Growing up in the Valley, when people said ‘hard water,' the kids thought they meant the bits of rock and gravel coming out of the faucet. (which happens if there is a line break). But, then there was a visit to a friend’s house, the one with a water softener. Hair washing in the shower meant trying like crazy to rinse the soap out because water softeners lessen the need for big globs of soap. That is a typical first experience with soft water.
Our water comes from the snow run-off produced by Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. It’s naturally soft, beautiful stuff until it hits our caliche-laden soil, where it picks up a tremendous amount of calcium and magnesium.
One of the properties of Valley soil is that the structure is similar to plates sitting in a kitchen sink--water just bounces right off. The hard, white deposits left on our sink fixtures and tiles create an ongoing problem not only for the landscape but plumbers and housekeepers, as well.
What is needed is an acidic product to dissolve the hardness, or alkalinity when it collects as mineral deposits. Maids have it figured out: vinegar is a good choice, or lemon juice, or whatever acidic product is available. (You may notice that pots and pans which have had a dish cooked with canned tomatoes clean up better than other food dishes.)
The upshot of all this is that while your housekeeper can soak your shower head in a baggie full of vinegar, or rub a lemon on your dishes and fixtures for ‘that sparkling shine,' the water, and pipes--where it’s harder to reach--are still going to be affected. Calcium may also build on gaskets or valves and cause leaks. The point is to remember what you’re dealing with and respond accordingly.
Some customers decide they’ve had it with hard water and spending a ton of money on bottled water, soap and skin lotion products and ask us to install a water softener or reverse osmosis filter. Not only do they need fewer products, but their pipes and joints (where hard water deposits invariably start) don't have such a propensity for leaks.
If either reverse osmosis or a water softener appeals to you, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you about those and other options.