Code Area name Water hardness
AB Aberdeen Soft to moderately soft
BA Bath Hard to very hard
B Birmingham Soft to moderately soft or medium to moderately hard or hard to very hard
BB Blackburn Soft to moderately soft
FY Blackpool Soft to moderately soft
BL Bolton Soft to moderately soft
BH Bournemouth Hard to very hard
BD Bradford Soft to moderately soft
BN Brighton Hard to very hard
BS Bristol Hard to very hard
BR Bromley Hard to very hard
CB Cambridge Hard to very hard
CT Canterbury Hard to very hard
CF Cardiff Soft to moderately soft
CA Carlisle Soft to moderately soft or hard to very hard
CM Chelmsford Hard to very hard
CH Chester Soft to moderately soft or hard to very hard
TS Cleveland [Teesside] Soft to moderately soft
CO Colchester Hard to very hard
CV Coventry Hard to very hard
CW Crewe Soft to moderately soft
CR Croydon Hard to very hard
DL Darlington Soft to moderately soft
DA Dartford Hard to very hard
DE Derby Soft to moderately soft or hard to very hard
DN Doncaster Hard to very hard
DT Dorchester Hard to very hard
DY Dudley Medium to moderately hard
DG Dumfries & Galloway Soft to moderately soft
DD Dundee Soft to moderately soft
DH Durham Soft to moderately soft
EH Edinburgh Soft to moderately soft
EN Enfield Hard to very hard
EX Exeter Soft to moderately soft
FK Falkirk & Stirling Soft to moderately soft
TD Galashiels Soft to moderately soft
G Glasgow Soft to moderately soft
GL Gloucester Medium to moderately hard
GU Guildford Hard to very hard
HX Halifax Soft to moderately soft
HG Harrogate Soft to moderately soft
HA Harrow Hard to very hard
HP Hemel Hempstead Hard to very hard
HR Hereford Medium to moderately hard
HD Huddersfield Soft to moderately soft
HU Hull Hard to very hard
IG Ilford Hard to very hard
IV Inverness Soft to moderately soft
IP Ipswich Hard to very hard
KA Kilmarnock Soft to moderately soft
KT Kingston upon Thames Hard to very hard
KY Kirkcaldy Soft to moderately soft
KW Kirkwall Soft to moderately soft
LA Lancaster Soft to moderately soft
LS Leeds Soft to moderately soft or hard to very hard
LE Leicester Hard to very hard
LN Lincoln Hard to very hard
L Liverpool Soft to moderately soft
LD Llandrindod Wells Medium to moderately hard
LL Llandudno Medium to moderately hard
E London E Hard to very hard
EC London EC Hard to very hard
N London N Hard to very hard
NW London NW Hard to very hard
SE London SE Hard to very hard
SW London SW Hard to very hard
W London W Hard to very hard
WC London WC Hard to very hard
LU Luton Hard to very hard
M Manchester Soft to moderately soft
ME Medway/Rochester Hard to very hard
MK Milton Keynes Hard to very hard
ML Motherwell Soft to moderately soft
NE Newcastle upon Tyne Hard to very hard
NP Newport Medium to moderately hard
NN Northampton Hard to very hard
BT Northern Ireland Soft to moderately soft
NR Norwich Hard to very hard
NG Nottingham Hard to very hard
OL Oldham Soft to moderately soft
OX Oxford Hard to very hard
PA Paisley Soft to moderately soft
PH Perth Soft to moderately soft
PE Peterborough Hard to very hard
PL Plymouth Soft to moderately soft
PO Portsmouth Hard to very hard
PR Preston Soft to moderately soft
RG Reading Hard to very hard
RH Redhill Medium to moderately hard
RM Romford Hard to very hard
SP Salisbury Hard to very hard
S Sheffield Hard to very hard
SY Shrewsbury Medium to moderately hard
SL Slough Hard to very hard
UB Southall Uxbridge Hard to very hard
SO Southampton Hard to very hard
SS Southend-on-Sea Hard to very hard
AL St Albans Hard to very hard
SG Stevenage Hard to very hard
SK Stockport Soft to moderately soft
ST Stoke-on-Trent Hard to very hard
SR Sunderland Hard to very hard
SM Sutton Hard to very hard
SA Swansea Soft to moderately soft
SN Swindon Hard to very hard
TA Taunton Medium to moderately hard
TF Telford Hard to very hard
TN Tonbridge Hard to very hard
TQ Torquay Soft to moderately soft
TR Truro Soft to moderately soft
TW Twickenham Hard to very hard
WF Wakefield Hard to very hard
WS Walsall Medium to moderately hard
WA Warrington Soft to moderately soft
WD Watford Hard to very hard
WN Wigan Soft to moderately soft
WV Wolverhampton Hard to very hard
WR Worcester Medium to moderately hard
YO York Hard to very hard
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Water hardness is a natural feature and results from the geology of the region, being made up from limestone. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium dissolve into the water as it moves round the ground. This guide should be taken as advisory and if your water hardness search results demonstrate Hard to Very Hard water or Medium to moderately Hard water then contact your local expert shown on the following page for advice Regional Sales team or check out our system efficiency brochure by clicking this link. 

Water hardness is a way of defining what is commonly known as hard water or soft water. Hard water is water with a high mineral content that is created by water percolating through mineral formations such as limestone.

  • Chemical ions such as bicarbonates, carbonates, as well as calcium can be found in hard water.
  • Iron oxides or iron carbonates may be present in hard water, resulting in a reddish-brown appearance of the deposits.
  • Hard water can be identified at home by the absence of froth when soap is stirred in water, or by the growth of limescale deposits on kettles as well as water heaters, boilers or heat pumps.

Hard water is created by rainwater passing through beds of rocks with a low concentration of multivalent ions. As a result, the degree of hardness varies depending on the complexity of a location’s geology. There are two forms of water hardness: permanent water hardness as well as transient water hardness.

  • Permanent water hardness is caused by multivalent cations (usually with charge +2) such as calcium.
  • Temporary water hardness is induced by the presence of dissolved bicarbonates as well as carbonates.

Hard water can cause issues such as clogged pipes, deposits on kitchenware, as well as galvanic corrosion. Soft Water is free of dissolved calcium and other minerals so has a low mineral concentration and is therefore referred to as soft water.

  • Sodium-based monovalent cations are found in soft water, whereas multivalent cations are found in hard water.
  • Soft water is typically created by using water softeners or other substances to reduce the mineral content in hard water.
  • If soft water is exposed to mineral rocks for an extended period, it will eventually change into hard water.

Every day the size of limescale deposits is increasing in the buildings throughout the UK. At an unknown point in time, the hard water will have an overwhelming effect on the plumbing system.

Limescale that creates hard water in the UK causes the following avoidable issues:

• Energy usage will be increased which means you will miss energy reduction targets and system performance reductions will cost you more money and waste vital resources

• Pipelines slowly scale up, reducing pipe diameter and flow

• Sudden premature mechanical failure of key equipment means aggravation, unexpected costs, and unhappy clients

• Legionella prevention becomes harder to manage leading to increased treatment costs or potential compliance issues

• Cleaning takes longer increasing down time

• Elevated levels of Water hardness will decrease system efficiency and lifetime costs can increase.