Water woes

I have just purchased my second house. Both have had water hardness & iron problems, but this latest house has them to a much higher degree.
The Facts: Drilled well Electric hot water tank Hardness as CaCO3: 205.4 mg/L Calcium: 63.7 mg/L Sodium: 42.3 mg/L Iron: 13.4 mg/L Magnesium: 11.3 mg/L Manganese: 0.313 mg/L
The system was charged prior to any water treatment, so my toilet tank, pipes, and presumably my hot water tank has heavy iron staining. I have put a water softener in place and have set it to regenerate every night, and did one manual regeneration with some "Super Iron Out" added to the brine. This, I assume, only helps remove any iron buildup in my softener, not in my hot water tank where I anticipated it is most needed. I have ceased any iron-buildup procedures until the core iron problem has been solved. It has been a week since the softener was put in, and the aesthetic quality of the water has improved a tiny bit, but heavy staining still occurs, and there is an objectionable taste.
My home builder is under specific legal obligation to get the water to meet provincial and municipal standards, which are:
Hardness as CaCO3: none Calcium: none Sodium: 200 mg/L Iron: 0.3 mg/L Magnesium: none Manganese: 0.05 mg/L
What we *don't* know is what the softened water tests at, but my tiny bit of research shows me that a typical water softener can remove anywhere from 0.5 mg/L to 2 mg/L of iron (reducing its water softening capacity), so I anticipate that I am still way over the guideline. I do not know what effect the water softener has on manganese, if any.
I wish to protect myself against bad counsel from my builder and "ask the experts" here on this group what the ideal solution is. Obviously, I am above standards on my Iron and Manganese, so these are my primary concerns. What sort of solution should I be lobbying my builder for?
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
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As an ammendum, I'd like to add that I am additionally concerned about Sodium after the fact. A previous post to this group ( http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.home.repair/msg/c025c5c256508d86?dmode=source ) seems to indicate that it is mathematically possible for my softener to cause my water to contain up to 2000 mg/L of sodium considering the iron, hardness, and manganese levels currently in the water. This, of course, is ten times my allowable guideline.
I guess the question is: what is the best way to get my water to have up-to-standard quantities of the above contents?
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A water softener water hardness minerals (calcium, magnesium) replacing them with sodium improving the washing action of soaps. Passing water through a potassium permanganate bed can remove small amounts of iron and manganese . Larger amounts of iron are removed by chlorinating which causes the iron to precipatate. The water is passed thru a sand filter to remove the iron. Then the water is aerated to remove the excess chlorine. Do you want to end up running a extensive water treatment plant?
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Do you have neighbors in the vicinity? What are their experiences?
Do you know who drilled the well? I would think they would know what it might take to get good potable water. There may be another producible zone by drilling deeper or casing out a bad zone.
Your softener salesman or tech may have some additional suggestions/solutions.
It would be unusual for you to be the only one in your vicinity with problems.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Thank you all for your replies.
My plumber (who supervised the well drilling, selected the water softener, and did all the internal plumbing) tells me that my water softener should be able to take care of all of the iron, even though it is just a regular run of the mill salt-fed bead-action softener. I am challenging him on it, of course, since my research shows that softeners are only good at removing small amounts of iron (around 2 mg/L tops). Is that true?
As far as whether or not I want to end up with an extensive water treatment plant, my answer is no, but I also need to be able to do laundry, so I'll accept whatever I need to do for that to happen. I do have neighbours in the vicinity, and will perhaps knock on a few doors and ask about their experiences.
So, reading between the lines, you folks seem to be saying that I should be pushing for a separate iron filter/treatment unit, or negotiating a deeper well. Is that correct?
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FfejNS wrote:

A softener using regular mesh resin can remove up to 5 ppm of iron IF you use a resin cleaner faithfully, on a timely basis but, most softeners can't do more than 2-3 ppm of iron consistently. Although the same softener with fine mesh or SST-60 resins will do it longer.
That all assumes that the softener is correctly sized for the peak demand flow rate gpm it has to treat; that is the SFR (service flow rate of the softener). Plumbers on average tend to not know a lot about softeners, even fewer know anything about well drilling!! And who knows well drilling better than a well driller? Who knows softeners and water treatment better than a water treatment dealer?
All waters contain some sodium. A softener adds 2 ions of sodium for each ion exchanged and you get 7.85 mg/l added sodium per grain of exchange. I.E. 15 gpg hardness is 7.85 * 117.75 mg per roughly a quart of softened water. My 8 0z glass of V8 juice has 590 mg while skim milk has 530. Check the label of beverages and food and you'll see there is much more sodium in them than in most softened water.
Gary Quality Water Associates http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com
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Thank you VERY much for the time you took to post your very helpful reply.
I think that my last question is this. How does my 13.4 mg/L of iron compare to the 2-3 ppm of max iron-removal of a softener? Does 1 mg/L = 1 ppm ??
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Yes, ppm and mg/l are the same measurement. Your 13.4 ppm is very high iron. If you weren't using iron out, your softener would have loaded up with rust (Ferric iron) already. Which it may be anyway. With that much iron, I would expect IRB if not now, at some point in the future. Then you will have an H2S odor. And all types of non-disinfectant type equipment will fail.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com
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