Whole House system -- Community Well

I live in a house that uses a community well that serves dozen of houses. At the well pumphouse, the water is treated with Chlorine and a 30% orthophosphate--70% polyphosphate blend.
Our water has heavy levels of calcium, manganese, and iron. Our toilet tanks are black and shower nozzles require regular soaks in CLR to keep a clear spray pattern. I think the hot water heater breaks down the phosphating and circulates iron and calcium to hot water-using spigots and faucets.
Water quality test data at kitchen sink: pH=7, Cl=0.5 ppm, Fe=0.8 ppm, Hardness 11gr/gal, TDS 216 ppm. A different test reported manganese levels of 0.17 and sulfate level of 29.8. I think units are also ppm.
I would like a whole-house softener and filter to eliminate iron, manganese, sulfate, and calcium from household water. I plan on an RO unit for the kitchen water.
My question is about softening the phosphate-treated water. Won't the phosphating at the well bind up or sequester the iron/manganese/calcium ions presented to the in-house system? Is there any sort of ion exchange resin or media that will work with the ortho- and poly-phosphated water? How can sodium ion exchange occur if the Fe/Mn/Ca ions are bound up with polyphosphate and orthophosphate?
I don't understand how a water softener system would function or last very long under these circumstances. Am I screwed if I want a water softening system if I have ortho-poly phosphated water at my home POI? I am understandably reluctant to invest thousands in a home system if it will not work over the long run.
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First, you need to determine if the system you are on qualifies as a public water system. If it is, then the system must adhere to public drinking water standards. Based on the data you provided (assuming it was sampled correctly), your iron and manganese levels are over general drinking water limits. The standard for iron is .3 mg/l and the standard for manganese is 0.05 mg/l. If your system is a public system, then treatment may be required at the well where the chlorination etc. is taking place. Check with your local health department before you spend the money. Sounds like you would also be doing your neighbors a favor by doing this too. Liz

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Li, The system I am on is a public water system. I have had the water retested by both the contracting company that attends to the well and by the county water quality board. As my initial post mentions, the community well is treated with Cl and a blend of ortho- and poly- phosphates. The phosphate treatment is designed to bind up the iron and manganese, as a softening treatment. The well contractor and the county water inspector both say the treated water quality leaving the community well easily meets NC public drinking water standards. (can't beat City Hall)
Problem is, the polyphosphated ions break down in the hot water heater and free the Fe and Mn and Ca back up in the house hot water supply, with expected crusty results. Hence my search for a way to re-treat water to remove the pre-treat ortho-poly-phosphate "softener", because it still precipitates iron out in HW heater and manganese out in toilet tanks.
I have learned that Culligan sells a macroporous anion resin which is supposed to remove polyphosphated iron and manganese complexes, the whole particles, instead of splitting the phosphate off. If true, that's fine with me, gets rid of unwanted ions and phosphate as well, leaving the unsequestered stuff to be softened by "regular" sodium ion-exchange water softening media. I want to get rid of that stuff, not pass it on to the HW heater.
I am looking for non-Culligan brand alternatives to the macroporous anion resin that a local water quality firm might use in a system that doesn't have the breathtaking price of the Culligan $ystem ($3-4K) that was quoted to me.
Who knows what a commercial equivalent to the Culligan macroporous anion resin might be? I was told that particular resin was typically used to remove dissolved organic materials such as tannic acid from water, then it was found to be able to remove bonded complexes of polyphosphated iron and manganese.
If Culligan's the only one with such a resin, then maybe there is some justification to the lofty pricing.
Thanks for any help or suggestions, Hard Water Homeowner
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dropped my retiree health benefits this year. They still have the best customer satisfaction guarantee out there.
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BEWARE! Just before christmas SEARS changed their satisfaction guaranteed or your money back:(
They NOW have return charges ( restocking fees) and short time limits on returns The sears of before K Mart is gone. ask lots of questions and get everything in writing before dealing with sears
If you ask me K Mart will kill Sears and within a few years all that will be left is craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances sold by other companies like Lowes...
Sears isnt a good place to shop anymore! Locally Sears stores scheduled to be remodeled were cancelled. The $ redirected to remodel K Marts, which actually owns sears
sad sears USED to be one of my favorite stores! Heck I bought a $800 chipper there just over a year ago, wore out the chipping blade and found this essential part isnt available at all:( I guess stuff from china has no parts???
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Unfortunately a shelf stock softener from Sears or Home Depot or Lowe's won't work. Those softening systems use ion exchange resins that won't work on sequestered or phosphate-bound iron and manganese. When the iron and manganese ions are sequestered before they get to my house, they are not ionically available for interaction with iron filters and traditional ion-exchange resin media. Am I wrong?
I specifically want to get rid of the polyphosphated iron and manganese, and generic softening system media won't catch them. So I'd be paying for the system, installation, salt, etc .... and still have the identical original problem. Not too good...
That's why I need a special resin, either one like Culligan's white macroporous anion media, or the Culligan product itself. I've got special water chemistry needs that won't work with an off-the-shelf filtering/softening system that's not designed for my specific water supply issues.
If the Culligan resin is one-of-a-kind, then I'll have to buy Culligan or have nothing. If some resin supplier has a product that can do the same, I can probably have a local water quality vendor design a system for a good deal less than Culligan's breathtaking quote.
OTOH, if it's a Culligan-or-nothing scenario, and they are the ONLY ones with the magic polyphosphated iron and manganese removal media, I might as well quit wringing my hands, write Culligan a hefty check, and get on with it.
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