Water in Milton Keynes is affecting health and domestic appliances because it is so "aggressively hard", it has been claimed.
Research by a water softener company alleged more and more residents are suffering skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis due to the severity of the water coming out of our taps.
"At 284 milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre - the metric used to measure the severity of hard water - Milton Keynes is classified as having ‘aggressively hard water’. This is synonymous with areas in the South and East of England and is dictated by the geology of the area from which a home’s’ water supply comes from," said a spokesman for Harvey Water Softeners.
He added: "Hard water is caused by a number of external factors related to the makeup of land in the region. While rainfall is naturally soft, once it hits the earth it begins to percolate through the rock, calcium, magnesium and other minerals, these can be absorbed and can alter the chemical balance within the water. Due to the chalk and limestone regions surrounding the town, Milton Keynes’ water supply is even more susceptible to hard water."
A big problem in a hard water area is the build-up of limescale, which can reduce the life and effectiveness of household appliances. This, in turn, can cause energy bills to rise, say Harvey's experts.
They say the effects include needing more detergent to get clothes clean and extra shower or bath products to create a lather.
"Hard water can cause dry skin due to the minerals in hard water stripping moisture from your skin and preventing natural oils from doing their job," said the spokesman.
"Due to the mineral deposits in hard water that block the holes in your sh.ower head, the pressure in your shower might seem less powerful, with water only ‘trickling’ through. Limescale deposits are also a key source of stains on shower screens too," he added.
Research shows that 39 per cent more residents in Milton Keynes purchased a water softener in 2018 compared to the previous year.