Did you know that the Region of Waterloo takes roughly 75% of its water from the ground, while the city of Guelph relies primarily on groundwater? Let’s take a quick look at why water quality in your home is important, the differences between soft and hard water, and how to ensure you have safe drinking water in your home.
Soft Water vs. Hard Water
Hard water contains “excessive levels of the minerals calcium and magnesium” which can shorten the lifespan of plumbing and appliances. Although it has harsh effects on appliances, hard water is not dangerous to homeowners’ health. On the contrary, soft water is easier on appliances and plumbing because it allows soap to foam up and work properly since it provides “more of a blank slate in chemical reactions”.
Since hard water is found throughout Guelph and the Waterloo region, many homeowners decide to use a water softener to protect their homes. Most softeners are ion exchange systems where calcium and magnesium are exchanged for salt. If you are looking to purchase a water softener, the first step is to find out the grains per gallon in your water, which you can find out here: http://watersoftenerfacts.ca/my-water-hardness/, then determine how much softener you should buy!
Safe Drinking Water
As we mentioned above, hard water is considered safe to drink in Ontario, however, there are instances that require monitoring water quality regularly, such as homeowners who own their own source of drinking water, like a well. Public Health Ontario provides testing for E. coli, while local public health units can test for chemicals. To find out more information about testing you water, check out Public Health Ontario website.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
If you are concern with the taste, appearance and smell of your water, a reverse osmosis filtration system is a great solution! Reverse osmosis is “a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water).” Through a filtration system, fluoride, lead, chlorine, and nitrates can be removed from the water.