Quick Definition:

Soft water describes water that has a greatly reduced amount of dissolved minerals in the water, creating a corrosive environment in swimming pools.

What is Soft Water in swimming pool terms?

Soft water is water that basically contains very little to no dissolved salts of magnesium and calcium.  Water which contains less than 85.50 ppm of calcium carbonate is termed soft water.  Soft water lacks sufficient minerals that normally interfere with the formation of soap lather.

Soft water in swimming pools is important to monitor, measured by performing a calcium hardness test.  Water cannot be too soft or too hard, as hard water can be just as damaging as soft water to pool surfaces and equipment.  If swimming pool water is too soft, the water will seek to replace minerals from surrounding concrete and masonry pool surfaces that it no longer has, corroding, pitting, and delaminating surfaces.  Pool owners need to be aware if they are adding untreated tap water, or if they are adding soft water, as this will have a direct effect on the overall pool water hardness.

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