If you are wondering whether you need a water softener, the first step is to determine the source and quality of your home’s water supply. This varies depending on whether your water comes from a municipal water department or a private well.

person pouring salt from bag into a water softener

Understanding Municipal Water Sources

When your water supply comes from a municipal water department, you can be assured that the water is generally safe for consumption. Municipal water departments are regulated and produce detailed water quality reports that are usually available online.

For instance, the St. Paul Regional Water Services department provides a monthly report that covers everything in the water, ensuring transparency and safety.

The dedicated employees in these departments take their responsibility seriously, ensuring that the water provided is safe for the community.

Here are some useful links to read local reports:

St. Paul Water Quality Report

Minneapolis Water Quality Report

Assessing Well Water Quality

If your water comes from a well, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s potable, meaning safe to drink. Unlike municipal water, well water isn’t regulated by the same stringent standards, so it’s a good idea to have it analyzed regularly.

Hiring a water treatment technician to take samples for analysis will give you an informed understanding of what contaminants may be present.

Based on the results, they can recommend the appropriate treatment solutions, which might include water filters, water softening systems, or even a high-end reverse osmosis system for more comprehensive treatment.

The Impact of Hard Water

Many municipal water departments, including those in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro areas, naturally soften their water. The water in these areas is typically about 6 grains hard, which is considered relatively soft.

However, water hardness becomes noticeable and problematic at around 12 grains or higher. Hard water can have several negative effects on your home:

  • Skin and Hair: Hard water can be harsh on the skin and hair, leading to dryness and irritation.
  • Laundry: It can make clothing feel rough and cause colors to fade more quickly.
  • Dishware: Hard water often leaves spots and streaks on dishware, making them appear dirty even after washing.
  • Plumbing: Perhaps most critically, hard water can cause significant wear and tear on plumbing fixtures and faucets, leading to premature aging and potentially costly repairs.

Choosing the Right Water Softening Solution

Deciding whether you need a water softener involves assessing the hardness of your water and understanding the impact it has on your home and daily life. If you are experiencing any of the issues associated with hard water, consulting a professional can provide clarity and solutions tailored to your needs.

bathroom faucet with hard water deposits

Contacting Professionals

If you have questions about the quality of your water or are looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today. Their team can help you determine whether a water softening system is necessary for your home and provide the best solutions for maintaining your water quality.

With the right information and professional guidance, you can ensure that your home’s water is safe, comfortable, and effective for all your needs.


Q: Do I Need a Water Softener if my water comes from a municipal department?

A: It depends. While municipal water is generally safe, it can still contain high levels of minerals that lead to hard water and its associated problems. It’s always best to consult with a professional to determine if a water-softening system is necessary for your home.

Q: How often should well water be tested?

A: It’s recommended to test well water annually, as it can change over time due to various factors such as environmental conditions and nearby farming practices. Additionally, if there are changes in the taste, color, or odor of your well water, it’s best to have it tested immediately.

Q: Can I install a water-softening system myself?

A: While some DIY water softening systems are available, it’s generally recommended to consult with a professional. They can accurately assess your water quality and recommend the best system for your specific needs. Additionally, professional installation ensures proper functioning and avoids voiding the softener’s warranty and any potential plumbing complications.

Q: How can I tell if my water is hard?

A: You may notice signs of hard water such as soap scum buildup in sinks and bathtubs, or a white film on dishes after washing. Additionally, testing your water’s hardness using a test strip kit from a hardware store can provide more accurate results. Overall, it’s best to consult with a professional for a comprehensive analysis of your water quality.

Q: Can a water softener eliminate all contaminants from my water?

A: While water softeners are effective at removing minerals that cause hard water, they may not be enough to eliminate other contaminants. It’s best to have your water tested and consult with a professional for the best treatment solutions based on your specific needs. So, it is essential to have regular maintenance of your system and have it checked by professionals like those at St Paul Pipeworks.

Yours Truly,

Matthew Dettwiler

Social Media Manager

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