It's fine to drink? Unless you're on a low sodium diet, then they say to avoid it. If it tastes salty something is wrong with it. It does alter the taste of it (makes it bland) and some people prefer the taste of hard water, that's why we've had a hard water outlet fitted but it's not mandatory. Our boiling water tap conversely is fitted to the softned supply as I didn't want it to scale up in minutes! The only place you have to have non softened water is the outside tap outlet (if fitted) as the water board can use it to draw off a test from the house, but there is no reason that you can have a second softened outside tap to wash the car etc with.