Does Norfolk Have Hard Water?

Does Norfolk Have Hard Water

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?How Hard is Norfolk Tap 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.

CityAverage Hardness Calcium Carbonate mg/LAverage Hardness Grains per GallonZip Code
Norfolk41 PPM3 gpg23503 | 23513 | 23518 | 23505 | 23504 | 23508 | 23502 | 23511 | 23509 | 23510 | 23523 | 23507 | 23517 | 23551
Virginia Beach58 PPM3 gpg23464 | 23462 | 23454 | 23452 | 23456 | 23455 | 23451 | 23453 | 23457 | 23460 | 23459 | 23461
Arlington120 PPM7 gpg 
Chesapeake41 PPM2 gpg23322 | 23320 | 23323 | 23321 | 23324 | 23325
Newport News81 PPM5 gpg23608 | 23602 | 23606 | 23601 | 23607 | 23605 | 23603
Fairfax127 PPM7 gpg22030 | 22033 | 22031 | 22032 | 22035
Richmond64 PPM4 gpg23223 | 23234 | 23225 | 23224 | 23220 | 23235 | 23222 | 23227 | 23236 | 23237 | 23226 | 23221 | 23230 | 23219 | 23173 | 23250
Roanoke143 PPM8 gpg24018 | 24012 | 24019 | 24017 | 24014 | 24015 | 24013 | 24016 | 24020 | 24011
Lynchburg48 PPM3 gpg24502 | 24501 | 24503 | 24504
Blacksburg55 PPM3 gpg24060
Winchester79 PPM5 gpg22602 | 22601 | 22603
Harrisonburg60 PPM4 gpg22801 | 22802 | 22807
Danville72 PPM4 gpg14540 | 14541

Learn about water hardness in these cities:
Does Boston have hard water?
Does Los Angeles have hard water?

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 Drinking Water Map

Norfolk obtains its raw (untreated) drinking water from the following sources:

  1. Blackwater River
  2. Nottoway River
  3. 8 reservoirs
  4. 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 PlantProvides Water for Residents
Moores Bridges Water Treatment PlantResidents who live on the east side of Norfolk or Virginia Beach
Kristen M. Lentz (37th Street) Water Treatment PlantResidents 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

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 water softener from Filter Water
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.

Check pricing on FilterWater

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.

Boch Richard

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

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