Environmental Protection

Foundation Measures Hard Water Effects on Fixtures

Expanding on a major study already under way, the Water Quality Research Foundation has retained an independent testing firm to measure how hard water might damage many common household fixtures and appliances.

In February, WQRF hired the Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit international science and technology enterprise, to examine the amount of energy savings that water softeners offer.

With its new undertaking, the firm will now test to see what effect hard water has on items such as low-flow faucets, clothes washers, and dishwashers.

Battelle announced preliminary results on instantaneous water heaters this week. It was found that, after the equivalent of only one year and three months of average household use, such devices can be 6 percent less efficient when hard water is used instead of soft water. This result follows a public report earlier this month showing that showerheads can clog quickly when run with hard water.

Tests are being conducted using independently developed and impartial methods. The final research report is scheduled for September 2009.

The Water Quality Association is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Its membership consists of both manufacturers as well as dealers/distributors of equipment. WQA promotes independent research through its support of the Water Quality Research Foundation.

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