How is Hard Water Measured?

Water hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved minerals in water, mainly calcium and magnesium. These minerals are naturally occurring and are picked up as water passes through rocks and soil. Hard water is generally safe to drink and use for other purposes, but it can cause a variety of issues.

Whether or not you choose to treat your hard water with a water softener depends on a few factors, including the level of hardness in your water, your personal preferences, and the potential effects of hard water on your home.

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (PPM). The Water Quality Association (WQA) categorizes water hardness as follows:

  • Soft water: 0-1 GPG (0-17.1 PPM)
  • Slightly hard water: 1-3.5 GPG (17.1-60 PPM)
  • Moderately hard water: 3.5-7 GPG (60-120 PPM)
  • Hard water: 7-10.5 GPG (120-180 PPM)
  • Very hard water: over 10.5 GPG (over 180 PPM)

If your water falls into the moderately hard, hard, or very hard categories, you may benefit from a water softener. However, if your water is only slightly hard or soft, you may not need a water softener.

There are a couple of methods for testing water hardness. You can have your water professionally tested by us, or you can use a home testing kit. Home testing kits are available online or at your local hardware store. They generally involve adding a few drops of a testing solution to a sample of your water and comparing the resulting color to a chart. The kit will indicate whether your water is soft, moderately hard, hard, or very hard.

If you find your hard water levels are high, it’s worth considering the difference a water softener can make for your home or commercial space.

Independent Water Services can recommend and install a water softener system for your specific needs. Start with a free water analysis and see if a water softener system is right for you.