How do I know if my water is and why is it hard?

Many industrial and domestic water users are concerned about the hardness of their water. Hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing, and contributes to scaling in boilers and industrial equipment. Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium, and by a variety of other metals. Water is an excellent solvent and readily dissolves minerals it comes in contact with. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water “hard.”

Dover Townships primary source of water supply is wells.

The hardness of water is referred to by three types of measurements: grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/L), or parts per million (ppm). Typically, the water produced by Dover Township Water is considered “moderately hard”. The table below is provided as a reference.



Grains Per Gallon Milligrams Per Liter (mg/L)or Parts Per Million (ppm) Classification
less than 1.0 less than 17.1 Soft
1.0 – 3.5 17.1 – 60 Slightly Hard
3.5 – 7.0 60 – 120   Dover Twp. Moderately Hard
7.0 – 10.5 120 – 180 Hard
over 10.5 over 180 Very Hard


Hard drinking water is generally not harmful to one’s health, 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. Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water’s adverse effects.

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