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Hard Water Information

Since 1775, the Royal Spring has been the source of drinking water for Georgetown. Before emerging at the Royal Spring, the water flows underground through limestone layers, where it becomes saturated with calcium and magnesium ions from the limestone. As a result, water from the Royal Spring is considered “extremely hard” and over time will leave hard water buildup on household surfaces.

GMWSS can successfully remove contaminants and treat water quality issues in water from the Royal Spring before they are a nuisance to our customers, except for hard water. This is because of the large quantity of calcium and magnesium ions in the water and the complex chemistry of either removing or sequestering these ions. The technology to lower hardness during drinking water production of several million gallons per day is currently available, but the cost to purchase and maintain such a system would force all of our customers to endure a rate hike that would be four to five times higher than the current monthly bill.

Homeowners can use over the counter products to treat hard water buildup, such as Jet Dry or CLR. Or homeowners can install a home softening system to eliminate the issues of hard water. But these units are expensive to purchase and require the continuous purchase of rock salt to maintain function, let alone maintenance costs. As an alternative to expensive treatment and chemical additives, GMWSS would like to offer our customers the following techniques and tips to remove hard water buildup in the home:

Hard Water Buildup on Surfaces

White Vinegar and a Toothbrush – You can use straight white vinegar to loosen and remove the hard water buildup. Pour white vinegar directly on the surface to be cleaned and let set for a minimum of ten minutes, then rinse. On some surfaces, such as tiles, you can use either a toothbrush or any stiff bristle brush and vinegar to soften and remove the hard water buildup.

If possible, remove shower heads and aerators from faucets, then soak in vinegar until hard water deposit is removed.

Tips for Removing Hard Water Buildup in Appliances

Coffee Makers and Tea Pots - You can pour vinegar directly into your coffee maker water reservoir, and then operate the coffee maker. The hot vinegar will begin to remove the hard water deposits almost immediately. Repeat this process until calcium deposits are no longer found in the coffee carafe. You can pour two cups of vinegar into the tea kettle, bring to a boil and the let simmer for approximately ten minutes. Pour out the vinegar and rinse with water.

Dishwashers and Washing Machines – To clean the interior of your dishwasher and the internal plumbing, add four cups of vinegar to the interior of the dishwasher and then run a short cycle. For your washing machine, pour two cups of vinegar into the bleach dispenser and run the washing machine on a small load setting.

Hot Water Heater
The following steps to drain and flush a hot water tank apply to both an electric and gas models:

  1. Turn off the water supply to the heater.

  2.  For electric models, turn off the power to the hot water heater at the main circuit breaker or fuse box. For gas models, turn the valve off on the gas supply line to the heater.

  3.  Attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the hot water heater. Either run the hose outside or to a floor drain.

  4.  Turn ON a hot water faucet anywhere in your house to allow air pressure to help drain water from the tank.

  5. Open the drain valve on the heater and flush the heater tank until the water runs clear.

  6. Close the drain valve and turn on the water supply to the hot water tank while leaving the hot water faucet open. When water starts coming out of the faucet, the hot water tank is full.

  7.  For electric models, turn on the power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. For gas models, turn on the gas supply and follow manufacturer’s instructions to relight the hot water heater.

 

 

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