Water hardness is not a health hazard, but it can be a nuisance. If you live in Norfolk, Virginia, you may be wondering if Norfolk has hard water.
Norfolk’s water hardness is between soft and moderately hard. The tap water hardness in Norfolk varies between 29 and 56 parts per million, and the average is 41 ppm.
In this blog post, we will explore what hardness is, how it’s measured, and the potential health risks associated with drinking hard water. We also cover the water quality in Norfolk, focusing on the tap water hardness, where the water comes from, and a lot more. So, if you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water in Norfolk, read on.
Read my article about water hardness in other cities.
Does Norfolk Have Hard Water?
Norfolk has soft to mildly hard water. The water hardness is routinely measured by the public water utility and the values range from 29 to 56 milligrams per liter (mg/L). The units for hardness – mg/L are the same as parts per million (ppm).
If you’re a Norfolk resident this is good news. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can build up on your plumbing fixtures and leave deposits in your drinking glasses. It can also make it difficult to lather soaps and detergents properly.
The table below summarizes the water hardness in Norfolk and the major cities and towns in Virginia.
|City||Average Hardness Calcium Carbonate mg/L||Average Hardness Grains per Gallon||Zip Code|
|Norfolk||41 PPM||3 gpg||23503 | 23513 | 23518 | 23505 | 23504 | 23508 | 23502 | 23511 | 23509 | 23510 | 23523 | 23507 | 23517 | 23551|
|Virginia Beach||58 PPM||3 gpg||23464 | 23462 | 23454 | 23452 | 23456 | 23455 | 23451 | 23453 | 23457 | 23460 | 23459 | 23461|
|Arlington||120 PPM||7 gpg|
|Chesapeake||41 PPM||2 gpg||23322 | 23320 | 23323 | 23321 | 23324 | 23325|
|Newport News||81 PPM||5 gpg||23608 | 23602 | 23606 | 23601 | 23607 | 23605 | 23603|
|Fairfax||127 PPM||7 gpg||22030 | 22033 | 22031 | 22032 | 22035|
|Richmond||64 PPM||4 gpg||23223 | 23234 | 23225 | 23224 | 23220 | 23235 | 23222 | 23227 | 23236 | 23237 | 23226 | 23221 | 23230 | 23219 | 23173 | 23250|
|Roanoke||143 PPM||8 gpg||24018 | 24012 | 24019 | 24017 | 24014 | 24015 | 24013 | 24016 | 24020 | 24011|
|Lynchburg||48 PPM||3 gpg||24502 | 24501 | 24503 | 24504|
|Blacksburg||55 PPM||3 gpg||24060|
|Winchester||79 PPM||5 gpg||22602 | 22601 | 22603|
|Harrisonburg||60 PPM||4 gpg||22801 | 22802 | 22807|
|Danville||72 PPM||4 gpg||14540 | 14541|
Does Virginia Have Hard Water?
Virginia water hardness is moderately hard – the average water hardness is 72 ppm. Using the USGS water hardness guide, this is moderately hard.
The water hardness level in Chesapeake is 41 ppm while Roanoke has a water hardness of 143 ppm.
Much of Virginia’s drinking water comes from rivers and lakes. These water bodies tend to have lower levels of calcium and magnesium (hardness) than water taken from groundwater sources. Areas of Virginia that use groundwater as their water supply have higher levels of hardness because of the prevalence of limestone.
Why Is Norfolk Water Hard?
Norfolk’s drinking water is soft to moderately hard. Tap water in Norfolk is generally soft because it comes from 2 rivers that have very little dissolved solids. The city also gets some of its water from underground aquifers. This water is also relatively soft because the soil matrix is comprised of sand and gravel. These particles don’t have any calcium or magnesium in them (the minerals associated with hardness).
Where Does Norfolk Water Come from?
Norfolk obtains its raw (untreated) drinking water from the following sources:
- Blackwater River
- Nottoway River
- 8 reservoirs
- 4 deep wells located in Isle of Wight County
As shown in the map above, water comes from a variety of sources and locations. Having multiple sources ensures a reliable and safe water supply. The Department of Utilities has two water treatment plants that take in raw water from sources like rivers and reservoirs, where it is then filtered and disinfected.
