project

The hardness of water

Expert(s):
Stijn Brouwer MA MSc PhD, Yuki Fujita PhD, Alexander van Dorssen MSc

  • Start date
    01 Jan 2019
  • End date
    31 Dec 2020
  • Principal
    Bedrijfstakonderzoek
  • collaborating partners
    De Watergroep

Research shows a clear link between the ‘perceived quality’ of tap water and the perception of hardness: the softer customers perceive water to be, the higher the quality rating. This project analyses the extent to whichperceived hardness relates to actual hardness and the extent to which perceived hardness is connected to behaviour and how this may or may not be influenced.

The 2018 Joint Research Programme customer perspectives shows a clear correlation between the perceived quality of tap water and the perceived hardness of the water: the softer customers perceive the water to be, the higher they rate the quality.. The extent to which perceived hardness relates to actual hardness and the extent to which perceived hardness is connected to behaviour and how this may or may not be influenced are, however, less clear.

Customer research regarding the use of a water softening installation

To gain greater insight into the relationship between perception, satisfaction, behaviour and the hardness of water, this study focuses on a service area where a new water softening installation  is going to be used for tap water over  the course of the study. A questionnaire will be distributed to a large group of customers in the service area concerned, both before and after the introduction of the water softening installation. The questionnaire will focus on  aspects such as  satisfaction, perceived levels of hardness, and behaviour. This study also makes use of a citizen science pilot, in which customers can measure levels oflime in the water by themselves. The project therefore builds on  insights from previous citizen science projects relating to lime and hardness.

Better understanding of customer experiences

This participative study will generate knowledge about the relationship between perception, satisfaction, behaviour and the hardness of water. This will contribute to a greater understanding of the value and significance of citizen science in influencing this relationship. The obtained  knowledge will help water companies better understand customer experiences , further optimize water softening evaluations and improve customer involvement through citizen science.