Well problems, stained water after rain
#11
  
We've been in this house three years this month and have been getting stained water in the well after a heavy rain. I really should have dealt with this a long time ago but I'm finally getting to it. We're in very sandy soil so getting rain water past the freeze line (32") is normal. My well is a deep-well with 4" PVC casing.

I suspected that the casing was either cracked or there is water coming in around the pitless adapter. Last weekend I dug down to the adapter and found it was held on by a "U" bolt. Somewhat like a muffler clamp. That may be normal but I've never seen one like that. All the ones I've seen had an inner and outer rubber gasket, tightened by a brass nut on the outside of the casing.

Anyway, I bought an Endoscope camera with a 30ft cable from Amazon. Link to the camera It's got a Wi-Fi transmitter so I can record video or take snapshots with my phone. It's "clear" focal length is only a few inches which is fine for looking at the 4" well pipe.

Here's what I found:

This is the casing above the adapter. Aside from the slug and some sort of disgusting organic growth, the casing is fairly clean at 30" down. BTW, the new well cap is due today. I'm expecting to have to dig down and cut the well casing just below the adapter so I can drill a proper sized hole and install a decent pitless adapter, then I'll install a coupling and new pipe to above ground. The existing well cap had no seal in it and the pipe wasn't cut flush... It probably never had a proper cap or seal. This is where the slug came in. The wife doesn't know about the slug... shhh
[Image: 5ifJBQI.jpg]

This is a picture of the inside of the adapter at about 36" down. You can see the hole in the casing to the left where the adapter penetrates the casing. There's no seal on the inside. You can also see the discoloration around the penetration leading me to believe that dirty water is coming in there.
[Image: oz5LZuW.jpg]

This picture is right below the adapter:
[Image: 394xTxq.jpg]
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#12
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
(11-05-2018, 05:08 PM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: We've been in this house three years this month and have been getting stained water in the well after a heavy rain. I really should have dealt with this a long time ago but I'm finally getting to it. We're in very sandy soil so getting rain water past the freeze line (32") is normal. My well is a deep-well with 4" PVC casing.

I suspected that the casing was either cracked or there is water coming in around the pitless adapter. Last weekend I dug down to the adapter and found it was held on by a "U" bolt. Somewhat like a muffler clamp. That may be normal but I've never seen one like that. All the ones I've seen had an inner and outer rubber gasket, tightened by a brass nut on the outside of the casing.

Anyway, I bought an Endoscope camera with a 30ft cable from Amazon. Link to the camera It's got a Wi-Fi transmitter so I can record video or take snapshots with my phone. It's "clear" focal length is only a few inches which is fine for looking at the 4" well pipe.

Here's what I found:

This is the casing above the adapter. Aside from the slug and some sort of disgusting organic growth, the casing is fairly clean at 30" down. BTW, the new well cap is due today. I'm expecting to have to dig down and cut the well casing just below the adapter so I can drill a proper sized hole and install a decent pitless adapter, then I'll install a coupling and new pipe to above ground. The existing well cap had no seal in it and the pipe wasn't cut flush... It probably never had a proper cap or seal. This is where the slug came in. The wife doesn't know about the slug... shhh
[Image: 5ifJBQI.jpg]

This is a picture of the inside of the adapter at about 36" down. You can see the hole in the casing to the left where the adapter penetrates the casing. There's no seal on the inside. You can also see the discoloration around the penetration leading me to believe that dirty water is coming in there.
[Image: oz5LZuW.jpg]

This picture is right below the adapter:
[Image: 394xTxq.jpg]
........................
The wife doesn't know about the slug... shhh

You mean the wife doesn't know about the slug AT THIS TIME...and she wont hear about it from me if you follow my instructions......if you know what I mean and I think you do..I'll be watching for the Amazon truck Rolleyes Winkgrin Winkgrin Big Grin
I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be
issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the
traditions for generations of warriors past. [Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC;
in Navy Times, November 1994]


Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#13
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Did you look deeper just to make sure your casing is otherwise OK?

How are you going to pull up and hold on to the well pipe while you cut off the top 3 feet and install a proper pitless adapter. Will PVC hold all that weight? If I recall correctly, your well is about 200 ft.
Rocket Science is more fun when you actually have rockets. 

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." -- Patrick Henry
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#14
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Mr_Mike (Did you look deeper ...)
(11-05-2018, 05:20 PM)Mr_Mike Wrote: Did you look deeper just to make sure your casing is otherwise OK?

How are you going to pull up and  hold on to the well pipe while you cut off the top 3 feet and install a proper pitless adapter.  Will PVC hold all that weight?  If I recall correctly, your well is about 200 ft.

I will look deeper before I dig. I used a fishing rod with the camera taped on the end but I could only go down about two feet past the adapter because the line guides were too big to go past the adapter. I'll look one more time before I dig. I have some long lengths of shoe molding which should slide down past the adapter. There isn't much room between the adapter and the 4" id pipe.

I've been told by the supplier and another plumber that sched 40 PVC (which is what's in my well) will hold the weight just fine with a regular adapter. PVC sewage pipe won't.

The last time I pulled a well pump (300ft =/-) I used a modified screw clamp which I still have. The holes are lined with sand paper for grip.

I have a black pipe pitless adapter puller and should only have to lift it about a foot to get the new adapter on.

