What is the hardness of Spanish water, and is hard water bad?

What is the hardness of Spanish water, and is hard water bad?

What is the hardness of Spanish water? What is the hardest or softest water? Why is there hard water? Is hard water bad for your health? Why does hard water usually taste bad? How does the hardness of water affect limescale?

When we turn on the tap, what happens is not magic. The water comes from somewhere. The quality and taste of tap water depends on that "somewhere" and includes the water purification source. In theory, water purification plants can completely change the content of water. The problem is that turning hard water into soft water is expensive, harmful to the environment and also wastes healthy minerals.

We have collected water hardness data from more than 1000 Spanish and European locations and make it available to the public free of charge. 


Why is water hardness classified as "hard"?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. Typically, this is because the water passes through deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum that are mainly made up of carbonates, bicarbonates and sulphates of calcium and magnesium. These are essential minerals for humans, so anyone with hard tap water can feel lucky. But as you will see below, not all characteristics of hard water are beneficial.

How is water hardness measured?

Seawater is considered to be very hard. The hardness of seawater is between 5000-7000 ppm of CaCO3 / L. In contrast, the hardness of Spanish tap water ranges from 15 to 1000 ppm of CaCO3 / L.

What are the negative aspects of hard water?

Water with high levels of hardness can make hand hygiene difficult because it has the ability to prevent soap lather from forming. In addition, very hard water can have a salty taste. Hard water can cause other problems, such as giving tea an unusual taste or causing layers of mineral scale to build up on utensils that are in contact with hot water or in pipes.

Another problem that is rarely reported is that hard water combined with chlorine makes the water taste bad. This is why tap water in the Spanish coastal area, such as Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Murcia and Malaga, tastes so bad.

Luckily, this problem is easily solved with a good quality water filter such as TAPP, as it can remove the limescale.

The hardest water in Spain

Which Spanish town has reported the hardest water according to the water companies? We have consulted our database and this is the top 3:

Jaén 600
Ciudad Real 600
Barcelona 580
Note: Units are mg CaNO3/L or ppm CaNO3 and water hardness varies throughout the year. A difference of 300 ppm CaNO3 can occur between the highest and the lowest peak of the measurements.

The softest water in Spain

This question is a little more difficult to determine, because many companies simply state that water below 50 ppm CaNO3/L is soft and do not provide further details. Nevertheless, this is the top 3 softest water we have found in our study:

Avila 50
Madrid 50
Segovia 50
Note: Units are mg CaNO3/L or ppm CaNO3 and water hardness varies throughout the year, so it may occasionally increase.

Water hardness and limescale

One of the main problems with hard water is that it usually generates limescale. Limescale is the whitish layer that builds up in coffee machines, kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, glasses, around the tap and many other utensils. Scientifically, it can be stated that limescale does not present the slightest danger in terms of health, but it is also true that it is very annoying. Despite the scientific certainty available, myths abound linking hard water and limescale to the formation of kidney stones and other health problems.

To get rid of limescale in tap water, use a special water filter such as the TAPP filter to break it down and remove it.

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