Water - Solubility - Ions

Hardness of Water.

Water is said to be hard if it doesn't form a lather (bubbles)
with soap. Calcium and magnesium ions cause water to be hard.
Hardness is described as "permanent" or "temporary".

Rain water is naturally acidic due to dissolved carbon dioxide,
(see the Carbon Cycle).
The acid in rain water is carbonic acid, H2CO3(aq).

Rocks containing magnesium carbonate or
calcium carbonate (limestone), will react
with dilute carbonic acid forming hydrogencarbonates.

carbonic acid + calcium carbonate arrow calcium hydrogencarbonate.
H2CO3(aq)    +       CaCO3(s)          arrow        Ca(HCO3)2(aq)

carbonic acid + magnesium carbonate arrow magnesium hydrogencarbonate.
H2CO3(aq)    +       MgCO3(s)               arrow             Mg(HCO3)2(aq)

These hydrogencarbonates are
slightly soluble in water, causing hardness.

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