When choosing a new place to live few consider the type of water but a new report might just push that priority up the list. It revealed one third of Brits believe the water in their area has damaged their home appliances, including kettles, washing machines and showers.
The research found Ipswich has the hardest water in England.
Data sourced from local water authorities shows the Suffolk town has the highest levels of calcium carbonate, the key mineral component of hard water, in the country – 423 milligrams per litre – which is 44 milligrams more than the second highest place, Colchester.
Luton, Norwich and Watford round off the top five with calcium carbonate levels of 360, 359 and 358 milligrams respectively.
Commissioned by Water Company, Best Water Technology (BWT), the research of 2,000 UK adults also found one fifth have no idea whether they live in a hard or soft water area.
Jon Wicks, Managing Director, BWT, said: “As the research suggests, many people don’t know what type of water they have in their area – hard or soft – but actually most of the country lives with hard water.
Hard water has a high mineral content in comparison to soft water which has less. The water becomes ‘hard’ when it filters through limestone and chalk deposits – which are mainly made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. These mineral deposits lead to scale in your appliances and on the surfaces of your home.”
Brits will pop the kettle on at home 82,095 times during the average adult lifetime and use the washing machine on 5,224 occasions over the same period.
Amid this, those with appliances or facilities affected by limescale build up have typically spent £311.87 in the last five years having the items repaired.
The survey carried out by OnePoll also found we have an average of 15,458 showers and 3,567 baths during our adult years.
But more than a quarter think their mains water has detrimentally affected their skin, 28 per cent feel the same about their hair and 14 per cent believe it has made them look older than they really are.
As a result, a fifth of Brits purchase products such as creams and lotions in the hope they will counteract the effects of mains water on their skin and hair – spending £218.76 a year on average.
Jon Wicks continues: “Many people don’t know what hard water is or what impact it has. For example, what will surprise most people is that hard water can make your skin look older, and hair colour duller.
“Household costs can go up too as you use more cleaning products on your skin, hair and laundry when you have hard water rather than soft. It needn’t be like this, and with a BWT water softener installed your water would be luxuriously soft instead.”
TOP HARD WATER FACTS:
- More detergent is needed to get your clothes clean and soft
- Household appliances will become damaged and less efficient as scale deposits build up from the water
- It can damage hair colour and cause dye to fade more quickly
- Soap scum builds up on your skin, blocking your pores and making moisturisers less effective
- Hard water may make your skin age faster and look older than it is; the minerals in hard water can strip moisture from your skin whilst preventing the natural oils in your body from doing their job
- Elements in hard water such as iron and calcium, can form free radicals that damage healthy skin cells and cause a breakdown of collagen, leading to fine lines and wrinkles
- Even a 1.6mm coating of limescale on a heating element in the heating system can make it up to 12 per cent less effective
- Acid based cleaners are needed to remove scale and water stains left behind by hard water. These cleaners damage glass and chrome over time
- Hard water can make your shower less powerful as it clogs up the shower head with mineral deposits
TOP 20 HARD WATER AREAS:
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