UK households in hard water areas could be generating up to 910,000 tonnes of limescale per year – equivalent to 17x the weight of the RMS Titanic and 364x the weight of Nelson’s Column, according to new analysis from Harvey Water Softeners.

Around 13 million homes in the UK are in hard water regions and the average family of four living in these areas can accumulate a staggering 70kg of limescale every year. Limescale deposits within a heating system can cause blockages in pipework and boilers, with estimates suggesting that a yearly build-up of 1.6mm of limescale within a heating system is enough to reduce your heating efficiency by 12%. This can increase yearly gas costs by more than £160.

Water softeners limit the accumulation of scale and scum in essential appliances, with recent research from the Water Quality Research Foundation finding that softened water preserves the lifespan of boilers by maintaining 100% efficiency over a simulated 15-year life span.

Limescale is also one of the most common household problems when it comes to cleaning as it causes difficult stains around baths and basins, sinks, toilet bowls and shower heads. Research conducted by Harvey Water Softeners earlier this year found that installing a water softener could save homeowners almost £200 per year on household bills by making savings on products such as descalers, limescale remover, and cleaning products.

As well as increasing the efficiency of household appliances, and delivering cost savings for homeowners, soft water also combines more effectively with soap and washing detergents to create a proper lather and leads to healthier hair and smoother skin, according to the compant.

Tony Jones, General Manager at Harvey Water Softeners, said: “Hard water can be a silent menace in the home. It causes unwanted limescale which clogs up the inside of your appliances and makes surfaces appear unclean. As people are spending more time at home than ever before, it is important to shine a light on the benefits of a water softener for households: longer lasting appliances, cheaper bills, and a shinier home."