Limescale and Water Hardness – How does it get into our water?
People often say the coffee machine is calcified or the white/grey deposits on taps makes bathroom and kitchen taps look unpleasant. But have you ever wondered what limescale actually is?
Limescale is a white, hard substance that is mostly made up of calcium carbonate. It is often left behind by water on the inside of pipes and kettles and on the outside of taps, showerheads, and tiles. Limescale is a natural substance that is made when calcium and magnesium carbonates settle out of water. We need to look more closely at the water cycle to figure out how hardness minerals get into water.
WHERE DOES LIMESCALE COME FROM?
Let’s start by looking at the liquid facts to answer this question: about 70% of Earth’s surface is water. 97.5% of this water is in the oceans as salt water, 1.5% is tied up in glaciers, ice, and snow, and just under 1% is available to people as drinkable water.
The water on the surface evaporates when the sun’s rays hit it. This turns the water into water vapor. It goes up into the atmosphere because it is lighter than air. Once the water vapor gets into the cool air, it also cools down and condenses back into tiny water droplets. This pure water reacts with the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. When the water and CO2 come together, they make carbonic acid ( H₂CO₃). This water, which is now carbonated, continues to cool in the air and falls back to Earth as rain, snow, or hail.
When rain or snow falls into a lake or the sea, the water cycle starts all over again.
But when soft, carbonated rainwater falls on a calcareous rock, it percolates through the deposits of Limestone and chalk. This makes the water calcareous and hard.
Is Limescale harmful?
Some people may find the taste of drinking water with limescale to be unpleasant. However it isn’t harmful, it’s a matter of personal preference. The minerals which form limescale, magnesium and calcium, are important minerals for all of us.
Limescale can form on any surface that has been in touch with hard water, but if it accumulates, it can cause several problems for your home. In the worst cases, it may cause the water ways in boilers and radiators to get blocked and can reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your appliances. A drinking water system with minerals is great if you want to drink mineralised water and a water softener is the best solution to eliminating any limescale problems around the home.
Limescale can’t be seen in the water, but it can be seen around the house…
If you have too many hardness minerals in your water within your home, this can be a problem: Limescale and stains on bathroom and kitchen fixtures, heating, as well as the amount of work it takes to clean them, can be a hindrance, especially if you’re short on time. Plus, devices and installations that need to be calibrated can be very expensive!
But it doesn’t have to be…
BWT has a lot of ways to deal with limescale.
Limescale deposits can not only be a nuisance but damaging as well. In most cases the solution is to remove those hardness minerals that cause limescale using an Ion exchange water softener like the BWT Perla Silk. The Perla Silk turns hard water into silky-soft Luxury Water reducing limescale deposits, and releasing the cleaning and lathering ability of soaps, shampoo, and whole range of laundry products. The effects of Luxury Water can be seen around the home and enjoyed by all the family.
The BWT PERLA Silk Range is smartly designed and impresses with its sleek, sophisticated style. In addition, it is efficient and effective, delivering copious amounts of Luxury Water whilst minimising salt and water usage. Also, the compact housing with an integrated display is completely sealed against dust to protect the advanced electronics that make the Perla Silk so easy to live with.
Physical water and limescale treatment
If you are looking to protect a specific appliance, for example a boiler, using a scale inhibitor is often a practical alternative. Whilst the benefits are less than those of a water softener, they can be very effective at controlling the build up of scale. Inhibitors like the Limebeater and AQA Total work by changing the physical properties of water and encourage the growth of hard water seed crystals that hold the hardness minerals in solution as they pass through the system. However, it must be noted that physical water conditioners do not soften water.
The water we drink
Whilst tap water is not harmful to drink, it can contain undesirable elements that can make the taste unpleasant, depending on your personal preference. The BWT table water filter jugs filters out particles and substances that can make water taste bad, and adds magnesium to the drinking water. BWT’s under-the-sink water filters, like the AQA Pure drink URBAN and LOFT and the AQA drink pure Slim Range, are ideal water filtration systems, perfect for your home and for combating limescale in your kitchen at the same time whilst adding magnesium.
The AQA drink Pure Urban Drinking Water System using the MP200 water filter cartridge will deliver up to 600 litres* of fresh filtered Magnesium Mineralized Water between filter cartridge changes. That’s possibly 1200 (500ml) single-use plastic bottles that don’t need to be recycled or worse destined for landfill.
Single-use bottled water often travels long distances before reaching you. There is a much better solution: BWT can treat this water in your home or on-site and thus reduces unnecessary transport. The result: less CO2 emissions, which is good for the climate. With BWT Magnesium enriched water, you also reduce the consumption of disposable single-use bottles that end up in the ocean. Nature says thank you!
Filtering water reduces plastic waste and protects the environment
It lies on the beach; it swims in the oceans: plastic waste has long since become a global problem. Plastic bottles are no exception: no fewer than 1 million plastic bottles are sold every minute worldwide
It is very easy to do without single use plastic bottles thanks to modern water filters. An example: With a AQA drink MP200 filter alone, you can save at least 600 one litre plastic bottles from the bin or worse. Also the tedious job of lugging around heavy bottle from shop in the first place.
BWT AQA drink filter cartridges are available in a range of sizes and shapes from the smaller versions used in the Vida and Penguin filter jugs to the higher capacity variants, used at the heart of BWT’s undersink filter systems like the Loft and Urban. Depending on your requirements and the desired water result there is bound to be a BWT filter to suit you.
Instead of the polluting disposable single-use plastic bottles, you can use glass carafes at home or in the office. And you can also do without single-use plastic bottles on the go and simply take your Magnesium Mineralized Water with you in your favorite sports bottle or one of the stylish reusable bottles from BWT .
BWT products that can help
If you are suffering from the effects of hard water or you want to improve the taste of your water, investing in Water Treatment Solutions can make a real difference to your home, lifestyle and the environment. BWT Products are small investments that can help you save time, effort, and money in probably more ways than you can imagine, whilst helping you to protect our Planet Blue. Discover the products that could be right for you here!