Drinking tap water with a high proportion of lime in the water - is that dangerous?

Again and again rumors around, the consumption of highly calcareous water is dangerous to health. Whether this is true, and where a high calcium content actually affects, is therefore answered in this article.

Hardness in tap water

Our tap water can have different degrees of hardness. There are the following categories:

  • soft water
  • medium water and
  • hard water

The degrees of hardness vary depending on the region. Depending on the geological soil conditions, the water dissolves more or less lime. Particularly hard water can be found in areas where limestone or sandstone is common. But also intensive fertilization, especially with nitrogen fertilizers, can be responsible for the hardness of the water.

Hard water components

In the hard water is not only lime, but also other hardeners. These include magnesium, strontium and barium. In addition to the lime, only the proportion of magnesium is still significant, the concentrations of barium and strontium are very small.

Health hazards due to hard water

We need about 0.03 liters of water per kg of body weight every day. The actual water requirement is thus for most people on a value over 2 liters per day.

If the water requirement of the body is covered by tap water alone, then hard water will absorb large quantities of hardness.

Neither calcium nor magnesium are problematic in this regard as the body needs a very large amount of these two minerals daily. Even several liters of hard tap water can not even meet the demand - the inclusion of these two substances is therefore definitely safe.

Barium occurs in the water almost exclusively as the barely soluble barium sulfate. This prevents it from being absorbed by the body and metabolized. For this reason, it is also used as an X-ray contrast agent. In the existing concentrations it is also harmless.

Also, the amount of strontium present in drinking water is too low to cause damage. It is stored in small amounts in the bones and may be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis and tooth decay.

Other health hazards with tap water

The contamination of tap water with heavy metals or other dangerous substances is very unlikely due to strict controls in Germany. Only the risk of contamination by the improper use of water filters exists.

Tips & Tricks

In old houses, where the water pipes are still made of lead, there is a risk of lead poisoning by the tap water, especially if water is often drunk in the pipes.

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