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Nobody seems to have an explanation, though. Water tables in the metro area have been lowering in recent years, but that is not believed to be the cause.

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"We didn't change anything," he said. "It's the well water characteristics that changed."

Richfield is one of six cities in the metro area that softens its water as a service to residents, who benefit from the ease of cleaning that the treated water brings. But a report completed last Nike Dunk Low Pro B year shows diminishing returns on the city's softening program.

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April, but problems getting the necessary components delivered contributed to a delay, Hintgen explained.

The project, which was started in February, was initially expected to be done in Foamposite Football Cleats

More suds and fewer water spots are on the way in Richfield.

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Richfield has been softening its water supply ever since the city's water treatment facility was built in 1963, so longtime residents have gotten used to their soft water, Hintgen observed.

"I've been telling them the same thing: We're aware of it and we're fixing it," he said.

Work is underway at Richfield's water treatment facility to install a chemical delivery system to combat the increasing hardness of the city's supply of well water. The equipment includes pumps and silos, pictured, to hold the soda ash and lime. (Sun Current staff photo by Andrew Wig)

"It's just chemical feed equipment that allows us to feed soda ash," said Utility Superintendent Robert Hintgen, outlining a $410,000 project that involves the installation of silos and pumps in the treatment facility.

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Richfield's new water softening equipment is just the latest of a series of upgrades that have occurred lately at the treatment facility. The city has invested $6 million into the facility since 2007, including measures such as an overhaul of the sand filters that purify the water supply after it has been softened, Hintgen said.

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Richfield utilities employee Kristian Gasslund conducts a hard water test in a lab at the city's water treatment facility. (Sun Current staff photo by Andrew Wig)

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"The people that have lived here for so long actually can taste the difference," he said.

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A chemical delivery system is being installed at the city's water treatment facility to further soften a water supply that had become harder in recent years.

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"Believe me, you can tell," he said.

The water didn't harden because of anything the city did, according to Hintgen.

harder water, estimating he's received up to 20 since the hardness began increasing.

"We don't know why the deep well water just showed up a little harder," Eastling said. "It just did."

Between 2005 and 2011, the hardness of Richfield's water increased by 18 percent, according to a report presented to the city council last year. The city already softens its water with lime, but soda ash will be added to that protocol to more aggressively treat the supply. Equipment to deliver the additional chemical is expected to be installed by the end of May, according to Public Works Director Mike Eastling.

Utilities Supervisor Butch Lupkes has been around for the upgrades, which he said may not be glamorous, but are nevertheless necessary to keep the taps running.

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While the softening of the city's water supply will occur gradually once the equipment is in place, Hintgen expects at least some residents to notice a difference.

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