Soft Water Defined
What is Soft Water?
Soft water defined;
What is soft water is a relatively easy question to answer. Soft water does not have the common qualities of hard water as defined by the WQA (Water Quality Association) below. By observation soft water is water that is easy to work with. Simply stated: Soft Water does not behave hard.
Please note: everything in italic blue text below comes directly from the WQA web site.
Below is an snippet from Hard Water Defined.
“Hard water is a common quality of water which contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other divalent and trivalent metallic elements. The term hardness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water; hardness typically causes the buildup of hardness scale (such as seen in cooking pans). Dissolved calcium and magnesium salts are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry, kitchen, and bath. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (or ppm) as calcium carbonate equivalent.”
The part of the definition to focus on and keep in mind is how the term hardness was originally applied. This is what maters to consumers of water. It describes water quality behaviors consumers observe, how water containing untreated minerals (dissolved calcium and magnesium) behaves.
More really Good Information:
You likely notice the WQA’s definition of hard water above does not include any reference to the concentration of hardness minerals in the water. For that information you will need to see Hard Water Defined.
Would you like to know why water with high concentration of hardness minerals can still behave soft? See What does a Hardness Test really tell us.
Ever have someone test your soft water only to have them tell your your water is hard when you know it’s soft? Check out this Cascadian Clear blog post Why Does Soft Water Test Hard?
If you’d like to know more about chemical treatment of hard water see Cascadian Clear blog post: What is PolyHalt® and How Does It Work?
Do you have a salt-based softener but still have problems with spots on your glassware, shower doors and windows? Check out this Cascadian Clear blog post: Silica – The other white spot