[Image: nrWQ0LG.jpg]
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#15
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
I can't see the pic real well, but the adaptor looks suspect.

On your holder, we always used the 4" wide C-style Vise-grip clamps. We took a 1-1/2" coupler, cut in half lengthwise, and welded those 2 halves to the vise grips.
The threads inside the coupler held either galvanized pipe or the heavy pvc water pipe.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#16
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Do you know what you actually have in your water? Expecting clear water after a heavy rain can be an impossible task, especially because you truly have no idea where your aquifer is actually fed from. Stopping ground water ingress is important, but not always possible. I have talked with several well drillers and water treatment people and they all advise against extensive well repairs because they have all universally had no success doing that. I did the same thing on mine - dug down, sealed holes, added more Bentonite, all of that. I did not have any actual success.

We knew from the start that our well was occasionally turbid, especially after heavy rain. The assumption was that it was iron or clay (we are in Virginia after all), but given the presence of three filters it seemed unlikely to be silt since it should be captured by particulate filters. Dissolved iron would only appear after exposure to oxygen, which is why our sink water came out clear but quickly turned yellowish-reddish-brown (rusty). Ultimately, our problem turned out to be that the amount of dissolved iron varied greatly, and the water sanitizer (which oxidizes and removes some level of iron) did not have a sufficiently long backwash cycle to clear the precipitated iron. After backwashing for hours and hours, wasting a ton of water, the sanitizer coughed up a ton of sludge and has since been clear. I had to enter the service mode to extend the backwash and rinse cycles.

If you don't have a home treatment system, I'd recommend going that route. You can't control where your water comes from or what gets into it, but filtration can make it a lot better and give you more peace of mind with something you can control.
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#17
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
FS7

I can see the leak at the pitless adapter. I'll install a new adapter and see what happens. Either way, it needs replaceing.

As far as water treatment:
+ another filter before the pressure tank.

[Image: XqUR4WH.jpg]
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#18
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (FS7 I can see the...)
(11-06-2018, 08:05 PM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: FS7

I can see the leak at the pitless adapter. I'll install a new adapter and see what happens. Either way, it needs replaceing.

As far as water treatment:
+ another filter before the pressure tank.

[Image: XqUR4WH.jpg]

Those look like Fleck units. I think you can adjust the backwash time on them. It won't do you a whole lot of good unless you can actually see your backwash discharge.

Replacing the pitless adapter should help, but in the event it's iron-related I would highly recommend running a few extended backwash cycles. I'll jog my memory here and run down the best examples of what I think was happening:

1) During and after a heavy rain, the aquifer gets either stirred up (with sediment and fine silt) or overrun with iron from outside sources.
2) The sediment filter and water conditioner (which in my case removes iron) does its job.
3) *After* a scheduled backwash, water is rust-colored for a day or two, but then returns to clear.
4) If no heavy rains occur, the water remains clear.

In my case, the resins in the conditioner could not handle any more, and this is generally common when you have iron in your water. This is because a "true" iron removing filter might run $3,000 and remove a metric ton of iron, but nobody actually has water that bad. A sanitizer/conditioner might adjust the pH, soften the water, and remove iron, albeit considerably less. However, the threshold is lower, and it is possible when the iron levels are high that the sanitizer/conditioner cannot keep up. Neither the backwash nor the rinse cycles were long enough, but when they were adjusted I was able to backwash until the discharge was clear (and it pumped a ton of sludge out for a good six hours). Now, the extended backwash and rinse cycles keep the resin beads as clean as possible, and the system has not been overwhelmed. In my case, I am trading an increased water bill (the usage during backwash) for peace of mind and no dirty water.

I am not suggesting that you have no groundwater ingress, but that you should not discount the possibility that you have ferrous iron in your water.
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#19
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Take you a water sample down to your county services if your fix doesn't clear things up.. They do sample testing here for $10.00


If you dig down that 40 inches to the adaptor and there's no big open cavity (missing dirt) hole next to the casing, I don't think that's your problem.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#20
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
FS7.. yes, Fleck systems

Because we are built on loamy sand, ground water runs straight down. We're in a maritime forrest, Lots of trees and sand. So the ground is covered in decaying organic matter which turns the sand brown. Also, very high iron. After a rain, the water smells like a metal scrap yard after a rain. We can have 6"of rain and no puddles 20 minutes later. The water leaking through the pitless adapter is the same color as the sand but sand isn't getting into our system, just stained water. It may not be the adapter but it's a start. I'll be able to send the camera down further tomorrow, past the adapter. I'm replacing it tomorrow.
The tank on the right is crushed marble (calcite). It balances the PH and does a good job.
The tank on the left is a green-sand potassium pemanganate system which worked fine for about 8 months, then the staining started. We didn't have the brown water, just a PH, Iron problem when I put the system in. The iron basically sticks to the green-sand and the potassium permanganate is used to back wash and clean the sand. Unfortunately they also collect any fine sediment that gets through the filter and the pot-perm doesn't clean that well so the discharge is dirty. It will run clean water after an extended backwash cycle. Except after a heavy rain, it can't keep up. It will run clear after a day or two. The Fleck supplier recommends I toss out the sand and replace it after I fix the well (assuming the new pitless adapter stops the egress). Sounds like we have very similar issues.
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