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A bathtub faucet with built-up calcification from hard water in Southern Arizona.

Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.

Hard drinking water may have moderate health benefits, but can pose serious problems in industrial settings, where water hardness is monitored to avoid costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water. In domestic settings, hard water is often indicated by a lack of suds formation when soap is agitated in water, and by the formation of limescale in kettles and water heaters.<ref name="who">World Health Organization Hardness in Drinking-Water, 2003</ref> Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water's adverse effects.


Hard water sections
Intro  Sources of hardness  Effects of hard water   Measurement    Regional information    See also   References  External links  

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