I reread my post to realize it makes it sound worse than what it is. Our water here is pretty good. The only reason I have any of this filtration and softener hardware is, well… I’m married: she says the water’s bad, so it must be bad right?
The 8’ wall was primarily to separate the mechanical room from the rest of the basement for noise reduction. I had to relocate the softener in the process so capitalized on the opportunity to move it some place easier to get to. I plan to finish parts of the basement by myself a little at a time. The backer board is a scrap of 2’x4’ OSB and about three times larger than it really needs to be. I just wanted the extra room to be able to access and change filters easily. I’m also getting it up higher so I can work on everything standing up.
Despite her opinion, our water here really isn’t bad at all. But I’ve always run a pre-filter in front of the softener and large particular post-filter after. Both filters are more to protect the softener and household appliances in case anything bad gets in on the supply side or the off chance the softener experiences a resin bed failure. IOW, the post-filter is cheap insurance -thing was only like $50 and has a removable SS strainer. I also like that it has a drain on the bottom, which comes in handy for topping off the brine tank and testing the sump pump.