Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dwayne A. Rollag


In light of the probable benefits of drinking hard water, it would be anticipated that wherever hard water is available, dwellings would be plumbed to provide this water to the drinking tap. However, casual surveys in certain South Dakota communities had revealed that the plumbing is arranged in some dwellings so that drinking water available at the tap has been subjected to on-site softening. As a result, the water consumer has not only been deprived of the benefits of drinking hard water, but also subjected to the health hazards of drinking high-sodium water from ion­exchange softeners. The primary objective of this research was to determine the extent to which water softeners in residential homes are plumbed in such a manner that only soft water is available for drinking, thus depriving consumers of an important source of calcium and magnesium. The objectives of the research were: 1. To identify regions of. the United States where hard water supplies are available and those with soft water supplies. 2. To review the literature on the relation between hardness of water and CVD and establish the current views on this subject. 3. To establish the current most suitable daily calcium requirement for good health and prevention of osteoporosis based on age and gender as established by the medical and scientific community. 4. To determine the extent to which drinking water currently contributes to the daily calcium and magnesium requirement. 5. To determine the extent to which dwellings in two cities in South Dakota have been plumbed to provide water for drinking that has been softened by on-site, ion-exchange units where hard water could have been provided instead. By meeting the objectives outlined in this research, information regarding the many health benefits of drinking hard water and the hazards of drinking soft water could be enumerated. Also, the extent to which consumers drink on-site softened water when hard water is available will be estimated. If this practice appears extensive, this information could be used to publicize the need for changes in plumbing codes and procedures to ensure full advantage is taken of the health benefits of drinking hard water.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Water -- Hardness

Water quality -- South Dakota -- Brookings

Water quality -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls

Drinking water -- South Dakota -- Brookings

Drinking water -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University