Water is considered “hard” when it contains higher levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium. It makes cleaning clothes more difficult, creates streaking on dishes and glasses, and makes cleaning your hair and skin well a challenge. It can also damage your home’s piping distribution system if not corrected. There are high efficiency filtration solutions that will remove these minerals through the proven ion exchange softening process.
While symptoms such as bad odors & taste, staining of laundry, bathroom fixtures, etc. are indicators of problems, the preferred starting point is to get a test to identify the minerals or contaminants and at what quantities they exist. While certain minerals & contaminants can be tested on-site (iron, hardness, pH, total dissolved solids), health threat items like radon, arsenic, nitrates and others should be properly sampled and brought to a certified laboratory for testing that requires specialized equipment.
A water softener is a type of whole house filtration system that is designed for removing hard water minerals (magnesium & calcium) as well as dissolved iron and manganese from the water. For high levels of iron or manganese (“the stainers”), an “Up-flow” softener is recommended to prevent mineral build-up in the bottom. Also, high efficiency softeners that are more efficient with both water and salt usage are preferred.
In addition to the above systems described, there are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors, sediment and many other objectionable minerals and contaminants. Starting with a test and analysis will lead to the right approach. For more information on bad odors & taste, see the link at https://bad-odor-taste/.