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Water Hardness in Rhode Island Cities

Water hardness, determined by the level of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium, exhibits variability throughout the small but geographically diverse state of Rhode Island. As the smallest state in the U.S., located in the New England region, Rhode Island is characterized by its coastal lowlands and rolling hills, which play a role in the state’s water characteristics.

In Rhode Island, the water’s hardness can vary due to differences in geological formations and water sources. The state’s bedrock is predominantly composed of metamorphic and igneous rocks, such as schist, gneiss, and granite. These types of rocks typically impart fewer minerals into the water, often resulting in softer water in areas where such bedrock is prevalent, like in parts of the rural western region of Rhode Island.

However, due to historical glaciation and the presence of marine sediments found along Rhode Island’s extensive coastline, certain areas can have harder water. Deposits of sedimentary materials, and pockets of carbonate or other soluble rocks in some coastal and lowland regions, may contribute higher levels of dissolved minerals to groundwater and local water supplies, thus increasing water hardness.

Rhode Island’s variability in water hardness can affect not only the taste of the water but also the efficiency with which soaps and detergents operate. Furthermore, hard water may lead to the buildup of scale in pipes and household appliances such as water heaters and boilers. Given the state’s compact size and the mosaic of water qualities, homeowners, businesses, and public utilities in Rhode Island may need to consider appropriate water treatment solutions and engage in regular water quality monitoring to address and mitigate the challenges posed by water hardness.

The municipalities mentioned in this dataset do not provide specific hardness levels for their water supplies in Rhode Island. Cities such as Providence, Warwick, and Cranston, among others, have not disclosed any data concerning the hardness of their water, which is typically measured in Parts Per Million (ppm) or Grains Per Gallon (gpg). It is noted that some of these cities, including Warwick and Cranston, predominantly purchase their water from Providence, while Central Falls is served by Pawtucket. Nonetheless, the precise hardness measurements for these areas are not available.

CityHardness ppm (mg/L)Hardness gpgInformation SourceNotes
Providencen/an/aLink
Warwickn/an/aLinkSuper low quality scan, but looks like they’re purchasing from Providence water
Cranstonn/an/aLinkMostly purchases from Providence
Pawtucketn/an/aLink
East Providencen/an/aLink
Woonsocketn/an/aLink
Newportn/an/aLink
Central Fallsn/an/aLinkServed by Pawtucket
Rhode Island 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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