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Author Topic: Well and water problem alterntatives?  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline Thehardway

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Well and water problem alterntatives?
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:26:10 PM »
I know there are a lot of well drilling folks out there and perhaps you guys know of a better and cheaper way to accomplish what I am considering trying so feel free to pile on.

My well was drilled in 2007.  I get 12GPM+ out of it and when it was first drilled, it was clear and clean, no odor, no stains, no sediment except for some occasional black/gray grit.

The water lathered well and seemed about right for hardness to me.

The well was in operation for about three years with no problems.  When I went to get my CO for the house the county health dept required that the well be chlorinated and then tested for bacteria.  I did so using prescribed amount of clorox bleach. 

Shortly after that, the water began to leave reddish brown stains on sink/toilet fixtures and it developed a slight odor.  Faucet areator screens got chunks of stuff plugging them up and the natural colored Pex pipe turned reddish brown inside.  Further chlorine treatment will knock out the odor for about a couple months.  I installed a large canister style filter right after the bladder tank.  It fills with a black/green sediment and stains brown.   I have to clean or replace it about every 2 months.  Hot water tends to be worse than cold but both are effected.  Water does not taste bad.  I beleive the odor is from iron bacteria.

Did the Chlorine treatment cause suspended iron to precipitate out of my water?  Is there sediment leaching into my well?  Is there a way to stop this? 

I hate water softener systems and don't want the expense, headache maintenance or added salt in my water.  I like my water a little towards the hard side and hate the slimy feel water softeners leave.  Please don't suggest a water softener as that is not a viable option for me at this point. Likewise I do not want an RO filtration system or anything where I am ties to chemicals or proprietary substances I must buy for the rest of my life.

My idea is this.  Go up the hill behind the house and dig a hole.  Drop a 1500gal. Poly stock tank in the ground.  dig a ditch to the tank and run a peice of 1" poly line up there from the submersible well pump and install an aereator head on it having the pump fill the tank from the top.  Take another 1" poly line out just above the bottom of the tank and back down to the house deleting the bladder tank and using gravity for pressure.  I should have about 30' of head pressure. (not sure if this will be enough)

The concept is to give the water a place to oxidize and precipitate  and settle and where it can remain undisturbed rather than constantly being stirred up prior to entering the system.  A float switch would be used to control the pump.  This would also give me limited backup supply of water during power outages when I can't run my pump which is a plus.  I would clean the sediment out of the tank about once a year.  I think this would help with filter life and staining issues.  I could also install one of these types of filters in the tank. 

There is also this version of it

I figure I would have a little under 2K in the system but there would be no further expense on going.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 04:57:02 PM »
I suspect you are having problems with bacterial iron. I'm not sure why it took three years to develop, but from what I know, bacterial iron can be introduced from the process of drilling the well. It can develop fron the drill bit, the well casing, the pump, or any other metal that is introduced into the well.

You can knock it down by putting high doses of chlorine (think pool chemicals) into the well, letting it set for some time and then running the water for some time to flush the highly chlorinated water out of the system. But recognize this is an ongoing problem. Once you have it, you can never eradicate it completely from the system. You cannot filter or settle that bacterial iron out of the water.

Like it or not, you need a softener and perhaps an iron remover. Not a filter but a iron remover. Without the softener, you are going to have problems with the deposits on every water system in your house.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 05:17:17 PM »
On the gavity feed part,start out with a big pipe,like 3",than 2",than the 1". By the way,I have no idea if the 3-2-1 is right. I'm just throwing numbers out. I put a long line to the garden. I only used ". Someone told me I should of went big to small after I had it done.
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Offline Red Good

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 10:47:25 PM »
Our well is about 500 feet and when we moved in there was a sediment tank 250 gallons in the well house and the water stunk bad and everything was stained .Apparently caused by iron bacteria.  Started by shoveling out the sediment tank and then installed a reverse osmosis system . Has a bleach tank with it about 10 gallons , uses a gallon of bleach when filled with water . No other chemicals or anything . Has a wire wrapped around a pipe as a descaler . Then into the pressure tank and lines to the shop and apartment . There is a dial on the bleach tank to set the rate and our water has been pretty good since . Occasionally it needs the rate adjusted for a while but not often .  We go through about a gallon of bleach every couple of months more in the summer when we are watering stuff . It has been in place for 5 years and has taken 0 maintenence . Cost us about 2500 installed if I remember right . Worth every penny in my mind . Red
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Offline sharp edge

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 01:02:04 PM »
The first thing I would do is put a PVC liner in the well, if the well is steel.

