Water Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re on municipal water (including Milwaukee water) or a private well, your water is still hard water!

Your water might not be of the quality you desire for bathing, laundering, cooking, cleaning or drinking. It might taste or smell bad, stain your plumbing fixtures, or be so hard that it leaves mineral deposits. Water softening is a simple and economical way to improve the quality of your water at your home, and Hanson Soft Water has the product line and expertise to recommend the best equipment for the job.

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Here are some facts:

  • The average municipal well water in Southeastern Wisconsin averages 8-35 grains per gallon (gpg) depending on the side of the Subcontinental Divide.
  • Lake Michigan water tests at about 8-10 gpg, but by the time it gets to the suburbs, it tests higher.
  • West side of Menomonee Falls wells test about 23 gpg.
  • Germantown or Sussex, for example, tests at 22-28 gpg.
  • The average private well comes in at 18-60 gpg.
  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, moderately hard to hard water (3.5 to 10.5 gpg) occurs in over half of the homes in the U.S.

Hardness is caused by minerals dissolved in the water, such as calcium and magnesium. Both these minerals can be removed with Hanson’s water softening equipment. The table below is an analysis according to the U.S. Department of the Interior and Water Quality Association standards.


Less than 1.0
1.0 to 3.5
3.5 to 7.0
7.0 to 10.5
10.5 and over


Slightly Hard
Moderately Hard
Very Hard

You probably already know if you have hard water. Does your soap lather very little, if at all? And instead of rinsing clean, it leaves you with dry skin and bad hair days? Is your white laundry gray and dingy? Are your dishes and drinking glasses spotty? When hard water is heated, do you notice a film on your cooking utensils, coffee pot and tea kettle? That same mineral build-up is taking its toll on your water heater, toilets and dishwasher.

Let the experts at Hanson Soft Water analyze your water and specify a water softening system for your home. The most efficient and economical way to soften your water is by purchasing or renting a permanently installed water softening appliance. Water softeners filter out sediment and remove dissolved hardness minerals by a process called ion exchange. This process substitutes sodium ions for the calcium ions present in hard water.

The best water softeners are completely automatic, self-recharging, and provide a virtually unlimited supply of soft water. Salt for recharging may be delivered on a regular basis by Hanson Soft Water, so that ownership can be essentially hassle-free.

Some automatic softeners recharge on a pre-set schedule which is controlled by a time clock. Most, however, recharge on a metered basis, initiating recharging of the water softener prior to the water becoming hard. They are more efficient in operation and provide a substantial savings on salt and water. If you do not wish to invest in a water softener, you can rent the same type of equipment. In this situation, the dealer owns the equipment and has the responsibility of its maintenance At Hanson Soft Water, part of the rental cost may be applied toward purchase.

Buying a water softener is a little more involved than buying the average appliance. First, a sample of water should be taken by Hanson Soft Water and then analyzed to determine the hardness of your water.

Water hardness must be determined because it is directly related to the size of equipment necessary. It is also important to determine whether other water impurities, such as iron, are present, and in what amount. For example, high iron content may interfere with the operation of a standard water softener. In this case an iron filter may be necessary. If even a small amount of sulfur is found, it still may be desirable to treat the water to avoid corrosion, tarnishing and odor.

Another factor influencing the size of water conditioning equipment is the amount of water used in the home. This can be estimated by the number of people in the household. Hanson Soft Water’s experts take the time to analyze all factors and recommend the best solution to your water problems.

✓ Does the dealer have an established place of business in your area?
Hanson Soft Water located in Menomonee Falls serves all of Southeastern Wisconsin and has been family owned and operated since 1957. We’ve built our reputation on quality service and superior equipment.

✓ Will a representative come to your home to determine the right type, capacity and installation of equipment?
A Hanson representative will visit your home, test your water, check the plumbing and thoroughly analyze your specific needs before making equipment recommendations.

✓ Is installation included in the price?
Hanson Soft Water always includes complete installation with the purchase of a new water system.

✓ Does installation include by-passing of lawn and garden sprinkling faucets, a faucet for unsoftened water, and other features you may desire?
Hanson Soft Water’s standard procedure is to install the softener so that the outside spickets are untreated water, with the balance of the home’s water softened … with the exception of the kitchen cold – which can be either hard or soft – depending on the existing plumbing on your house and homeowner preference. Our licensed installers are qualified and eager to make it happen.

✓ Does the unit have enough water conditioning capacity to provide for present and future demands?
Hanson Soft Water’s technicians carefully consider present and future demands to ensure that your equipment meets your needs for years to come.

✓ If you rent equipment, does your agreement include an option-to-buy provision?
The Hanson Soft Water rental agreement states that half of the first year’s rent and up to $100 of the rental installation charge is applied to the purchase of a new water softener.

✓ Does the dealer offer service on all products it installs?
Hanson Soft Water has their own team of service technicians and licensed installers who are available to service all equipment we install. We do NOT use subcontractors.

In buying a water softener, allow for family growth and for guests. It is better to have equipment that is oversized, rather than undersized to avoid problems of insufficient flow during periods of high water usage. Price should never be the primary consideration for selection of equipment. Larger or metered units may cost less to operate and be more efficient.

When choosing a water softener, look for equipment that has been validated by the State of Wisconsin. The State has judged that the equipment complies with the specifications of the industry standards for water softeners. Hanson Soft Water sells and installs only equipment that has been validated by the State of Wisconsin.

Iron in the water supply ruins its taste and stains plumbing fixtures and laundry. Does your water smell? Sulfur (hydrogen sulfide gas) in water makes it smell like rotten eggs. It rusts or corrodes plumbing and turns silverware black.

Iron filters, such as the Hellenbrand Iron Curtain Systems, can easily rid your water of iron and sulfur. The process involves a simple operation in which mineral rich water is forced through an aeration tank. Here, these dissolved minerals are converted into tiny particles which circulate in the system for enough time to grow to a size where they are trapped in a filter. In this way, the highest level of dissolved minerals can easily be removed from your water.

Image of baby drinking water.
Find out how hard your water really is. Contact Hanson Soft Water for a FREE WATER ANALYSIS.