The Hards and the Hard Mores

Homer: Now, I'm not one to make trouble, but it seems to me that everyone who got to keep the old, or *classic* 636 area code lives on the *rich* side of town! 
Burns: Dooh, poppycock! 
Socialite: Well, I never! [the man sitting next to her is horrified, and his monocle falls into his drinking glass] 
Homer: And, as usual, we Joe Twelve-Packs get the royal screw job. Well, I've had it! You rich snobs aren't pushing us around any more! 
- The Simpsons, A Tale of Two Springfields

In all other ways harmoniously homogeneous, Brockley life is bitterly divided by its water.

While the those of you in the south of Brockley (or "Lewisham South" according to Thames Water) enjoy relatively sane levels of hardness in their water, those of us in "Lewisham North" have hardness levels of 318.5 mgl CaCO3 (ppm). Yes - you read that right. 318.5mgl CaCO3 (ppm)! That is one of the highest levels in London, hard water capital of the UK.

BC has grown up all its life in hard water areas. Ordinarily we are contemptuous of soft water, with its funny taste and its scumless shampooing. But Jeebus, "Lewisham North" has water so hard it would break you as soon as look at you. It will calcify your toilet bowl in hours and turn your kettle to chalk dust. We can't help but feel a little resentful of Lewisham South.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a soft water area. We used to drink from the tap - not like you southern lot and your Evian.

We'd think nothing of walking 0.3 miles to a pub or 20 minutes to a train station either...

Brockley Nick said...

Soft water for soft northerners.

I drink hard water straight out of the tap - don't even bother with a glass mostly.

Anonymous said...

Explains the state of the kettle, needs descaling every 2 weeks

Anonymous said...

Nick, you buy water in frilly jars from Broca and the Sunflower Centre and you know it.

pip said...

I grew up in a soft water area, but I actually prefer the taste of eau de Lewisham North.

However, I do sometimes feel my life is one long battle against limescale, and I don't think it's one I'm winning.

Anonymous said...

Yet another win for Crofton Park in the battle to be the best borough of Greater Brockley

Anonymous said...

Us northerners can handle it. Not like those frilly knicker wearing southern pansies.

Anonymous said...

Thank god it's not just me - I was beginning to think all that limescale was down to poor housekeeping ...

Anonymous said...

This is *hard*ly newsworthy, is it? ;-)

Oli said...

Links to Thames Water not working - is St Asaph Road in North or South Lewisham?! I have no idea what the hardness level of my water is...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this link, Nick. Deptford (or New Cross as they call it) is only 256 but the limescale problem is horrific – there is no such thing as white grouting. As Pip says, it's a lifelong battle.

kolp said...

Legal eagles out there. Whats the likelihood of success if the water supply company was taken to small claims court for cost of descaling/ limescale damage?

Sally said...

Bronwen (stylist in Bohemia) commented on the hard water around here too -- she said it makes dyed hair fade more quickly.

If we ever find where our mains water comes in I'm tempted to fit a water softener.

Anonymous said...

Hard water tastes better and is better for you!

Arabin&out said...

Oli - My old Aspinall road address was labelled as East Sydenham (!). The hardness level is 240 ish, so I reckon it'll be the same for St Asaph.

Arabin&out said...

My kettle actually blew up yesterday... thinking about it, could that've been because of our lack of de-scaling? It's only about eight months old. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

I bought a pressure cooker last week and had to simmer water for 20 mins to break it in. After I poured the water out and the pot dried ran my finger over the inside and it came away covered in the limescale deposit. Thats what's its like here in op norf Lewisham.

Blocked pipes said...

Does it mean we're all coated in limescale internally as well?!

brockley gal said...

according to this US report - hard water is good for you
http://www.water-research.net/hardness.htm

pip said...

@Arabin&Out I don't descale my kettle as often as I should - once every two or three months, when it actually rattles when I swish the water around. Eight months without descaling MIGHT explain the blow up....

Costcutter sells sachets of Scale Away, which works best out of the descalers I've tried.

Anonymous said...

Costcutter? Shouldn't we be using artisan organic rock salt or something?

Oaksys said...

Does this hardness apply to those on the west side of the canal in Brockley?

THNick said...

Anon @12.16, not sure rock salt would work. Single grower, organic vinegar however....

Never mind the hardness, I want flouride in my water.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a lot of mungs who campaigned against fluoridation of water... what happened to them?

TM said...

Oaksys are you in some type of time warp?
The canal shut in 1836.
Which is nearly twenty to seven ;0)

NAT said...

Rendered immortal by drinking the hard water of eternal youth!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why it was so hard to keep my stainless steel sink free of limescale - haven't had problems anywhere else I've lived!

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