What’s up with the water?

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By Karen Kennedy

Have you noticed a change in the quality of your water? As you unload your dishwasher, are you seeing spots on your glasses that you didn’t see before? It’s not your imagination, but it’s not a permanent problem either.

In response to several letters complaining about the quality of Carmel city water in the last several weeks, we contacted Carmel City Utilities manager John Duffy.

“This is a typical summertime issue,” Duffy said. “In the summer, we have to supply enough water for irrigation and sprinkler systems. And people use a lot more water in the summer months. We have to use water to soften water, so sometimes, when the demand is especially high, we have to back off on the softening to meet the water demand.”

The current hard water that readers may be experiencing is partly a result of the rebound from the July heat wave. The problem pales in comparison to last year’s drought, when there was a 13-day period in which city utilities were unable to use any water for softening purposes at all.

Duffy also maintains that, even when the city has to back off a little from the usual levels of softening, Carmel’s water is still softer than most municipal water supplies in Central Indiana.

“Carmel has been supplying softened water to its citizens for decades, and we intend to continue to do so,” Duffy said. “However, I believe we are the only city utility that provides water softened to a range of 7 to 8 GPG (grains per gallon) anywhere around here.”

The GPG rating refers to the measure of dissolved minerals including calcium, magnesium carbonate and/or manganese. Carmel’s water supplies have a naturally occurring GPG rate of 17 to 18.

Duffy also mentioned that he believes the discontinuation of the use of phosphates in dish detergents is a contributing factor to problems that might otherwise be attributed to water softening.

He anticipates that any problems residents are experiencing with water softness issues should continue to dissipate as fall approaches.


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