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Find the Best Water Softeners and Treatment Systems in Madison, WI

The average Madison resident uses 64 gallons of water per day, according to the city. Many have water softeners, filters and other treatment systems to improve water quality. Madison.com has partnered with ConsumerAffairs to create this guide by comparing product selection, customer reviews and local availability of 34 businesses and choosing eight favorites from the top water treatment companies in Madison.

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Choosing a water treatment system in Madison

madison skyline

When shopping for water treatment systems in Madison, know your objective: Is it to remove certain components from your water? Make your water softer? Madison has very hard tap water due to the rock formation surrounding the sandstone aquifer that’s the source of the city’s water. In response, many homeowners use water softeners to remove excess calcium and magnesium. There are different types of water filter systems to strip chemicals, heavy metals and other contaminants from your home’s water. These systems can be installed at the water’s point of entry to your home or at an individual faucet or showerhead.

Here are some of the most common types of water filter systems in Madison, including eco-friendly options.

  • Whole-house water filters: Unlike sink water filters, these point-of-entry systems filter water throughout the home, whether it’s the kitchen faucet or the laundry machine. This prevents mineral buildup on fixtures and improves the taste of your water.
  • Activated carbon filters: Carbon filters absorb contaminants in the water, providing you with cleaner, better-tasting water. These filters can be installed at the point of entry or the point of use.
  • Water softeners: Water softeners replace calcium and magnesium in the water with sodium or potassium, giving the water a smoother feeling and reducing the hard water buildup. If your home’s water has bacteria or algae, water conditioners can remove those contaminants as well.
  • Reverse osmosis: Using a semipermeable membrane, RO water filters remove fluoride, sediment, chlorine, pesticides and other contaminants.
  • UV disinfection: Ultraviolet purification is recommended if there's a risk of bacteria or viruses in your water supply. It kills microorganisms in the water, but does not remove particles or chemicals.
  • Salt softeners: Most water softeners use salt to strip excess minerals from the water. Salt may come in pellets, crystals or as block salt. This does not result in a salty taste to your water.
  • Water distillation: Distilled water has been boiled to vapor, then recondensed to liquid in a separate container, leaving the contaminants behind. These are available as countertop systems.

Some water filtration companies in Madison only sell the filters or softeners, but others include installation and maintenance as well. Local plumbers can install and repair filtration or water softening systems if the manufacturer does not. Before you purchase your water treatment system online or in a store, research the company’s reputation, warranties and money-back guarantees in the event you aren’t satisfied.

How much does a water filtration system cost in Madison?

The average water softener cost in Madison ranges from $650 to $2,000, including installation, but there are do-it-yourself options available for as low as $250. Water filtration systems cost anywhere from $300 to more than $4,000. The type of filtration or purification system and the extent of the treatment (point-of-use versus whole-home, or point-of-entry) will affect the price of the water treatment system. Water softeners and filters may increase your water bill by a small amount, but eco-friendly solutions typically do not.

Madison softeners and treatment systems FAQ

How does water treatment work?

The process depends on the type of water treatment system you have in your home. Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium ions from water, replacing them with sodium ions. Reverse osmosis pressurizes water and puts it through a semipermeable membrane, removing contaminants. Ultraviolet radiation kills microorganisms in water by attacking their genetic structure.

Are permits required in Madison to install a water treatment system?

You need a permit in the City of Madison to install a water softener. Contact the city for permit information regarding other water treatment systems, and ask your water treatment system company in Madison if it will help you obtain a permit.

Do saltless water softeners really work?

Saltless water softeners can prevent buildup of minerals, but they don’t remove calcium and magnesium from water the same way salt systems do. The most effective way to completely remove excess minerals with a water softener is with the use of salt.

Will a whole-house filter soften water?

Yes, some whole-house filters remove minerals from the water and provide softer water, in addition to removing lead, mercury and other contaminants.

