Well problems, stained water after rain
#30
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by blackhat (I've  be been coming...)
(11-24-2018, 05:31 PM)blackhat Wrote: 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?

Both units cycle on different days. Plenty of volume and pressure. When I was manually cycling it, I did it in the day. When it cycles automatically, it's at night. Things are getting better but not good. I ran the unit twice a day for over a week. The water stayed stained during that week but got a little better. Then it rained real hard (4" in last few days) and got pretty dirty again. Usually it's stained only after cycling and after heavy rains. We've had a lot of rain recently.

FS7 mentioned something that I'm going to pursue next... Fouled sand in the Green-sand tank.

When the system was originally installed (by me), it was installed without any filters before the two tanks. There's a chance (I believe) that ferric iron (pictured above) is clogging my sand so it isn't rinsing or back-washing properly. Every time it cycles, it stirs the pot and never really rinses clean. A while back, I took all the sand out and tried washing it. I screened it with a hose running over it. I was never able to get completely clear water to run out of it. It was better but not clean. It looked like chocolate milk in the beginning, after cleaning, it looked like dirty water.

Next step is to replace the sand. It's a heavy, pain in the arse but at least it will eliminate that as a problem.  I think it isn't working at 100%... Maybe not even 10%. I've talked to some local well guys and they both told me the green-sand unit is the way to go for very high iron levels. Other systems can't keep up.
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#31
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter ([quote='blackhat' pi...)
(11-25-2018, 07:31 PM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: Both units cycle on different days. Plenty of volume and pressure. When I was manually cycling it, I did it in the day. When it cycles automatically, it's at night. Things are getting better but not good. I ran the unit twice a day for over a week. The water stayed stained during that week but got a little better. Then it rained real hard (4" in last few days) and got pretty dirty again. Usually it's stained only after cycling and after heavy rains. We've had a lot of rain recently.

FS7 mentioned something that I'm going to pursue next... Fouled sand in the Green-sand tank.

When the system was originally installed (by me), it was installed without any filters before the two tanks. There's a chance (I believe) that ferric iron (pictured above) is clogging my sand so it isn't rinsing or back-washing properly. Every time it cycles, it stirs the pot and never really rinses clean. A while back, I took all the sand out and tried washing it. I screened it with a hose running over it. I was never able to get completely clear water to run out of it. It was better but not clean. It looked like chocolate milk in the beginning, after cleaning, it looked like dirty water.

Next step is to replace the sand. It's a heavy, pain in the arse but at least it will eliminate that as a problem.  I think it isn't working at 100%... Maybe not even 10%. I've talked to some local well guys and they both told me the green-sand unit is the way to go for very high iron levels. Other systems can't keep up.

The water remaining dirty could actually be progress. Depending on the level of sediment (rust) in the iron reducing tank, it might actually be freeing up some of the old muck and pushing it through the system. Channelization is a problem with large quantities of detritus, which explains a lot.

When you are sure the water is running dirty, I'd try to measure pressure loss and clarity using the iron filter's bypass (assuming you have one). It might help to know how much is coming from the tank itself from old residue (if any).

Another thing to consider is that even a manganese greensand filter might be incapable of keeping up the quantity of iron you have. Iron levels will vary from test to test, but you might have a concentration at or above what the tank can handle. Depending on how badly you'd like to fix this it might make sense to actually add a second filter in line.
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#32
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by FS7 ([quote='Snipe Hunter...)
(11-26-2018, 10:44 AM)FS7 Wrote:   I'd try to measure pressure loss and clarity using the iron filter's bypass (assuming you have one)

Great idea

Another thing to consider is that even a manganese greensand filter might be incapable of keeping up the quantity of iron you have. Iron levels will vary from test to test, but you might have a concentration at or above what the tank can handle. Depending on how badly you'd like to fix this it might make sense to actually add a second filter in line.

This has been bouncing around my mind the last few days. Before I get to that point, I'll replace the sand.. just to make sure.
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#33
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Problem solved...

Bad float valve in the potassium permanganate tank.

I've taken it out before and cleaned it and as far as I could tell, it was working. I traded emails with my supplier for a while and he had me do some tests. He was certain that it wasn't the aquifer. He was convinced the unit we had could treat the worst dissolved iron issues. I had already replaced the main valve and the backwash valve and I new it was backwashing. Even though the ventui/jet was clear, I replaced it, the screen filter and another replaceable orifice behind it. These are cheap parts. This should be done as general maintenance anyway. Still had brown water.

I asked him about the float valve and he didn't think it would go bad. He hasn't seen many go bad and the ones that were bad were bad from the get-go. But, knowing all the other other parts were good, it was either the well or the PotPerm tank valve. A new PotPerm filter and float valve cost more than buying the whole assembly (it's all cheap plastic) so I bought the entire tank, filter and float valve assembly This.

Regenerated the system twice after installing it and the water stayed clear... Finally ....now back to the kitchen.
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#34
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
Wow you're taking names and kicking but.
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#35
  Re: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter (We've been in this h...)
So you are saying it isn't your well, dirt washing into the casing.
Steve


Putzing, the new hobby

Evil lurks here, but eventually gets cleansed.


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#36
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Stwood_ (So you are saying it...)
(01-03-2019, 07:18 PM)Stwood_ Wrote: So you are saying it isn't your well, dirt washing into the casing.

