You know hard water is annoying, leaving unsightly spots everywhere, but is it dangerous to your health?
Surprisingly, it can be — especially if you or someone in your home is a senior citizen. Some of the U.S. cities with the highest concentrations of seniors, like Tucson and Phoenix, also have the biggest water issues. As people get older, they’re attracted to regions with lots of sun, balmy temperatures and golf courses. This kind of environment is great, but is often rife with mineral-rich water.
For example, in Phoenix the hardness levels range from 170 to 292 parts per million, which is considered high.
When Hard Is a Four-Letter Word
You may not like the taste of hard water or enjoy cleaning it off your shower tiles, but what about your skin? Skin is the biggest organ in the body, and it’s the one in charge of keeping the rest of your body safe from environmental dangers.
Dermatitis is by far the most common health side effect of hard water. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says dermatitis makes it difficult for people to fight off infections.
If you have dermatitis, and especially if you have additional conditions (including old age), that make you susceptible to diseases, you might be more prone to bacterial skin infections, viruses and fungal infections. These can all lead to severe complications, especially if there’s anything dangerous lurking in your bathroom like black mold.
Unfortunately, many of these complications have subtle symptoms and you may not notice the problem until it is well advanced.
According to Dr. Barbara Reed at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, “Hard water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which can dry and harden on the skin. Minerals drying on the skin can clog pores and cause flaking and itching.” However, those are very mild conditions compared to what else can happen.
Excess calcium causes over 75 percent of kidney stones (additional factors include dehydration and too much protein consumption). Numerous studies have indicated that soft water decreases the odds of kidney stones.
Soft and Comfy
You can soften water many different ways, such as a with an affordable salt-based solution. Salt-based options are popular because they’ve been around for a long time, are reliable and don’t require much maintenance.
They’re also gentle on appliances, like dishwashers, that use well water. Plus, you don’t need as much detergent or hot water with a softener, ultimately saving you money.
You can DIY, or depend on your well maintenance technician to keep your water soft.
If you’re worried about hard water, whether you live in a senior-friendly community or not, ask your well maintenance tech for a test. Call Mike Zimmerman Well Services for all your testing and well water softening needs.