Over three million people call Arkansas home and most of them enjoy water that has been collected in a man-made reservoir. Surface water, groundwater, and even some recycled wastewater make up the major suppliers of water to these reservoirs.
Arkansas’ use of reservoirs is not uncommon but creates a scenario that makes the water vulnerable to contaminants and natural mineral absorption. As the water travels from its various sources, it picks up contaminants that must be treated accordingly at local treatment facilities.
The absorption of minerals does not impact water safety but certainly influences the final quality of the water. Mineral absorption, especially calcium and magnesium, can lead to a condition called hard water.
Hard water can have a variety of impacts but almost all of them are noticeable. Hard water and chemical treatment both have impacts on the water quality throughout the state.
Common Water Problems by City
Each municipality tests and treats its water according to state and federal guidelines. Not every area endures the same issues, thus each region deals with problems specific to their water supply.
Dry, Itchy Skin
Frog Bayou Watershed
Dry, Itchy Skin
Dry, Itchy Skin
Water travels into Lake Winona and Lake Maumelle, two of the larger lakes in Arkansas, from many streams and small rivers. As it passes over the land it collects sediment and absorbs mineral content.
Hard water is the biggest complaint regarding water quality in Little Rock, Arkansas. One major complaint from homeowners is that hard water causes dry skin after bathing in it.
Appliances and plumbing can also suffer from hard water conditions. Limescale can build up and slow down water flow and drainage. Soap scum also forms and can stain sinks or cause a film on glass.
While hard water is safe to use, the nuisance it can be will often convince homeowners to consider an at-home hard water treatment plan.
The water supplied by both watersheds is comprised of rainwater. Up to 56 inches of rain per year fall into these streams and rivers that make up the watersheds. The water is collected and stored in either Fort Smith Lake or the Lee Creek Reservoir.
Once needed, the water is pulled from the storage facilities and treated before being sent into the public supply for use. The treatment process ensures the safety of the water but often cannot eliminate the most major problem with the water in Fort Smith - hard water.
Hard water is notorious for leaving bathers with dry, itchy skin and a flaky scalp. It is also the cause of the layer of film known as soap scum. Limescale is a byproduct of hard water and can cause appliances to perform poorly.
Hard water can be treated at home or in businesses prior to being sent to the faucets throughout the house. Treatment can help with some of the more negative side effects of a hard water supply.
Beaver Lake provides Fayetteville residents all the water they need at home and in the workplace. The man-made storage facility located in the Ozark Mountains holds water until it is ready for treatment and dispersion.
Water from Beaver Lake spends a lot of time in transit and has plenty of opportunities to pick up contaminants and absorb minerals along the way. Contaminants are treated at the treatment facility before sending the water out to the system. However, even after treatment, the water continues to absorb minerals as it travels to the tap.
Hard water forms from the absorption of minerals and is a known problem for anyone forced to use it. While certainly safe to drink, it can cause dry, itchy skin when used for bathing. If you have ever noticed spots on clean glassware, it is likely a side-effect of hard water used for washing.