SE
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 01:34:48 PM »
My neighbors had a bad odor and staining problem with their well (sulfur or rotten egg smell), to the point they were using bottled water to cook and drink. I talked to the driller (same guy that drilled their well) about it and he told me there was a iron bacteria issue in the area. He suggested I install a fiberglass lined tank instead of a bladder tank. The system also has a small air inlet to introduce air and aerate the tank. I have had no issues with my well since drilling, other than the water being a little cloudy when not used for a while.
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Offline Thehardway

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 01:40:43 PM »
Radar,

Where did you get that tank and do you have a brand/model?  I think that sounds like what I need.

The well is not steel cased it was bored and then cased with PVC to bedrock and grouted with bentonite.  Is it possible that our red clay topsoil is leeching in somewhere?. I am really more concerned about stain than odor but I think they go hand in hand. The stain is wreaking havoc with the photo sensing switches in the dishwasher.  The odor is minimal and seems worst first thing in the AM.  (I guess because the water has sat in pipes over night)  I prefer not to use chlorine if possible as I feel it has some negative health effects.  I have read that aeration is a  way to precipitate out the iron into non soluble rust particles. I believe the Chlorine (oxidizing agent) does this as well which is why I get chunks of iron particle in the faucet aerators after chlorinating.  I beleive the chlorine treatment cuased this problem to start out with as it was fine up to that point.
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Offline sharp edge

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 04:12:11 PM »
Next I would pump the well good, maybe stick the hose down the well and get rid of the dead water above the pump. Then take a sample of water, fresh from the ground, and have it tested for minerals. Then you will have a better understanding of what you are dealing with.

SE
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 07:37:12 PM »
In my experiance the aerator sytems don't work exceptionaly well on bacterial iron .

The introduction  of air induces the bacteria to basically die then the residue is removed .It clogs the pressure tank,piping etc .

I had a MacKleen chem free system and finally gave up on it .Bought a cheap softener with rust out salt and a shot of super iron out with every bag and the problem went away .After of course replacing the rust laden pressure tank and several  feet of pipe .Plus I "shock " the well several times a year with 4 gallons of high concentrate bleach

Offline Wellmud

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 10:41:06 PM »
Thehardway, to answer your question, yes it is certainly possible that your surface topsoil can leach into your well, in areas where the bedrock is fairly shallow I see heavy rains affect wells (dirtying them up). Also bentonite is a good grouting material, but not perfect, I have seen a few instances where the bentonite has actually broken down and the well had to be re-grouted, the well may have been grouted correctly when constructed and no fault of the drilling contractor, it just happens occasionally. If you suspect this, try running the water hose around your well casing for a period of time and see if it dirties the water up, and if it does, contact your driller to see about re-grouting it. As for the iron bacteria I would chlorinate it good again, don't use the tablets or swimming pool pellets as they generally go to the bottom of the well and take a long time to disolve in cold water. Do an internet search, you can use a qaurt of vinegar with the right amount of chlorine and be more effective than just using too much chlorine. Contact your well driller, he should be able to help you resolve your problem.
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Online mad murdock

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 03:06:40 AM »
I have t had to deal with softening hard water, but am wondering for those who do; do those magnetic conditioners work better than salt softening systems?  I hope you get your well problems sorted. Good water is so often taken for granted.
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Offline marsofold

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2019, 08:02:30 PM »
When I was in high school many many years ago as a science project I made a simple ozone generator from a neon sign transformer, an aquarium pump, a piece of glass tubing, and some wire & aluminum foil that worked very well. Ozone will kill absolutely anything in the water and should oxidize any smells. It quickly breaks down into regular oxygen. I too have well water issues at the place I just bought and am considering bubbling ozone through an aquarium bubbler into a holding tank of drinking water. Lots of the world uses it for this purpose and this would be a simple low cost solution not involving chlorine or chemicals. No UV bulbs to ever be replaced, just electricity and air.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2019, 05:58:12 PM »
The ozone bubbler idea is an interesting one, but you do realize you responded to a 5 year old thread, don't you? I hope the OP has resolved their issue by now
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 09:02:13 PM »
Maybe 5 years old but still a topic of interest!  

