Water Hardness and Alkalinity

Water Hardness

Total Water Hardness, or General Hardness (GH), which is measured by most water test kits, consists of Temporary Hardness plus Permament Hardness.

Temporary Hardness, also known as Carbonate Hardness (KH) is a measure of the bicarbonates precipitated upon boiling, and consists mostly of Calcium and Magnesium salts. This is the “scale” that accumulates inside a teakettle or pot. It is Carbonate Hardness (KH) which determines the pH buffering capacity of water

Permanent Hardness refers to sulphate and chloride salts, which do not precipitate upon boiling.

To confuse the issue farther, there are at least four different scales of hardness in general use: US, Clark (UK), German (dH), and French (fH). The table which accompanies this article offers a comparison among them. All values are calculated in equivalent CaCo3 in milligrams per liter.

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