All of Florida gets its water from aquifers. These aquifers are spread across the peninsula and are a very reliable natural water source. The largest of these is the Floridan aquifer, which supplies water to as many as 10 million people! The main water source of Southwestern Florida is the Biscayne Aquifer. This aquifer rests 50–20ft below the ground under parts of Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach. However, a lot of people are troubled by the ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’ of the water they receive from these aquifers. So let’s talk about soft and hard water.

PPM Levels

Water is considered hard when it contains a high proportion of dissolved calcium and magnesium compounds, as well as certain metallic elements. This concentration is denoted by parts per million (PPM). PPM levels matter, since they affect the taste, odor, and usability of water. The compounds and particles in hard water can also affect basic functions of the water like washing and cleaning. More soap and shampoo are required as a result, leading to long-term water wastage. On the other hand, soft water is easy on the digestive system and good for your skin and hair health. It also tastes and smells pleasant.

State Water Treatment

Water hardness levels vary across Florida. Water from northwestern aquifers has hardness levels of less than 180 PPM, whereas hardness levels in water from central and southern areas can reach 1900 PPM. Hardness levels can vary from area to area—even if the water source is the same—because of local conditions like depth levels. County water authorities have to treat water in order to meet federal and state standards. The water is treated for hardness, color, and infectants. These treatments usually reduce hardness levels down to 85 PPM. And while this PPM level is an improvement, it’s still not good enough. The water will still be tough on sensitive hair and skin and you’ll need a lot of soap/detergent while doing laundry.

What Can You Do?

To mitigate the issue, you can use a water softener. Water softeners bring down the PPM level to real soft levels and make the water smell and taste better, as well as making it more usable for common tasks. It’s a one-time investment that pays off over the years. Water with low PPM is good for your water heating system as well. Your water heater will perform at optimum levels with soft water and will also require lesser maintenance and repair over its useful life.

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