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Brown water continues to show up in areas around the village.

New setting for water softeners

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With the Village of Yellow Springs’ new $7.2 million water plant now online, residents should adjust their water softeners to a new setting — 15 grains per gallon.

Because the new plant partially softens the water, which is naturally high in dissolved minerals or “hardness,” residents and businesses no longer have to soften their water as much, according to Village Water and Wastewater Superintendent Brad Ault this week. Before the new plant, the Village recommended a water softener setting of 30 grains per gallon.

High levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium from the underground limestone and dolomite formations that are the groundwater source of municipal wells are the culprits behind local water hardness. There is some evidence drinking hard water may be healthier, according to a 2014 News article.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of the country has hard water at its taps. But Yellow Springs water may be among the hardest water in the country. Locally, water hardness is measured at 471 milligrams per liter, twice as high as the U.S. average and more than twice what the USGS considers “very hard” (180 mg/l), according to a 2012 News series on water. 

From the USGS: Hardness is a property of water that is not a health concern, but it can be a nuisance. Hard water can cause mineral buildup in plumbing, fixtures, and water heaters, and poor performance of soaps and detergents. Hard water was prevalent in the east-central and western United States, reflecting the distribution of carbonate aquifers and aquifers with relatively high concentrations of dissolved solids. (Photo from

In a 2011 News survey on local water, two-thirds of respondents said they fight local hard water with a water softener, which they must maintain by constantly adding salt. When not treated with a home softener, local water can clog pipes, cake in hot water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, cloud dishes and form scum on bathtubs and showers. Adjusted to the new setting, locals will not have to add as much salt to their water softeners as they used to.

See a full story on the new water plant in the January 25 issue of the News.

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2 Responses to “New setting for water softeners”

  1. Megan Bachman says:

    Yes Kathy! Thanks for the heads up. I’ve made the change.

  2. Kathy says:

    Is the word “not” missing from the last paragraph?

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