Who Provides Water to Norfolk
The City of Norfolk Department of Utilities (Norfolk Utilities) provides drinking water to the City of Norfolk. They serve approximately 850,000 people with treated water and conveys wastewater for 240,000.
At the 2021 American Water Works Association Distribution System Rodeo in Virginia Beach, Norfolk Utilities came out on top as the “Best of Virginia Tap Water Taste Test” winner.
What type of treatment is used to purify Norfolk water?
Norfolk’s drinking water is purified in two water treatment plants. The table below lists the city’s two treatment plants and which parts of the city they serve.
|Drinking Water Treatment Plant||Provides Water for Residents|
|Moores Bridges Water Treatment Plant||Residents who live on the east side of Norfolk or Virginia Beach|
|Kristen M. Lentz (37th Street) Water Treatment Plant||Residents who live on the east side of Norfolk or Norfolk Naval Base|
Norfolk’s water is filtered and then disinfected with chloramine. Chloramine is produced by mixing chlorine and ammonia. This disinfectant is used because it is more stable than chlorine and less likely to produce disinfectant byproducts.
Hard water is water that has high levels of calcium and magnesium. Water hardness is measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm). This level can vary from soft to hard, depending on the source.
In general, hard water is not considered a health hazard but it can cause problems with plumbing fixtures, making it harder to lather soaps and detergents. Hard water can make your skin and hair feel dry and can leave deposits on your dishes.
What Can I Do About Hard Water in Norfolk?
Tap water in relatively soft and doesn’t require treatment. If you have hard water problems in your home, there are a few options available to you. You could install a water softener or an ion exchange filter that will reduce the hardness levels in your home. Alternatively, you can also purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking instead of using tap water.
Water softener for Norfolk’s hard water
A water softener is the best way to reduce the hardness in your water. If you live in the Norfolk area, you can check out this whole house water softener from FilterWater.
Crystal Quest Whole House Water Softener
CRYSTAL QUEST whole house water softeners are simple to use, dependable, and easy to program. They are engineered for maximum filtration and maximum performance with minimum maintenance to deliver trouble free operation for many years with reliable service. All components are the highest quality in the industry and NSF approved.
3-stage filtration process:
- First stage, 20″ sediment cartridge that removes sediment, silt, sand and dirt. Also extends the life of water softeners and water filters, and prevents damage to control valves.
- Second stage, Ion exchange mineral tank and brine water conditioner that contains sation resin media
- Third stage 20″ solid carbon cartridge for removing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), insecticides, pesticides and industrial solvents.
|Model/SKU:||CQE-WH-01123, CQE-WH-01124 , CQE-WH-01123S|
|Controller:||Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.|
|Flow Rate(Gallon-per-Minute):||9 gpm for 1 cubic foot tank, 11 gpm for 1.5 cu.ft, 11-13 gpm for 2 cu.ft.|
|Tank:||White fiberglass tank , available in all Stainless Steel (+$500, inquire).|
|Bypass Valve:||3/4″ or 1″ Stainless Steel|
|Features:||Riser style 1″ internal flow distributor.20″ x 50″ (Diameter x Height) Brine water mineral exchange tank.|
|Media Life:||10+ years.|
|Filters Life:||Sediment pre- and carbon block post filter is recommended to be replaced every 3-6 months|
Is Norfolk tap water safe to drink?
Norfolk’s drinking water is generally safe to drink. The water is supplied by Norfolk Utilities, and they routinely test the water according to USEPA criteria. The water is treated by filtration followed by disinfection with chloramine.
Does Richmond have water hard?
Richmond has soft to moderately hard water. Their average water hardness is 64 ppm and 4 grains per gallon. These values are just above the upper limit for soft water.
Does Virginia Beach have water hard?
Virginia Beach has soft water. The average water hardness is 64 ppm and 4 grains per gallon. According to the USGS water hardness guide, this is soft water.
Yes, Norfolk does have hard water. The city’s average water hardness is 72 ppm, which is classified as moderately hard according to the USGS Water Hardness guide. Water in Norfolk comes from various sources including rivers and underground aquifers, and is treated with chloramine
To reduce the amount of minerals in your water, you can install a water softener which will remove calcium and magnesium from the water.