Water quality impacts equipment performance and maintenance – not to mention the
taste of beverages and foods. No matter what role you hold in the foodservice industry,
you’ll find answers to your water quality issues through these collected resources.
Hardness of water is a measure for the content of calcium and magnesium in water.
The small contribution of magnesium usually is expressed as calcium as in the degrees
of hardness (at the top) and the concentrations of Ca2+, CaO and CaCO3 (at the bottom).
Unfortunately, the classification of the degrees of hardness to water quality
hard, hard, very hard) is different in many countries.
Water described as "hard" is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and
magnesium. Hard water
is not a health risk, but a nuisance because of mineral buildup
on fixtures and poor soap and/or detergent performance.
Water with a pH
< 7 is considered acidic and with a pH > 7 is considered basic. The
normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5 and for ground water systems
6 to 8.5. Alkalinity is a measure of the capacity of the water to resist a change in pH that
would tend to make the water more acidic. The measurement of alkalinity and pH is
needed to determine the corrosivity of the water.
is a complex series of reactions between the water and metal surfaces and
materials in which the water is stored or transported. The corrosion process is an
oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable
If you want to know what contaminants are in your drinking water, check your annual water
quality report from your water supplier or call the water supplier directly. If you want to
have additional tests on your water, EPA recommends that you use a laboratory certified
by the state. Call the state certification officer or view the list
of certified labs.
Elevated total dissolved solids
can result in your water having a bitter or salty taste;
result in incrustations, films, or precipitates on fixtures; corrosion of fixtures, and reduced
efficiency of water filters.
A handy resource
developed by the Water Quality Association and NAFEM’s Technical
Liaison Committee designed to help diagnose water problems, possible causes and
Each year by July 1st you should receive in the mail an annual water quality report
(consumer confidence report) from your water supplier that tells where your water
comes from and what's in it.