Drilled a new well when we built a home in rural Indiana. Karst country. The driller went through three caves to hit the aquifer, and the well is almost 400 feet deep. We haven't used it much ... several hundred gallons, probably, since we just pumped it into a temporary 250 gallon tank. But now we are ready to move into the house and trying to figure out water softener, heater, etc. The house is plumbed mostly with PEX, and copper going to the kitchen. The water has some slight coliform (not e.coli) bacteria, so we'll install a UV disinfector.

My question is, is our water really this hard (tested last year at about 100 grains)? Is it because of the drilling, and will the hardness go down over time? What kind of monster water softener is it going to take to get this water usable? And is that going to make the water so salty that we can't drink it? We talked to one softener guy, and he suggested getting a water dispenser for drinking. My partner wants to run four kinds of water through the house: cold unsoftened water for the icemaker, toilets, and for drinking, cold soft water for cooking, hot soft water to the kitchen, hot unsoft water to the bathrooms .. this just seems too complex.

Any advice?