Coverage of water hardness in Ireland
Why does our water get hard?
Rainwater is naturally soft. It only becomes hard if it percultes through chalk and limestone and dissolves some of the minerals. So the kind of water you have depends on the surrounding geology and the source of your water supply - whether it is river or ground water. Most of Ireland has hard water.
Hard water causes problems mainly because it forms scale in pipework and, particularly, hot water tanks and machinery. It may also be a problem where it causes the excessive use of detergents.
Scale also collects in your water heating system with symptoms such as sludge, noisy radiators, reduced flow and efficiency. Eventually your entire heating system will have to be replaced as it will become so inefficient. The same goes for appliances such as kettles, showers and washing machines. Hard water is actially costing you hard-earned money!
Hardness salts can be removed by "softening", a well-proven and reliable technology. The water is passed through an ion-exchange bed which removes the calcium by exchanging it for Sodium (which doesn't cause scale).
This is a relatively cheap process as the sodium is provided by common salt.