Water Softening or Water Treatment
- Which Do You Need?

Contaminated Well Water

Whether you have excess minerals in your water or unknown contaminants discoloring your water supply, we can help.

We can test your water for chemicals or send it away for contaminant analysis. 

Woman holding glass filled with water

A customized water treatment process will correct your individual concerns. 

Bad smelling or bad tasting water, as well as cloudy or brown discoloration can indicate either or both of these impurities.  Accurate analysis will determine your best option.

Water Treatment Systems Sales, Service & Installation

There are several different types of water softeners that are commonly used to remove the minerals that cause hard water, including:

  • Ion exchange water softeners: This is the most common type of water softener. It uses a bed of resin beads that have a negative charge. The positively charged minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are attracted to the beads and exchange places with sodium ions, which are less likely to form mineral buildup.

  • Salt-free water softeners: These systems use a process called template-assisted crystallization to change the shape of the mineral ions, so they cannot cling to surfaces and form scale. They are also called descalers or conditioners.
  • Dual-tank water softeners: These systems have two tanks, one of which is in use while the other is regenerating. This allows for a continuous soft water supply.
  • Magnetic water softeners: These systems use a magnetic field to change the shape of the mineral ions, so they cannot cling to surfaces and form scale. They are also called magnetic descalers.
  • Reverse osmosis water softeners: These systems use a membrane to remove dissolved minerals and impurities from the water, which can also remove hardness.

It’s important to note that not all water softeners are created equal, and the effectiveness of each type can vary depending on the specific water hardness and other contaminants in your water.

The best water treatment system for eliminating contaminants will depend on the specific contaminants present in your water. Some common water treatment systems that are effective for eliminating various types of contaminants include:

  • Reverse osmosis (RO): This system uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove dissolved solids, bacteria, viruses, and other impurities from the water.
  • Activated Carbon Filters: They use activated carbon to adsorb a wide range of contaminants such as chlorine, pesticides, and VOCs.
  • Ultra-violet (UV) disinfection: This system uses UV light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in the water.
  • Distillation: This system uses heat to vaporize water, leaving impurities behind. The vapor is then condensed back into water, providing clean and safe drinking water. 
  • Ion exchange: This system uses resin beads to remove dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. 
  • A combination of different systems: Depending on the types and levels of contaminants, a combination of different systems may be necessary for effective treatment.  

Water treatment refers to the process of removing impurities and contaminants from water to make it safe for human consumption or other uses. This can include processes such as filtration, disinfection, and reverse osmosis. 

Water softening, on the other hand, is a specific process used to remove excess minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can cause hard water. This process typically involves passing the water through a bed of ion exchange resin, which exchanges the hard minerals for sodium ions.

Water treatment and water softening are two separate processes, but they can be combined together in some cases.

Some water treatment systems, such as reverse osmosis systems, can also remove the minerals that cause hard water.

However, reverse osmosis systems are not specifically designed for water softening,

they are mainly used to remove dissolved solids, microorganisms, and other impurities that can make water unsafe to drink. 

Water from private wells can be contaminated with a variety of impurities, including:

  • Bacteria: such as E. coli, coliform, and other harmful microorganisms.
  • Chemicals: including pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that can leach into the groundwater from agricultural or industrial activities.
  • Metals: such as lead, iron, and copper that can leach into the water from pipes, fittings, or well pumps.
  • Nitrates: can come from agricultural runoff or septic systems.
  • Radon: a radioactive gas that can seep into the water from rocks and soil.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): such as gasoline, oil, and cleaning fluids can also contaminate private wells.

It’s important to have your well water tested periodically to check for any potential contaminants.

For specific water softening, an ion exchange resin method is commonly used, which can be separate from the water treatment system. 

It is important to note that water treatment is focused on making water safe for consumption, while water softening is focused on improving the quality of water for household use and appliances.

Signs of hard water show… 

  • on your skin (dry & itchy?), 
  • on your plumbing fixtures (scale buildup?),
  • on your dishes and glassware (spotty or cloudy appearance?) and even
  • on your laundry (stiff, scratchy and not quite clean?).

Beyond the inconvenience of bad-tasting or smelly hard water is the risk that the chemicals in hard water affects your reliable water flow. 

When you have hard water, your pipes and appliances have a shorter lifespan and you could experience more frequent repairs of your plumbing’s “moving parts”, which include your well pump and its components. 


Lancaster Water Treatment for Private Well Owners