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I have a 200 foot bore for water in my home. The Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) value of that water is around 790-800ppm. I want to make this water safe for bathing, dish-washing and clothes washing. I don't need to make this water ideal for drinking.

What are the cheapest possible solutions for that?

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I'd say you have two options you could try, one cheap and one expensive.

  1. You could add a whole house sediment filter to your main line into the house. There are a couple different kinds (replaceable paper, cleanable metal screen, and more fancy options).
  2. You could add a reverse osmosis system and significant size storage tank to store enough RO water since the system won't keep up.

Option 1 could run from $50 (assuming DIY) to $1000, depending on how fancy you get. Option 2 would probably run from ~$800 to $1500, due to the need to store the RO water and more replumbing.

I'd probably try option 1 and see if that is adequate for you.

This article describes installing a pretty simple type of whole house filter.


You may need to look for something more expensive like a metal screen back flushing sediment filter if you find that you clog the paper media filter. The price differential is considerable. One example selected at random.


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There are three basic non-snake oil devices that one might use: sediment filter, RO filter, and water softener.

A sediment filter doesn't remove dissolved solids.

An RO filter is not suitable for high volume uses like bathing, dish-washing and clothes washing.

A good water softener is the right product for your needs.

But you might add an RO filter in the kitchen to supply water for drinking and cooking also.

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A water softener is not in fact the right product for reducing total dissolved solids. From wikipedia: "High levels of total dissolved solids do not coorelate to hard water, as water softeners do not reduce TDS. Water softners remove magnesium and calcium ions, which cause hard water, but these ions are replaced with an equal number of sodium or potassium ions. This leaves overall TDS unchanged." waterquality.montana.edu/docs/homeowners/tds_fact_sheet.shtml – Keith Hoffman Feb 9 '15 at 6:27
True, the best thing is for him to get his water analyzed as part of deciding if he needs a water softener and installing it but usually when well water has high TDS, it's magnesium and calcium. It is likely he is concerned about washing applications from talking to his neighbors who probably have roughly the same water quality that he has. Sodium doesn't affect washing, it's more of a concern for drinking water which he explicitly ruled out. – Philip Ngai Feb 10 '15 at 7:17

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