Scale, or more popularly known as limescale, is a chalky buildup found in water appliances like kettles, on the kitchen sink, bathroom tiles, water pipes, boilers, and containers. It is made primarily of calcium carbonate and caused by hard water. The problem of scale buildup is common in areas with high deposits of carbonate minerals.
Hard water is considered a water contamination problem. However, it belongs to the non-health threatening group of contaminants. Although harmless to health, limescale caused by hard water can cause many problems. It is very unsightly and difficult to clean. If you think it is only inconvenient, you are wrong.
Scale buildup can cause damage to plumbing components and water appliances. The damage can cause the value of a property to drop. The formation of scale in pipes can hinder the flow of water, creating abnormal pressure that can stress the plumbing system and cause leaks. It can interfere with other water filter systems. Let's say you are using a water filter for other more harmful contaminants, the carbonates in the water can interfere with the ability of the water filter to remove more serious compounds from the water.
Scale buildup can be prevented. One method is with water softening. Water softening is the removal of metal cations from water using a scale filter system. Water softening can be done through lime softening or with the use of ion-exchange resins.
Another way to deal with the problem is by going to an alternative water source. If you are getting water from a private well, changing to treated municipal water could mitigate the problem.