The City of Methuen’s drinking water is considered “soft water” according to the ranges set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). There is no EPA drinking water standard for hardness, only set ranges to define the degree of hardness: 0 to 75mg/l is considered soft, 75 – 150 mg/l considered moderately soft, 150 – 300 mg/l considered hard, and over 300 mg/l considered very hard. Methuen’s treated water generally ranges from 15 to 30 mg/l hardness. By definition, water hardness is the total concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. Hard water is not considered a contaminant, but it does retard the cleaning action of soap and can form a scale on cooking utensils, hot water pipes and heaters. “Soft water” can have corrosive tendencies, but Methuen’s water is adjusted before leaving the treatment plant making it non-corrosive but also non-scale forming.