The Harmful Effects of Hard Water

If this was a tale involving the good and bad guys of water hardness; the real culprits would be the compounds of calcium and magnesium carbonates in the water. Their presence in high concentrations can have damaging effects on machinery, equipment, and appliances in industrial and commercial applications. When hard water is heated, calcium and magnesium carbonate deposits form along exposed surfaces, which lead to clogging of pipes or coating of heating elements. The result is a decreased life span of machinery and equipment, increased operational costs as a result of insulation effects of scale and reduction in pipe bore, requiring more energy to pump water through the network.

If this was a tale involving the good and bad guys of water hardness; the real culprits would be the compounds of calcium and magnesium carbonates in the water. Their presence in high concentrations can have damaging effects on machinery, equipment, and appliances in industrial and commercial applications. 

When hard water is heated, calcium and magnesium carbonate deposits form along exposed surfaces, which lead to clogging of pipes or coating of heating elements. The result is a decreased life span of machinery and equipment, increased operational costs as a result of insulation effects of scale and reduction in pipe bore, requiring more energy to pump water through the network.

Here’s more on the harmful effects of hard water and how we can help:

Reduces life expectancy of equipment

Hard water is no friend of equipment and steel pipes. It wreaks havoc in metal pipes through scaling and mineral deposition that can result in pipes bursting and subsequently damaged infrastructure. In laundries, hard water results in poor bubble formation and reduces the lifespan of fabrics and clothing. The use of industrial water softeners saves the day by ensuring water is non-scaling, the life expectancy of equipment is increased and maintenance costs are decreased.

Reduces life expectancy of equipment​

Increases energy costs

When it comes to water needed for industrial use, many processes are more efficient when the water is soft. Hard water can impair the functionality of machines like water heaters causing processes to take much longer and lead equipment to use a lot more power. 

When it comes to heat exchangers, there are increased costs due to the insulation effect of scaling, and pumping through restricted pipes. In chemical dosing systems, hard water causes increased chemical consumption. 

Industrial water softeners guarantee non-scaling water which enables equipment to function at their most efficient and reduces energy costs.

Increases Energy Costs

Higher water bills

Thanks to calcium and magnesium building up inside pipes, the plumbing system is put under strain to allow passageway of water through. Leaks and cracked pipes soon follow this overworking and can result in litres of water loss over a year or more, resulting in higher water bills.

It decreases the quality of drinking water

Whether at a factory, hospital, mine or manufacturing plant; non-scaling water for operations and drinking water is essential and often required in large daily quantities. An industrial water softener can assist with this large demand to soften water and ensure it is suitable for its application. This can save the business extra costs on buying drinking water and minimise the effects of hard water in their processes.

How we treat hard water

When it comes to water softening, we remove calcium, magnesium, and certain other metal cations from hard water through ion exchange ( Propelled by dissolved sodium chloride salt or brine). Softer water extends the plumbing lifetime of pipe and fittings through scale build-up reduction or elimination and reduces soap usage as soap isn’t wasted by bonding with calcium ions.

Hard Water Case Study: Meat Processing Facility - Botswana

Problem to be solved:

The water source available to the client had hardness in excess of 300 mg/L. The water is used in meat processing and the hardness affected both the quality of the end product, as well as the water circuit infrastructure.

How we solved it:

BWT Africa installed a duplex softening system, large enough to meet the client’s production needs.

Benefits to Client’s Business:

Scaling up of the water system was eliminated and the final meat product didn’t contain high levels of calcium and magnesium.

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