Kind of. It's not dirt, it's iron. I thought it was both.

We have a very high ground water level this year. Record rainfall. There are springs throughout the woods behind the house that were never there before. At least not in the three years we've lived here. I made the assumption that dirt was getting into the well after the rains. It wasn't dirt, it was oxygen or oxidized water.

The well water contains a lot of un-oxidized iron. It turns reddish brown after it is in contact with oxygen. That's telling me that there's no OX contact with the water deep in the well. So it pours out clear but turns reddish brown after it sets a while ( Called Clearwater Iron or Ferrous iron) After a heavy rain (which has been often), it comes out reddish brown from the faucet (called Red Water Iron or Ferric Iron). That's telling me that oxidized water or oxygen is getting into the wellwater after a heavy rain. At least it makes sense to me.

What I still don't understand is why the brown rain water wasn't getting filtered at the 5 micron filter. 5 microns should filter out oxidized iron. Haven't wrapped my head around that yet.

The system we have should take care of both issues and it has in the past. What was happening in the PotPerm tank was when the system was supposed to be drawing PotPerm into the main filter tank, it didn't get enough PotPerm. The float valve was closing at the beginning of draw cycle when it should have stayed open. When I had it apart, it seamed to work fine using air to test it but it didn't work when wet. Something was hanging up. Only three moving parts in the PotPerm tank, the float, the ball valve at the bottom and the valve at the top. All checked out fine when dry but not with water in the tank.

Anyway, I cycled it twice after replacing the stuff and it's cycled once on it's own. So far so good. Everything has been re-set back to it's original settings.
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#37
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by Snipe Hunter ([quote='Stwood_' pid...)
(01-04-2019, 07:23 AM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: Kind of. It's not dirt, it's iron. I thought it was both.

We have a very high ground water level this year. Record rainfall. There are springs throughout the woods behind the house that were never there before. At least not in the three years we've lived here. I made the assumption that dirt was getting into the well after the rains. It wasn't dirt, it was oxygen or oxidized water.

The well water contains a lot of un-oxidized iron. It turns reddish brown after it is in contact with oxygen. That's telling me that there's no OX contact with the water deep in the well. So it pours out clear but turns reddish brown after it sets a while ( Called Clearwater Iron or Ferrous iron) After a heavy rain (which has been often), it comes out reddish brown from the faucet (called Red Water Iron or Ferric Iron). That's telling me that oxidized water or oxygen is getting into the wellwater after a heavy rain. At least it makes sense to me.

What I still don't understand is why the brown rain water wasn't getting filtered at the 5 micron filter. 5 microns should filter out oxidized iron. Haven't wrapped my head around that yet.

The system we have should take care of both issues and it has in the past. What was happening in the PotPerm tank was when the system was supposed to be drawing PotPerm into the main filter tank, it didn't get enough PotPerm. The float valve was closing at the beginning of draw cycle when it should have stayed open. When I had it apart, it seamed to work fine using air to test it but it didn't work when wet. Something was hanging up. Only three moving parts in the PotPerm tank, the float, the ball valve at the bottom and the valve at the top. All checked out fine when dry but not with water in the tank.

Anyway, I cycled it twice after replacing the stuff and it's cycled once on it's own. So far so good. Everything has been re-set back to it's original settings.

Glad we could get this figured out and I hope I helped by suggesting it was iron.

In all honesty, your filters probably ARE reducing oxidized iron. I don't know if I mentioned it or not but I have two mechanical filters in sequence after the softener/sanitizer (which does iron reduction). I have tried a bunch of different settings but have settled on 5 micron for both. Going from 5 to 1 resulted in more of a pressure loss than I'd like. 

As you found out, heavy groundwater ingress (not surface water) will agitate your well. You might also notice turbidity as well, which is far less obnoxious than iron and often only looks like normal aeration. This means that you are correct - your water is being oxygenated through agitation. Now, I don't remember my differential equations very well as I've never used them in the real world, but there are multiple different factors to consider - not all of the iron will be oxidized underground by the agitation, not all of the dissolved iron will be removed by your iron reduction filter, and not all of the oxidized iron will be removed by your mechanical filter.

I think the moral of the story is that you will still have both ferrous and ferric iron at the tap, just far less than normal (and often not detectable). If you're in good shape now, raise a beer in victory. I know I sure did when I got mine figured out.
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#38
  Re: RE: Well problems, stained water after rain by FS7 ([quote='Snipe Hunter...)
(01-04-2019, 10:52 AM)FS7 Wrote: Glad we could get this figured out and I hope I helped by suggesting it was iron.

I new it was iron because I could clean the toilets with Iron-Out but I also thought it was dirt but all input helped me.


I think the moral of the story is that you will still have both ferrous and ferric iron at the tap, just far less than normal (and often not detectable). If you're in good shape now, raise a beer in victory. I know I sure did when I got mine figured out.

You're probably right. My supplier suggested installing something to oxidize the iron past the Greensand/Pot Perm system if I see any staining in the future and then move a 5 micron filter downstream from the oxidizer to pull it out. There's several options, chlorination, air injection etc. These systems will handle small amounts but wouldn't be big enough to handle the entire issue. From what I understand, the Greensand systems are about the only thing that can handle very high iron for a residential application.
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