Dh is trying to convince me to let him buy a water softener for our new house. We had one, once (about 9 years ago) in a house we rented, but have lived off of unsoftened well water ever since. The water at our new house is very hard, and the appliances (not to mention the tub and toilets!) are already showing signs of it even though the house was just completed in Sept. My concern is that growing up my parents had softened water, and it always felt 'slimy' to me, and I couldn't stand to drink it. I would much rather drink water that feels normal and tastes strong than water that has no taste but feels repulsive in my mouth! However, the rental we had that had softened water didn't have 'slimy' water. I am also concerned about the salty water from the softener going into the septic system and the effect all that extra salt may have on the natural function of the septic tank (ie health of the digestive enzymes in the septic) and the salts getting into the soil of the drainfield. Dh thinks that the effect of the salt will be minimal, but then again, he doesn't care about that stuff as much as I do. Can anyone tell me if there has been research done about the salt from softeners and the effect it has in the septic and soil? Or any knowledgeable people about soil or water softening systems? Also, is it possible to have soft water without having 'slimy' feeling water? (I am one of those who think it is insane to buy bottled water when I have drinkable water in my own well). Is there a way to soften water without salt? Thanks.