Well problems, stained water after rain
#21
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Stwood_ (Take you a water sam...)
(11-07-2018, 11:08 AM)Stwood_ Wrote: 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.

I don't think it's really a sediment issue, just a dirty water entering the well issue. I'll know after I replace the adapter. I can see the staining and build-up with the camera right below the adapter. Brass and PVC shouldn't cause that staining unless something is coming in there imho.
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#22
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (FS7.. yes, Fleck sys...)
(11-07-2018, 10:13 PM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: 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.

I'm inland, though not too far from the river and the bay. That said, we probably do have similar issues. My soil is all over the place - part sandy, part Virginia clay, and occasionally some loam. I do not really know how, as it was all forested prior to building, but I guess the slope contributed to deposits here and there.

The metallic smell is a giveaway - mine does that too. The water looks like dissolved clay, but it's not. Some of it might actually be particulates, but dissolved (ferrous) iron will not be captured by any particulate filter. I have used down to 0.5 micron and it does work for particulates but has never worked for iron. An iron-reducing filter in a Big Blue housing does a little bit, but that mostly works with ferric (already oxidized) iron.

So, if I had to guess, I'd say that your greensand is either overworked (full) or fouled. If you have organic material (which you say you do) then you probably have tannins, which you can't really filter (and in that case stopping groundwater ingress will help a lot). Tannins have the side effect of actually fouling iron-reducing resin, which is hard to do. If you do have a ton of iron (greater than 5 ppm) than you might have iron sludge in the bottom of the filter. This will eventually channelize due to water pressure and allow clear water through, but you'll experience a slight reduction in pressure. You will also experience little to no iron reduction, which you would otherwise get if your resin were available.

It does sound like we have very similar problems, and I investigated every solution available to me. The only thing that has worked has been the extended backwash cycle, and the bad part of this is that you have to really guess without high-dollar testing equipment handy. Is the water dirty? Sure, that's easy to tell. What is the actual dirt made of? Your guess is as good as mine. That's the problem. I thought about replacing the resin in my sanitizer, but I never did (and I never needed to, honestly).

I would try running backwash cycles on a weekend for as long as you can. After 15 minutes or so, the water was clear. Normal backwash cycles produced zero discolored water unless it was right after a rain. After about four hours, though, the sanitizer was basically pumping out rust sludge. Ever since that massive initial purge, I've been clear, although I think the problem would have recurred after some time had I not reset the backwash time. It's not hard to replace the resin and you would learn a lot if you did that (especially seeing the sludge in your filter), but it's a lot of work and resin is actually quite expensive.

Your system seems pretty good, though I would say if you do get particulates (sand and silt) it would make sense to have a backwashing sediment filter as the first step. In my case, I have a high-micron (not even sure what) sediment filter, then a sanitizer (hardness, pH, and iron), two canister filters (20"/4" Big Blue), and then a UV light. The Big Blue filters might be extraneous, but they do catch additional materials. I think, though, that given the presence of silt and sand in the water that the initial sediment filter does a lot in increasing the efficacy (and decreasing the need for frequent regeneration) of the sanitizer. It might be worth adding, since I think the sediment filters are actually the cheapest.

I hope I can help, since I have spent four years fighting this problem and I am hesitantly declaring victory at this point. I would probably happily drink dirty water since I grew up almost expecting that, but we first encountered this problem when my daughter was just born and my wife was not expecting brown water from the tap.
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#23
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Thursday I dug down the the pitless adapter for replacement. Opened the well to pull it.

Long story short, it wouldn't budge. Their should have been a rope or cable inside the casing to pull up on a latch that unlocks the adapter. There should also be a rope connected to the pump in case it falls back into the well. None there. I've never worked with this type of adapter before. There was no rope or cable. After googling some, I made a hook at the end of a rope to pull up the lever. Moved the lever but still wouldn't budge. So I made a call to a local well company recommended by my neighbor.

Apparently this guy has been here before about 4 years ago. The last owner damaged the locking latch on the adapter and tried pulling the adapter out with the cable instead of a pulling tool and broke off the pull cable. So he stuck in a wrecking bar and tried beating it loose and broke the latch.... It can't be pulled. He wouldn't pay the well guy to fix it. Only paid for the diagnosis. So, the only way to pull the adapter is to dig down below the adapter, cut off the casing and pull the top 4ft of casing out with the adapter attached. Great

I'm capable of doing this but time was an issue because we had a few inches of rain on the way.

The well guy suggested a temporary fix. Apply plumbers putty between the adapter and the casing on the exterior of the casing. Then use clear plastic wrap, around the adapter and casing and well pipe, pulling it very tight to hold the putty in place. I did that and filled in the hole. I did extend the top of the well a foot above ground, put on a new cap and all new electrical splices and removed the pvc connectors installed by the last owner and replaced them with brass connectors. I will probably re-do this eventually when we have drier weather.

It was pouring rain Friday when I re-filled the hole. Even with a canopy over the hole, I was shoveling a lot of mud.

The water ran clear from the taps after the rain.

The well guy told me that he does believe the casing is leaking at the adapter.

