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Drinking hard water has certain pros and cons which should be considered before determining that a water softener must be installed into any home. Hard water has been shown to be beneficial in fighting and preventing certain heart diseases in men by supplying certain minerals not found in soft water, which is a definite pro. Cons to drinking hard water are limited to the effects the water has on the plumbing system and soaps used in the home. There are no known adverse reactions to the human body caused from drinking hard water, which could be seen as a pro by some drinkers of the unsoftened beverage.
Hard water is basically nothing more than natural rainwater that has seeped through the ground and ended up in the water table. The filtering of the water through stones and mineral deposits in the ground causes it to be hard. In addition to giving the water a certain flavor that many people consider a pro, the water contains minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium that have been alleged to benefit men by protecting them from cardiovascular disease, which is also a pro. Other studies have shown that drinking hard water rich in calcium and magnesium can often provide a full daily dose of the minerals into the drinkers' diet.
Cons to drinking hard water are typically geared towards the plumbing system, with the scale buildup of minerals inside of the pipes being the biggest con. Some studies have suggested a slight correlation with drinking hard water and eczema in children, which is a con. For some people, the taste of drinking hard water can be considered a con, depending on the degree of hardness of the water. In some areas, the water also may appear rust-colored; the odd color is also a con as it is usually unappealing for those who are drinking the water for the first time.
With the added benefits of minerals in hard water, it is typically recommended that a hard drinking water source be provided when installing a water softener system. There is, however one con to drinking hard water that affects many drinkers: smell. Some hard water has a strong mineral smell that can range from an earthy scent to a very strong sulfur smell. This smell is a common con to most drinkers and is one of the main reasons that many homeowners choose to install a water-softening system.