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Water Hardness in Maine Cities

Water hardness, which indicates the concentration of dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium in a water supply, can fluctuate significantly across the geographically varied state of Maine. Maine, located in the New England region of the U.S., is known for its rocky coastline, rolling mountains, dense forests, and beautiful water bodies, ranging from streams and rivers to lakes and coastal waters.

In Maine, the water hardness varies widely due to its geological diversity. Much of Maine’s geological foundation is composed of ancient, hard bedrock, such as granite, which tends to produce softer water. This is because granite is less prone to releasing minerals into the water. As a consequence, areas with significant granite bedrock, particularly in the interior and parts of the coast, may exhibit naturally soft water characteristics.

However, in other parts of the state, such as regions where there has historically been more sedimentary rock and glacial deposits, the water can be harder. In these areas, the presence of minerals that dissolve into the water from the surrounding soils and rock types can increase water hardness. Calcium and magnesium, the primary contributors to water hardness, may seep into the groundwater, influencing the mineral content of wells and local water supplies.

The variations in water hardness across Maine impact both the taste of the water as well as the efficacy of soaps and detergents, which need to work harder to create suds in harder water. Additionally, the presence of harder water can have implications for the maintenance of plumbing, appliances, and industrial equipment. Facing this patchwork of water properties across the state, Maine residents and municipalities may need to consider tailored water treatment solutions and engage in regular monitoring to ensure water quality and manage the effects of water hardness.

The cities outlined in this dataset showcase a range of hardness levels in their water supplies for the state of Maine, as measured in Parts Per Million (ppm) and Grains Per Gallon (gpg). Cities like Augusta stand out with high hardness levels, reaching 150 ppm, 8.76 gpg. Conversely, cities such as Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook have considerably lower levels, all at 8.0 ppm, 0.47 gpg, and Rockland is even lower at 5.7 ppm, 0.33 gpg. However, there are several cities, like Lewiston, Bangor, and Brewer, among others, where data on water hardness levels has not been provided.

CityHardness ppm (mg/L)Hardness gpgInformation SourceNotes
Portland8.00.5Link
Lewistonn/an/aLink
Bangorn/an/aLink
South Portland8.00.5LinkPer public works site, uses Portland Water District for water
Auburnn/an/aLink
Biddeford14.50.8Link
Sanfordn/an/aLink
Saco14.50.8Link
Westbrook8.00.5LinkPer map, entire town is covered by Portland Water District
Augusta150.08.8Link
Waterville29.01.7LinkKennebec
Brewern/an/aLink
Bathn/an/aLink
Presque Islen/an/aLinkDoesn’t look like they have it online
Ellsworthn/an/aLink
Old Townn/an/aLink
Cariboun/an/aLinkMentions the water has “some hardness” but doesn’t quantify
Rockland5.70.3Link
Belfast68.04.0Link
Gardinern/an/aLinkMix of well water and purchased water form Hallowell
Calaisn/an/aLink
Hallowelln/an/aLink
Eastportn/an/aLinkDoesn’t have CCR on their water district website, the city website, nor the Rural Maine Water website
Maine cities by population and their reported water hardness
ppm = Parts Per Million
mg/L = Milligrams Per Liter
gpg = Grains Per Gallon

Hard water can cause issues such as mineral buildup in plumbing and appliances, reduce the efficacy of soaps and detergents, and affect the taste of the water. A tried and true solution is the use of a water softener. A water softener, like the ones from DROP, could be a worthwhile investment.

These devices work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions that cause hardness with sodium ions, resulting in softer water. With innovative features, easy installation, and efficient operation, DROP smart water softeners provide a solution to hard water issues, extending the lifespan of appliances, improving water taste, enhancing soap effectiveness, reducing scale build-up, and increasing the overall water efficiency in your home.

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