Anyway, done for now. Not happy with the way I had to do this but at least I know what 'm up against next time.

The well guy said that there is a slight possibility there is an aquifer problem and the only way to fix it properly is to dig a new well... with no guarantee. Approx $15,000. The poor man's fix is to install a settlement tank in the basement that allows clear water to be pulled off the top and settlement/mud drained out the bottom and pumped out via the sump pump. He have me an experiment to perform to determine if it was possible. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with the dirty water and see how long it takes to settle and clear up. If it's fast, The tank will work. If it doesn't clear up or takes a long time, it won't work. It only takes about 15 minutes for the bucket to clear up and drop the settlement to the bottom of the bucket. That's pretty fast. I might do it. He also noted that when he was here, he noticed that there wasn't a check valve at the pressure tank and the owner wouldn't put one in. So water may be back flowing down into the well making the water go back and forth, possibly creating turbulence and causing the pump to run more than it needs to. I have a check valve and will install one..

That's it for now
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#24
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Guess I've never seen a ck valve on a pressure tank. Our ck valves are always on the bottom of the pump, keeping all lines (and tank) full.


Sounds like you may have your dirty water problem fixed.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#25
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Stwood_ (Guess I've never see...)
(11-13-2018, 08:43 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: Guess I've never seen a ck valve on a pressure tank. Our ck valves are always on the bottom of the pump, keeping all lines (and tank) full.


Sounds like you may have your dirty water problem fixed.

We've had two heavy rains since I filled the pit with no staining. Looks like the only staining comes after the back-wash cycle on the Pot-Perm Tank now. It's nothing like it was before after a rain. I'm back-washing 20 minutes every night now. If I can't get it to go completely away I'll replace the green-sand.

This is a brand new 25 micron filter. The first in line. I replaced it before I powered up the well after filling the pit. It looked like this as soon as water started flowing through it. The filter is on the discharge side of the pressure tank. I plan to move it to the supply side just to see if there's any difference.
[Image: 9a2zJZP.jpg]

This came out of the filter housing that was in it before working on the well. I dumped the filter housing in a bucket and poured off the water leaving this in the bottom of the bucket to dry. 

[Image: ohC2saU.jpg]
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#26
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Wow, I thought our water had a lot of iron.........nothing compared to that.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
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#27
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
From what I understand, there's really 3 or 4 types of iron found in well water. I believe we have one or more of them. "Ferric" iron is what you see in the picture. It sticks together in flakes and can be caught in a filter. The smaller particles have large surface charges and repel each other so they don't stick together in flake form and pass right through filters. The small particles can be caught in a .22 micron filter. Unfortunately, a .22 micron filter will clog and choke off the water flow. That needs to be treated differently. We're using Manganese Greensand for that. But I believe it isn't working the way it should, meaning it may be fouled. Too much sediment got in it before we started using filters. We get stained water after it regenerates. The next step it to replace the greensand in the tank and cross my fingers.

If that doesn't work, there are ways to "coagulate" remaining iron to make it bunch together so it can be filtered.
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#28
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (From what I understa...)
(11-14-2018, 07:59 AM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: From what I understand, there's really 3 or 4 types of iron found in well water. I believe we have one or more of them. "Ferric" iron is what you see in the picture. It sticks together in flakes and can be caught in a filter. The smaller particles have large surface charges and repel each other so they don't stick together in flake form and pass right through filters. The small particles can be caught in a .22 micron filter. Unfortunately, a .22 micron filter will clog and choke off the water flow.  That needs to be treated differently. We're using Manganese Greensand for that. But I believe it isn't working the way it should, meaning it may be fouled. Too much sediment got in it before we started using filters. We get stained water after it regenerates. The next step it to replace the greensand in the tank and cross my fingers.

If that doesn't work, there are ways to "coagulate" remaining iron to make it bunch together so it can be filtered.

It sounds like you're making progress in getting this under control.

Have you tried backwashing for an extended period of time? I did backwash and rinse cycles for something like 12 straight hours one day, and I have the standard regeneration backwash cycle at 60 minutes now.

If I remember correctly, the unit really coughed up all of the sludge somewhere between 4 and 8 hours. If it's compacted, it takes an extended period of time to get it loosened up to where it can be ejected. I had the advantage of being able to see the discharge so I knew, and I don't remember if you said you had that option or not.

I'd recommend at least trying hours of backwashing back-to-back-to-back (no rinsing) to see if that helps.
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#29
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
I am a little late to the party and tried following the discussion. I have a few questions:

  1. You mention the well is schedule 40 PVC.  Are you referring to the casing or the down pipe?
  2. How does the pitless adapter attach to the casing?  
  3. Have you tried bentonite clay in the hole around the pitless adapter?
  4. If you use an open settling tank, you aerate the water and dissolved iron will slowly drop out of solution.
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#30
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
I've  be been coming back to this off and on since you posted it first. Do you have adequate volume and pressure at each filter for the entire backwash cycles?  Are the cycles offset enough you don't have 2 filters trying to backwash at the same time?
Blackhat
Common decency is as rare as common sense. I figure there was only a finite amount of both made and its getting shared out among too many folks.


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