Softening City Water

My home is on city water so my water is just fine to use, right?  I don’t need a water softener in my home, right?  I won’t get any buildup on my water fixtures because I’m no city water, right?  The answer is no to these three questions.  Please don’t be alarmed, city supplied water is safe to use and drink.  We are discussing the effects of hard water within your home.  City water does have hardness, even when the supplier softens the water.  There is a misconception of being on city water, your water is good to use. 

City water will vary from city to city and will be treated to some degree depending on the area you live in.  Some city supplied water (or a community well) will soften the water before it enters your home, but will most likely have elevated levels of hardness.  In the area we service, McHenry and Lake Counties in Illinois, we have found city water to be 20-30 grains of hardness and homes on city water using Lake Michigan to be 7-10 grains of hardness.  According to the Water Quality Association, hard water is considered 7 grains of hardness and higher with soft water considered 0-1 grains of hardness.

Some city supplied water is treated at a plant and can be softened down to 7-10 grains of hardness, but still hard water.  Even after softening the water, the water will travel through the distribution system, which can potentially alter the water chemistry.  The effects of hard water are numerous and we shared those effects in a previous blog post.  Keep in mind, when you live with city water, your water is still hard.