Even though our days were filled with activities, either attending a session at the SMBE conference or cycling through the city to visit the Taste of Chicago, staying in the one hotel for almost 2 weeks while in Chicago made the trip really relaxing.
The hotel staff cleaned the room each day but even so I noticed a distinct pink ring around the plug holes. So I asked one of our cleaners why it was pink. She told me that there is rust in the water and this leaves a pinkish residue that can only be cleaned off quite aggressively.
One of the things I learnt about Chicago is that they get their water from Lake Michigan. There are intake pipes that go quite some distance out into the lake to supply the city with fresh water. They look like white and red ice cream towers in the middle of the lake! It’s obviously treated to make it drinkable. But there are still high levels of minerals in the water, such as iron and calcium.
High levels of minerals means the water is classified as hard water, so hard water conditioning in each home is a necessity otherwise equipment is damaged and the limescale builds up on shower screens and tap ware. (They call them faucets over in the US.) Talk about a pain! It’s not as if there isn’t enough cleaning to do in a house.
Since we’ve been home in Victoria we’ve visited a friend up in Murray Bridge, South Australia and while there I noticed the same cloudy residue on the shower screen and pink algae growing out of the shower head! It turns out that Adelaide has the hardest water in Australia and Melbourne has the softest. Which would account for why I’ve never noticed the calcium build up or pink rings in our homes before.