The purpose of this experiment is to explore the hardness of the water on campus. Hard water has been a
problem for hundreds of years. One of the earliest references to the hardness or softness of water is in
Hippocrates discourse on water quality in Fifth century B.C.
the household and in the industrial world. One of the largest problems with hard water is that it tends to
leave a residue when it evaporates. Aside from being aesthetically unpleasing to look at, the build up of
hard water residue can result in the clogging of valves, drains and piping. This build up is merely the
accumulation of the minerals dissolved in natural water and is commonly called scale.
Other than clogging plumbing, the build up of scale poses a large problem in the industrial world. Many
things that are heated are often cooled by water running thru piping.
The build up of scale in these pipes
can greatly reduce the amount of heat the cooling unit can draw away from the source it is trying to heat.
This poses a potentially dangerous situation. The build up of excess heat can do a lot of damage; boilers
can explode, containers can melt etc. On the flip side of the coin, a build up of scale on an object being
heated, a kettle for example, can greatly reduce the heat efficiency of the kettle. Because of this, it takes
much more energy to heat the kettle to the necessary temperature. In the industrial world, this could
amount to large sums of money being thrown into wasted heat.
In addition to clogging plumbing and reducing heating efficiency, the build up of hard water also
adversely affects the efficiency of many soaps and cleansers. The...