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Water is safe to drink - just harder

15 Feb 2017

Water is safe to drink - just harder

Water hardness levels have increased since the city’s supply was supplemented with water from Waipaoa River.

“The water is absolutely safe to drink,” says water utilities manager Neville West “but you may have noticed a difference in taste and it does have some effects around the home people should be aware of.”

“Water supplied from Waingake is considered soft, while the river water is hard.

“The major difference between hard and soft water is that hard water contains more calcium and minerals.

“This makes it difficult to lather-up soap and the minerals form a residue making it harder to rinse things.

“This includes your hair, dishes and glassware that may have a white chalky scale left behind with hard water.

“A long-term effect is it can cause scale to develop on the insides of pipe work.”

The elevated hardness also carries effects for commercial users particularly those operating boilers.

Staff are controlling the hardness levels by running a blend from Waingake to maintain a level of around 150mg/l or under, which is 50mg/l below the guideline value of the NZ Drinking Water Standards.

“We’re also looking at solutions for softening the water if the outlook for running the Waipaoa plant continues for an extended period of time,” says Mr West.

If you notice dingy looking clothes, dishes with spots and residue or your hair feels sticky and dull, here’s some home hard water remedies to try:

  • place a small dish filled with lemon juice, vinegar or baking soda on the top rack of the dishwasher during a cycle.
  • descale your electric kettle by boiling some white vinegar.
  • for your hair - use a rinse of one table spoon vinegar or lemon juice to three parts water.
  • some laundry detergents are better for hard water or have different instructions for how much you should use. Check the label on your powder or detergent.
  • reduce the temperature of your hot water cylinder can reduce the amount of mineral build up in pipes.

Level 2 water restrictions remain in place for the city, that means no sprinklers and keep hand held hosing to a minimum.

We encourage the community to conserve water use as much as possible. Use our water saving tips for around the home.

For more information on hard and soft water

Water saving tips 

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