Monday, January 4, 2010

Is Richmond water hard or soft?

Richmond's water hardness is slightly hard.

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."

The water produced by the city of Richmond is considered "slightly hard" to "moderately hard." Hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs.

But hard water makes it more difficult to wash your hair. Each hair shaft is made up of little scales, like roof shingles, and hard water makes the scales stand up. Your hair feels rough and tangly afterward, so you use a cream rinse to soften it. Since rainwater is soft, mineral-free water, try collecting it for a different hair-washing experience and then compare. How is it different? Can you notice?
Posted by Mariane Jorgenson


  1. Interesting... Are consumers content with this or is anyone requesting something be done to modify the relative 'hardness' factor?


  2. Hardness is considered an aesthetic standard, not a health standard, so moderately hard water would not need softening.

  3. yes, the water here has tore me up. Just moved into the city a couple months ago from Spotsylvania county . Which is where I resided for my whole like . in the couple months I have been here I have unsightly scares in places no one should have them. My skin is so ruff and dry I look like I am turning into some weird creature. hair is knotty and frizzy all the time and is starting to just break off. I had no idea hard water could be so harsh on ones skins . To the point that people look at me and see read boils in private place and on breasts. At a recent hospital stay they asked me if I skin pop recreational drugs. I had never even heard of skin popping and was shocked that they wrote me off as a drug user and even sent how recovery and help for drug abuse. No pee sample was requested because I would have given in to them. I at that point didn't know what was going on and its scary to see boils all over . I just figured out what and why the problem is. I have to start doing something or fixing the issue because its making me headiest looking. My fiancé and a lot of friends that are locals and just get a tad bit of dry skin. Maybe demographics or where you grew up have a factor as to what your skin can handle? any one with advise on products to help the dry skin and hair would be very useful

  4. Showerhead filters enhance pH balance and filter out unwanted chemicals. You can install a showerhead with the filter built in. Chelating shampoos remove mineral buildup in hair. Look for words like "clarifying," "chelating" or "neutralizing" on the shampoo label and the ingredient EDTA. Use them once a week because they strip your hair, and follow up with an intense moisturizing conditioner. Rinse your hair with 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 quart distilled water after you shampoo and rinse. Leave it on for a minute and then rinse with cold water. Finish with a spray of argan oil. Take shorter showers. Use bottled or filtered water to wash your face. Use less soap and more lotion.

    1. The 2014 Richmond VA Drinking Water Quality Report states that Richmond's water has a hardness of 86 ppm. I am wondering two things. What is the ratio of Calcium to Magnesium in that statistic (if it varies, is there still a ball park ratio?), and could one expect this hardness ppm to go up to say 150-200 ppm in an old building with old plumbing? How would the ratio Ca to Mg ratio change?

    2. The calcium in the City of Richmond’s water runs at about 23 mg/L and the magnesium is about 4.0 mg/L. That makes the ratio not quite 6:1.

      Commenting on premise plumbing is difficult due to the unknowns of how the system [pipes, valves, water heater, etc.] is constructed and maintained. However, because the City maintains a process that inhibits metals from leaching into the drinking water, it would be unlikely that calcium or magnesium are leaching out of your pipes causing the hardness to change.

  5. I need to filter it too as I have a pet that if they get too much calcium, they can develop kidney stones.
    So for my pets it poses a slight health problem