Water Hardness Test Kit

Determine your water hardness easily with our simple to use BWT free hard water test kit
water hardness test kit home kid water hardness test kit home

Hard and Soft Water

Test your water

The facts about hard and soft water

Most of the country lives with hard water and suffers from its effects daily, but there is still a surprising number of us who are not aware of the differences between hard and soft water and the impact they can have on our daily lives.

Hard water has a higher concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium than that of soft water.

water hardness test
water hardness test

Consumer research about hard water

One fifth of UK adults surveyed had no idea
if they lived in a hard water area or not


As experts in water, BWT conducted some consumer research to lift the lid on the real­i­ties of living with hard water and to bring you some need-​to-​know facts.

Firstly, if you live in Ipswich you’re the unlucky ones. Local water authority data shows the Suffolk town has harder water than any other in the UK. Hard water is measured by the quan­ti­ties of calcium carbonate, a key mineral compo­nent of hard water and is stated in Parts Per Million (ppm) or as the same value in Milligrams per Litre mg/l.

  • Ipswich has 423 milligrams per litre of calcium carbonate, 44 milligrams more than Colch­ester, the second highest hard water town
  • The top five hard water towns include Luton (360 mg/l), Norwich (359 mg/l) and Watford (358 mg/l)

Our find­ings showed one third of Brits have expe­ri­enced limescale damage to their home appli­ances and features, such as showers, washing machines, taps and pipes. Kettles come off worst with 80% of us having noticed the effect of water on this kitchen essen­tial.

Inter­est­ingly, more than a quarter believe their mains water has had a detri­mental impact on their skin, 28% thinks its effecting their hair and 14% thinks it is ageing their skin, making it look older.

These impacts are felt so strongly that a fifth of us buy prod­ucts, such as creams and lotions, espe­cially to coun­teract the effect of hard water on our skin and hair, which costs an average of £218.76 per year.

We use water a lot. In fact, in the UK we:

  • will boil the kettle 82,095 times during the average adult life­time, and use the washing machine 5,224 times
  • have an average of 15,458 showers and 3,567 baths during our adult years
But this usage takes its toll if you live in a hard water area as our research also found limescale damage on appli­ances cost an average of £311.87 in repairs in the last five years.

Tellingly, the research of 2,000 UK adults high­lighted that one fifth have no idea if they live in a hard water area or not.

*Source: The research was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BWT surveying 2,000 UK residents. Carried out online August 2017. Calcium Carbonate levels for postcode towns was gathered via local water authority websites 8th – 14th August 2017

water hardness test
water hardness test

Top 20 hard water areas in the UK


  Place:  Calcium carbonate levels ppm or mg/l:
1  Ipswich  423
2  Colch­ester  379
3  Luton  360
4  Norwich  359
5  Watford  358
6  Steve­nage  355
7  Swindon  343
8  Harrow  335
9  Hemel Hemp­stead  333
10  St Albans  323
11  Reading  323
12  Cambridge  322
13  Dart­ford  315
14  Hull  313
15  Bath  312
16  Bromley  311
17  Milton Keynes  309
18  Canter­bury  308
19  Slough  303
20  Portsmouth  296

10 Facts about Hard Water

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hard Water
  1. Ipswich has the highest levels of calcium carbonate in its water
  2. More deter­gent and condi­tioner is needed to get your clothes clean and soft
  3. House­hold appli­ances will become damaged and less effi­cient as scale deposits build up from the water
  4. It can damage hair colour and cause dye to fade more quickly
  5. Soap scum can build up on your skin, blocking your pores and making mois­turisers less effec­tive
  6. Hard water may make your skin age faster and look older than it is; the minerals in hard water can strip mois­ture from your skin whilst preventing the natural oils in your body from doing their job
  7. Elements in hard water such as iron and calcium, can form free radi­cals that may damage healthy skin cells and cause a break­down of collagen, leading to fine lines and wrin­kles
  8. Even a 1.6mm coating of limescale on a heating element in the heating system can make it up to 12 per cent less effec­tive
  9. More cleaners are needed to remove scale and water stains left behind by hard water. Over time these cleaners damage glass and chrome
  10.  Hard water can make your shower less powerful as it clogs up the shower head with mineral deposits
water hardness test
water hardness test

Visit your local website

Stay on this website