If you live in Las Vegas or Clark County, you may have noticed spots on your drinking glasses or a stiffer feel to your washed clothes. Why? Las Vegas and Clark County have what’s called hard water.
The Las Vegas Water District has a rate of 16 grains per gallon, which means that they’re in the “very hard water” category. Any measurement above 10.5 grains per gallon is considered very hard water. At more than 50 percent higher than that number, it’s easy to see why you might be seeing the effects of hard water on your clothes, dishes, and plumbing pipes.
If a region has what’s considered hard water, the water there contains high levels of minerals that have dissolved into the water. Two minerals that cause hard water are magnesium and calcium. Clark County hard water exists because 90 percent of its water comes from Lake Mead. Lake Mead, in turn, gets its water from the Colorado River, a mineral-dense water source. This Colorado River water flows from the Rocky Mountains. It begins as snowmelt and, as it runs down into the Colorado River, it dissolves calcium, magnesium, and other minerals from the surrounding rock. These minerals are carried into the Colorado River, into Lake Mead, and then into your water. While they may be a bit of a nuisance, minerals in the water pose no health risk.