How much does a UV filtration system cost in Madison?

An average UV filtration system costs around $500 for a point-of-use installation. Whole-home filtration is more expensive, typically ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

Madison water treatment system company information

Pelican Water

Pelican Water offers a salt-free alternative to standard water softeners, as well as a full range of water treatment options, including water softeners, filters and UV purifiers. The company’s systems can be installed with a simple do-it-yourself kit, or you can hire a plumber to complete the installation for you. Pelican Water offers factory-direct pricing on equipment and supplies and a lifetime limited warranty that covers most products.

Pelican Water


NuvoH2O is an eco-friendly alternative to water softeners that uses citric acid instead of salt, offering you softened water without wastewater or extra sodium in your water supply. You can purchase a water treatment system online, including water filtration to remove sediment and chemicals. NuvoH2O filtration systems are easy to install and are backed by a five-year limited warranty.

NuvoH20 (855) 644-4397


Kinetico is one of the first water treatment companies to offer a no-electric water softener and filter, allowing you to keep your costs low without sacrificing the quality of your water. The company’s softeners and filters are powered by moving water. To find out which product is right for your home, schedule a free home water test. Kinetico products come with a transferable warranty.

Kinetico Learn More

RainSoft Water Treatment Systems

RainSoft Water Treatment Systems can both condition and filter your water, whether you use it for drinking water, bathing or laundry. Madison’s local dealer can perform a free in-home water test to identify your water’s needs before you commit to a solution. Many of the company’s products can be purchased at hardware stores or water treatment retail locations. RainSoft’s products come with a limited warranty.

RainSoft Water Treatment Systems

Culligan of Madison

Culligan of Madison offers whole-home filtration systems, water softeners and drinking water systems. The company provides salt-free alternatives to traditional water softeners. Speak to a specialist to determine which solution is right for your home. Culligan of Madison operates at 5002 World Dairy Drive, Madison, WI 53718.

Culligan of Madison

Avid Plumbing

Avid Plumbing provides water filtration, conditioning and softening to Madison-area residents. The company also replaces water filters. Schedule a quote for accurate pricing on your customized water treatment system. The company’s installations are backed by a two-year labor warranty, with equipment warranties varying by manufacturer. Avid Plumbing operates at 2210 S. Beltline Court, Madison, WI 53713.

Avid Plumbing

Fox Water

Fox Water builds, installs and services its own brand of water softeners, iron filters and reverse osmosis systems to provide Madison residents with clean, drinkable water. The company also offers filtration systems, water quality tests, water heaters and more. Customers can also order bottled water and water cooler jugs directly from the company. Fox Water is located at 2190 Pennsylvania Ave., Madison, WI 53704.

Fox Water

Hellenbrand Water Center

Hellenbrand Water Center is a national water softener and water filter manufacturer with a local dealer in the Madison area. The company provides water softeners, iron filtration systems and drinking water systems to homes and businesses. Get a free water analysis for more insight into your home’s water issues and what solutions the company can offer. Hellenbrand Water Center’s local dealer is at 404 Moravian Valley Road, Waunakee, WI 53597.

Hellenbrand Water Center

Capital Water Softener

Capital Water Softener carries and installs water softeners, filtration systems and reverse osmosis filters. The company also sells filter cartridges and filter housings to make this a one-stop shop for your water filtration needs. Request a consultation for more information about the right water treatment system for you. Capital Water Softener serves Madison from its nearby location at 4909 Triangle St., McFarland, WI 53558.

Capital Water Softener

Dallman Plumbing

Dallman Plumbing services and installs water softeners to remove excess minerals from your home’s water supply. The company uses Capital Water Softener products, and can recommend replacements for outdated or failing water softeners. The company also services hot water dispensers and reverse osmosis filtration systems. Dallman Plumbing serves Madison from its office at 2211 Parview Road, Ste. 5, Middleton, WI 53562.

Dallman Plumbing