter and analysed for:-

Aluminium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nitrate, chloride and total hardness.

No increase in the concentrations of any of the above were detected in the output water, ie there was no evidence of "dumping" taking place.


Results

Filter after 20,000 litres towns mains.

Flow rate of test solution through the filter was 1.5 litres per minute.

Analysis

Analyte

 

Chlorine (free)

Chlorine (total)

Aluminium

Copper

Iron

Lead

Manganese

Nitrate as NO

Chloride

Total hardness (as CaCO)

inlet

conc*

2.50

2.60

0.87

1.99

1.72

1.84

0.90

20.90

43

205

outlet

conc

0.10

0.19

0.11

0.21

0.74

0.74

0.70

8.14

43

205

% removal

 

96

93

87

89

57

60

22

61

Nil

Nil

*All concentration values are given in Parts Per Million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per litre (mg/1).

 


Results

Analyte

 

Clorine (free)

Chlorine (total)

Aluminium

Copper

Iron

Lead

Manganese

Nitrate as NO

Chloride

Total hardness (as CaCO)

inlet

conc*

1.84

2.00

0.62

2.02

1.65

1.42

3.6

18.92

32

190

outlet

conc

N.D.

0.04

0.09

0.12

1.05

0.04

2.4

8.8

32

190

% removal

 

>99

98

85

94

36

72

33

53

Nil

Nil

*All concentration values are given in Parts Per Million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per litre (mg/l)

> = greater than N.D. = none detected

 
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