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How can I check the hardness of my water?

Use our post code search for hardness or fluoride levels for your area.

Water Hardness

Our supply area has 'hard' or 'very hard' water. This hardness occurs naturally and is characterised by the presence of high levels of calcium and magnesium, which are good for healthy teeth and bones. De-scaling products can be used to remove any limescale caused by hard water in kettles or in water fittings but take care to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

The water in our region comes largely from deep chalk boreholes and this naturally makes the water very hard. There has been no significant increase in water hardness over recent years. We do not have a duty to supply softened water and we cannot make the decision to soften water. This would be decided by the Local Authority in conjunction with a request to do so by the Area Health Authority. Any questions you have regarding compulsory water softening should be addressed to them.

Installing a water softener

In general, our supply area has 'hard' or 'very hard' water and this hardness occurs naturally. If you have concerns about the hardness of your water, we cannot recommend whether you fit a water softener or not. This is very much a matter of personal choice and, as our responsibility stops at the boundary of your property. We are not able to advise or carry out work on internal plumbing or provide a list of manufacturers.

If you do decide to install a water softener you should make sure that you have a separate supply of unsoftened water for drinking and cooking. Some studies have suggested that hard water may be beneficial to heart health and this benefit could be lost in softened water. Also many softeners use sodium, which is found naturally in table salt, and this can be a problem for babies, particularly those who were premature, and for people who are on a low sodium diet.

If you do decide to have a water softener, we advise that you buy it from a reputable supplier who will advise you on the correct size softener for your water usage needs. If possible, you may wish to seek out independent research, on the internet for example, which can help you decide if this is right for you. We also advise that you have it installed by a qualified plumber. Our advice would be the same for any other devices or water treatments you may be considering.

If you need advice you should contact your own plumber or ask friends and neighbours for their recommendations. You can find a list of approved plumbers here.

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