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Cedar Rapids utilizes a lime softening process in the treatment of its drinking water.  Softening the water with lime helps to reduce the calcium deposits in-home water heaters as well as improve the taste of the water.  When water enters the plant, it averages about 15.8 grains per gallon and after lime softening the water averages 6.5-7 grains per gallon; cutting the hardness of the water in half.

How it works
When lime is added to the water, it changes the water chemistry, causing the calcium to come out of the solution.   The particles of calcium combine, become heavier than the rest of the water and sink to the bottom of the holding basins.  The clear water then moves into the next step of the treatment process.

Lime softening increases the pH of the water, which creates an inhospitable environment for disease-causing bacteria.  This is the first barrier in the Cedar Rapids Water Division’s multi-barrier disinfection process. 

More Information about Water Softening

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