A water softener is effective in removing hard water minerals (magnesium and calcium) as well as iron & manganese. The EPA maximum allowable levels for iron as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million and for manganese is .05 parts per million. Small amounts of these minerals can have large affects on your home’s water quality.
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hard water minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. For more information on Iron and Manganese in water, see articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://publications/.
See the following chart which categorizes the level of hard water:
AFFECTS OF IRON, MANGANESE & HARD WATER
Some of the affects include corrosion and scaling inside pipes, major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks and destruction of hot water heaters way ahead of their useful life. Hard water 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. For those using their well water for outside lawn irrigation, iron and manganese can cause major staining of outside walkways, house siding and anyplace the water touches. See the link at http://lawn-irrigation/.
For more on hard water, see the link at https://usgs.gov/edu/hardness.