For many, there’s nothing more important than a break with a hot drink to unwind.
A kettle is an absolute must-have in the kitchen, but recent data could show that tea and coffee made with water from Essex might taste worse than in many places in the rest of the country.
Three Essex areas feature in a list of the worst areas in the UK for hard water.
Hard water is when tap water contains more minerals than average, normally brought on by high deposits of limestone and chalk in the earth.
According to new research by Harvey Water Softeners, Basildon, Colchester and Chelmsford all have particularly hard water.
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In fact, all three areas feature in the worst ten affected places in the country.
Hard water leads to limescale build up, which can build in water pipes, shower heads and especially in kettles.
It means that cups of tea and coffee made with water from Essex are likely to impact the taste of the drinks.
Basildon, Essex, is the worst affected area in Essex, with an average level of 335 parts calcium carbonate (limescale) per million in water.
That means that over the course of a year in a family of four, an average of 62.0kg of limescale will have built up through water pipes in a home.
Colchester is the next worst in the line-up, with an estimated annual build up of 61.5kg, with Chelmsford in third with 60.6kg.
According to Harvey Water Softeners, the best way to avoid limescale build-up in kettles is to only boil as much water as you need, and empty and rinse the kettle after every use.
In addition to poor tasting tea and coffee, limescale can cause dry skin and extra heating costs.
Tony Jones, general manager at Harvey Water Softeners, said: “Hard water is a blight on many households’ finances, health, and efforts to protect the environment.
“It is well documented that hard water causes limescale build-up which can lead to bigger bills and lower energy efficiency, however it’s also important to consider the impact it can have on your carbon footprint.
“While many people often refer to how the hardness of water can affect its taste, it’s actually the other implications of hard water on the home and to lives in general that are greater causes for concern, particularly at a time when families are spending more time at home and using their heating and appliances more than ever before.”
Here’s the worst 15 areas in England for hard water and limescale:
- Ipswich – Suffolk
- Norwich – Norfolk
- Sunderland – Tyne and Wear
- St Albans – Hertfordshire
- Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk
- Stevenage – Hertfordshire
- Basildon – Essex
- Colchester – Essex
- Reading – Berkshire
- Chelmsford – Essex
- Canterbury – Kent
- Watford – Hertfordshire
- Cambridge – Cambridgeshire
- Hull – East Yorkshire
- Lincoln – Lincolnshire