Hardness, the amount of calcium and magnesium dissolved in water, can be an important issue for water quality. It is important, for example, for any industrial process that involves heating water, especially in boilers to produce steam. This can lead to scale formation, leading to a loss of performance and an increase in power demands for heating.
Softening removes hardness to overcome these problems, and Dutch companies provide the solutions needed to do this efficiently in order to reach the final required end use quality by using products such as chemicals and membranes.
Dutch water utilities also have a long experience of implementing water softening centrally. This brings them benefits for the operation of their own networks and benefits the end consumer also. Centralised softening helps control scaling in the supply network, it helps manage the final tap water quality with respect to metals such as lead and copper, it reduces the need for customers to have their own softening, yet it still brings the benefits for customers such as lower detergent use.