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A relatively recent development in hard water treatment is electromagnetic water conditioners. The water is passed through a magnetic field. The calcium and magnesium ions then lose their ability to cause limescale. Although the water is not technically soft, it has the useful properties of soft water, that is, it won't build up in your pipes thus increasing heating efficiency and lengthening the lifespan of any clothes washed in the conditioned water. Plus, the conditioned water retains its calcium content, which is an added benefit.