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Water hardness

The type of water that we supply is classed as 'hard' or ‘very hard’ water. This hardness occurs naturally and does not vary much over time.

Rainwater is soft water. After it falls on the ground, it passes through the underlying rocks. Small amounts of naturally occurring minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, dissolve into it. This is then what is known as ‘hard’ water.

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Dishwasher, Washing machine and Water Softener settings

As a guide the information may help you to set your dishwasher, washing machine and water softener. We recommend you seek specialist advice when doing this and always follow the appliance instructions.

 

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  • But where does this hard water come from?

    60% of our water supply is from groundwater, which is taken directly from the aquifer. If you were to keep digging into the ground, you would come across chalky limestone. Rainwater (which is naturally soft) falls onto the ground and passes through this rock, and natural minerals dissolve into it, which gives it its hardness. Hard water is perfectly safe to drink, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that hard water is actually good for you! It can provide you with the natural minerals your body needs.

    And what does it do to my water?

    When hard water has been heated, it can produce “scale”. Therefore, typical household appliances that use hot water, such as irons and kettles, are prone to building up more of this “scale.” This scale is not harmful, but it’s not very aesthetically pleasing either.

    To reduce the build-up of scale in your kettle, do not re-boil any water left in there. Always refill your kettle with fresh water, either from your tap, or from a jug kept in the fridge. You can also reduce the build-up of scale on your hot water and heating systems too. Adjust the temperature to 60oC. Not only will this save you money, but it might also prevent you from being scalded by any hot water too.

  • How can I reduce limescale build up on my household appliances?

    There are lots of easy ways you can reduce the build-up of limescale from your water. These include:

    • Changing the settings on your dishwasher or water softener device by following the appliance instructions.
    • Refer to your washing machine manual or manufacturer website for advice to prevent limescale build up.
    • Use a water filter for your drinking water to fill your kettle and iron or purchase a kettle with a built-in filter.
    • Use a de-scaler for your shower head, iron, and kettle if you notice any limescale build up.
    • Cut a lemon in half and rub it over the end of your taps to clear scale. If you have an extra stubborn bit, soak a cloth in white vinegar and place it over the area, leaving it to soak for an hour, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
    • Clear off the water droplets from your shower screen after use with a squeegee. This will leave it looking clear from residue.