Awareness campaign highlights damage caused by hard water

Published:  27 October, 2016

A national hard water awareness campaign has been launched in Kent, the county with some of the hardest tap water in the UK, by Harvey Water Softeners.

Running across the area during October and November, the Stop Scale and Scum campaign is the start of a year long tour of England’s hard water hotspots being planned by the company to draw attention to the damage hard water can cause.

The company is highlighting to local homeowners just how big an impact their water could be having on their finances. Kent has some of the hardest water in the UK, due in large part to the county’s geology, with its bedrock that is largely made of chalk.

Pauline Smedley, principal hydrogeochemist for the British Geological Survey, said: “Many of the water companies in the South East of England extract groundwater from chalk bedrock for their water supply; it’s our most significant aquifer in terms of volumes extracted.

“Chalk groundwater is typically hard because chalk is composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate, which dissolves readily with the aid of carbon dioxide in the water. The dissolved calcium produced is responsible for the formation of hard water.”

The high levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water is a major cause of limescale inside home appliances like boilers, kettles and washing machines.

Water softening units are plumbed into domestic or commercial properties in order to remove these minerals from the mains water supply.

Drinking water taps fitted alongside allow people to still enjoy the taste of hard water, while protecting their appliances and the asset that is their home.

Demand for softened water in Kent almost double in the last 12 months, according to Harvey Water Softeners, up 95% compared to last year. It’s a sign that the issue could be getting worse as more housing developments are built across Kent and Medway, says the company’s founder Harvey Bowden.

“I’ve worked in the area for 40 years but I’m always surprised to see just how quickly hard water can have an impact. In extreme cases I’ve seen people go through brand new kettles in four months or have their taps seize up altogether and incidences like these are on the rise as more new houses are built in hard water areas.

“Soft water isn’t just good for people's pockets either; it keeps homes warmer because heating systems work better and it means less time spent cleaning around the home.

“Our message to people in Kent is; check your water hardness. Use our water hardness postcode checker and look inside your kettle or other appliances for any signs of limescale.”