The hardness of your water depends on the amount of calcium it contains. The higher the levels of calcium, the harder the water.
Water hardness varies from region to region, depending on the amount of minerals which dissolve in rainwater as it soaks through the ground. Most of the water we supply in Southern England comes from underground chalk aquifers, so the water is hard.
This doesn't affect the quality of your drinking water or the performance of soaps and detergents, although it can lead to a build-up of limescale in kettles, boilers and hot water pipes.
Inhibitors, conditioners and softeners
There are a number of products available which either slow down the formation of limescale or actively soften the water. These products work through a combination of chemically slowing down or removing limescale from the mains water.
Softeners can significantly increase sodium levels in water, so if you want to use a water softeners, always make sure that there is a supply of un-softened water coming into your home for drinking purposes.
Rather than interfere with the natural hardness of the region’s water, we leave it up to you to decide whether artificial softening is the right choice.