Aquifers, reservoirs, and rivers make up the primary sources of water for Kansas residents. Each of these sources has its own vulnerabilities to pollution and contamination.
Fortunately, local municipalities and water companies use chemicals and technology to help make the water from any source safe to consume and use around your home or business. Treatment can result in some unpleasant tastes and smells from time to time.
There are other issues that, while not dangerous, can be a nuisance for those using public water supplies in Kansas. Hard water is prevalent in almost every Kansas home and is rarely dealt with at the treatment facility level. Homeowners are often left to deal with the results of hard water and must treat for it as the water enters the home.
Common Water Problems by City
While some issues, like hard water, are common across the state, each area is still tasked with treating specific contaminants impacting their own supply. These unique treatments can impact those using the water in different ways.
Little Arkansas River
Dry, Itchy Skin
Kansas River Watershed
Dry, Itchy Skin
Wichita uses the entire array of water sources to keep water flowing into its homes and businesses. The Little Arkansas River, Cheney Reservoir and Equus Beds Aquifer all contribute to the Wichita water supply.
Water sources that travel over land pick up and absorb many natural minerals and earth metals. This absorption process results in a common condition known as hard water. Minerals continue to be absorbed as the water travels to the treatment facility and along the way to its final destination.
Hard water is seen as a nuisance by most people forced to use it. It can cause stains in sinks, tubs, and other areas where water rests. Limescale is a byproduct of hard water and can actually cause issues with plumbing and appliances that use water.
Hard water is safe to use and drink, however, can cause dry skin after bathing. Many who have hard water will notice their glassware is spotty after every wash. Without treatment, it can also cause laundry to feel stiff and scratchy.
Most of the water used by Overland Park residents comes from a massive area of river watershed. The surface water is supplied by the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. As the water travels vast distances, it comes into contact with both natural and unnatural contaminants.
The water is treated aggressively to reduce and remove any harmful bacteria, making it safe to drink and use. Unfortunately, the treatment process involves chemicals that often produce smelly or poor tasting water.
A natural process of mineral absorption leads Overland Park residents to deal with a condition called hard water. Hard water has little impact on the safety of consumption but certainly can cause some headaches around the home or business.
Hard water should be treated at the home or business to prevent its impacts. Common issues caused by hard water include staining where water rests, dry skin after bathing, and a build-up of a byproduct called limescale.
Even Kansas City, Kansas gets most of its drinking water from the Missouri River. This water is treated at one of a couple of treatment facilities and sent out to homes and businesses across the city.
Calcium and magnesium are common minerals absorbed as the water travels down the Missouri River and into the treatment and supply chain. These minerals are widely known to cause hard water.
Hard water leaves spots on glassware and can leave stains in areas where the water is allowed to rest. Soap scum is a typical household nuisance as hard water combines with soap to create a film that is surprisingly difficult to remove.
Those who bathe in hard water often notice drier skin and an itchy scalp. All these factors should encourage home and business owners to consider treatment for hard water.