I am reviewing my options for setting up a filtration system. I apologize for the length of the post as I'm trying to cover a lot of ground.
Here's the background.
Our water is supplied from a multi-well community water system in NC which is delivering treated water with following attributes:
Hardness 5 grains
nitrate 1 ppm
sulfur 1 ppm
TDS 85 ppm
Sulfate 3.36 ppm
Chloroform 1.30 ppB
My goals are:
1) To solve the slight rust and manganese issue (iron colored toilet reservoir) but no discoloring of the fixtures themselves
2) Reducing or eliminating further iron / manganese accumulation in the CPVC plumbing which after 10 years surprised both me and my plumber and possibly caused a problem with some valves I had to have replaced.
3) Removing the chlorine and future chloramines as I've been told we may be switching treatments in the near future
4) Whatever I do, low maintenance is key as I do not what to be changing filters every 3 months, hence the larger 20" filters, nor do I want to have to dump the larger media tanks and refill.
5) The setup must be reliable (Pentek and 3M filter housings)
6) The setup must be easy to judge the condition of the media (hence the clear Pentek housings).
7) The setup must use 1" NPT connections to maintain flow rates
8) Outside faucets are NOT on the direct house feed and will not be routed thru anything I do
Regarding the iron / manganese - I had a whole house carbon filter installed for the kitchen legs originally 10 years ago and when we removed it recently for some other work, the input side of the CPVC FlowGuard Gold tubing had a black / brown coating (iron / manganese) while the filtered side (simple carbon filter) looked almost new. This set me off because I had an issue with two control valves which may have been affected by these accumulations.
I've considered installing a simple serial water filtration setup and MAYBE a softer but am not sure what my best value is given my specs. I'm pretty sure I do not want to get into the large replaceable media solutions where I have to dump and replace the media (carbon or KDF,...) every 3 - 5 years. That's why the AP903 caught my attention with is 100,000 gallon ratings and I do not want to create a breeding ground for bacteria either on GAC.
My 3 person family uses about 1600-2000 gallons of water per month and I have 1" feed lines for the main feeds and would like to not restrict these feeds.
Some of the commercial "treatment" units I've looked at, such as Hague offer to treat the entire package but I am not sure they offer me the best value or whether they would solve all my issues. I cannot find a lot of "reviewed" info about the Hague units.
Instead of in addition to a softener, I am looking at using the following serial filters:
1) A CLEAR (so I can monitor) 20" x 4.5" Pentek "Big Clear" coupled with a Radial Flow Reduction Cartridge for the IRON / Manganese. Given the gallonage we use and specs, this cartridge should last 3 years based on gallons used but I would probably change it every 12 - 18 months.
2) One of the newer 3m AP903 Carbon / 5 micron whole house filters with 1" connections. Rated for > 100,000 gallons which is 3-4 years at my usage rate.
3) A final polishing filter perhaps a 1 micro simple filter again in a CLEAR 20" x 4.5" Penteck Big Clear so I can see how well the other two filters are working with the Iron / Manganese.
FWIW, I am having trouble locating the Pentek 20" Big Clear filter housings. Everyone has the "Big Blue" version.. any suppliers?
Overall, does the community have specific recommendations for what I should consider given these spec values and my goals or what the best options would be for my situation. I'd like to fix the the few problems we have in the most cost effective way possible and also protect some of the automatic valves I just had replaced.
Any advice from the experts out here would be welcome.