Water can come from a private well, and many cities also pump water from wells. Here in the southern half of the Twin Cities, most private well water comes from the Shakopee and Jordan Aquifers. City water generally comes from the Jordan Aquifer, but some city wells go very deep (around 1000 feet) into the Mt. Simon aquifer in order to find clean water.
Most well water here in southern Minnesota contains hardness. Water hardness is a measurement of calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate in a water sample. Together they represent Total Hardness, measured in grains per gallon.
Water hardness is undesirable because it builds up in the water heater making it much less efficient; build up on plumbing, fixtures, shower doors, sinks; shortens the life of water using appliances and clothing; requires more detergent for good cleaning results. It’s less expensive to buy a high quality water treatment system from a professional, than to have no system at all.
In addition to hardness, there is the troublesome trio of Iron, Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide. This trio can be quite a challenge to remove from private well water. There can also be contaminants such as arsenic, nitrate, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. that can be health concerns.
Treatment requires a water analysis, equipment knowledge, and experience applying both. Water treatment in this context is part science, and part art – the art of water treatment. Sometimes people will try to cut corners with cost, or do it themselves. But if the finest quality water is what you desire, there is no substitute for an experienced water treatment dealer.