My well did good for about 2 years (produces 60gpm of good, clean, sweet water).  About year 3 it got a bit cloudy and had developed a metallic taste. :-\ Year 4 it got a sulfur smell and strong metallic taste.  :-[ I super chlorinated and I got a lot of "rust" in the water.  :embarassed: My water has since been tested and my iron level is high.  The "taste" of metallic is at 300ppm or above.  I'm at 10,600ppm.  :'( I also read where introducing oxygen (or an oxygenator like chlorine) will change the soluble iron (clear water) into non-soluble (rusty water) that will precipitate out.  (If you add bleach to your white clothes, they will come out red-brown.)  Then I would just have to deal with the iron bacteria that gives the foul smell and maybe part of the taste.  If the Terrafil can remove the iron/iron bacteria, I'm all for that!
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 06:14:41 AM »
I don't know if it has been mentioned but you can get a reaction from the sacrificing anode in the hot water heater .Gives it a smell like sulfur.If you pull the rod eventually the water heater will fail .

It's a catch 22 .Around here if you are down in the lime stone you stand a chance of actual sulfur .Above the rock ,in the gravel you stand a good chance of iron .I've got two wells ,one above one below .The deep one I use for my geo-thermal .It was clear and relatively soft until they drilled an oil well about a mile away .Then it sulfured .Ate the copper pipes up eventually even with a sulfur filter .Then out of the blue one of the aquifers sanded in with blue clay slurry .Installed a super k sand filter to fix that and believe it or not most of the sulfur was sealed off by the slurry plus the oil well wasn't in service any more by that time .

As far as the iron in the more shallow well I have a section in my woods that looks like a plumbers junk yard .Old softeners,iron filters ,sulfur filters ,pressure tanks ,all failed .Any more about every 6-7 years I just buy an inexpensive softener from places like Lowes and when it fails,as it will I just replace it .

Offline sharp edge

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 10:21:54 AM »
Al

The water business, along with all the other business, has a lot of Voo-Doo in it and not many answers. Things I will say about water...I like plastic from the ground and in house. Copper isn't much better than lead. Copper will eat things down stream from it, along with low ph, high o2 and other things... Minnows will die in water that came out of a copper pipe.

SE



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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 01:40:15 PM »
FWIW the house was built in 1973 before PVC and CPVC were widely used .PEX hadn't even been thought of yet .The drains were PVC but the lines were copper .
I replaced all the horizontal feeder copper lines with CPVC 20 years ago .The vertical riser  lines going to sinks etc. evidently were not affected .
I worked for a plumbing contractor as a teenager,early 1960's .The choice then was either copper or screwed galvanized steel pipe with either cast iron or WDV thin copper for the drains  .Copper didn't last as long because of the minerals in the water which nobody knew at that time .

Plastic in it's many forms have made it a breeze for anybody to do it .Not everybody can solder a piece of four inch drain pipe or oakum a cast iron drain together .------I can ---- 8) 

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 02:15:25 PM »

I can too, but try going into lowes and asking for oakum. It ain't pretty. ;D ;D
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2019, 02:10:12 PM »
I too have dealt with iron,mineral and sulfur issues with well water on two different farms I own that I have lived on for the last 35 years. One of the farms we lived on for 20 years we iron bad that well was 200 feet lots of water but iron. Well went bad while we were restoring a 90 year old farm house we were going to move to. Tried a new well driller and he went 500 feet and got good water and 15 years later that place still has good water. The house we restored and moved to 15 years ago has bad water all three bad things. We run a whole house filter and commercial softer. Friend has a son that works for a wholesale softer company so I got a commercial softer  for $500.00 15 years ago. I run cleaner threw it about once a year and change the filter couple times a year. We get along pretty while. I don't think I have poured a cast iron joint since the Fernco's came out. Just cut the cast iron and use the fernco and plastic. I still solder,braze some three inch copper on some big suction lines on freeze driers. 

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Well and water problem alterntatives?
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2019, 09:45:48 AM »
I only assume these Ferco's are also called no hub fittings .If so they have certainly made repairs or modification to cast iron drains more simple .

I will say this plumbing systems have certainly evolved over the years as have a lot of things 


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