Whether you have a private well or are on town water supply, a water softener may improve your home’s overall water quality. Water Softening will be very effective if you have dissolved hard water minerals (magnesium & calcium), iron or manganese in your water. Small amounts of these minerals can have large affects on your water quality. Hard water minerals can have damaging affects on your plumbing distribution system and create scaling, staining and much difficulty in cleaning fixtures, surfaces, etc.
THE AFFECTS OF IRON, MANGANESE & HARD WATER
Hard water affects include corrosion and scaling inside pipes, staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks and destruction of hot water heaters way ahead of their useful life (scale build-up inside hot water heaters can insulate the temperature sensor inside the tank causing them to work much harder to bring the temperature up to the set level). Iron and manganese in water can create rusty or black/brown staining and corrosion in the home as well. For more on hard water, see the link https://water.usgs.edu.hardness.
Additionally, there are many other types of systems to remove bad tastes & odors, sediment and many other objectionable minerals and contaminants in the water (chlorine smell & taste, for example). Starting with a water test will lead to the right approach. For more information on common bad odors & tastes in New England water supplies, see the link at http:/bad-odor-taste-water/.