The Town of Andover’s drinking water, which has a total hardness of 40 mg/L as CaCO3, is considered “soft water” according to the ranges set by the USEPA. There is no US EPA drinking water standard for hardness, only set ranges to define the degree of hardness.
By definition, hardness is the total concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Hard water is not considered a contaminant, but it does retard the cleaning action of soap and can form a scale on cooking utensils, hot water pipes, and heaters. Soft water may have corrosive tendencies; however, the pH of Andover’s drinking water is adjusted before leaving the water treatment plant making it non-corrosive and non-scale forming.