Author Topic: What are the best systems for handling well water?  (Read 4175 times)

neo von retorch

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What are the best systems for handling well water?
« on: November 28, 2014, 11:00:06 AM »
I currently have a carbon filter system plus UV lamps. However, the water still has a sulfur smell, and needs shocked frequently.

Would a chlorine trickle system be a worthwhile investment (to keep the tenants happy)?

The_path_less_taken

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 02:50:30 PM »
I don't know the answer to that, sorry.

But I do have a well with a TERRIBLE silt problem and I found that putting one of the wind sock filters inline in FRONT of the expensive ($28) filter that fits into the clear plastic housing can save you a lot of issues with your plumbing and health. The wind sock filters fit into a very tall and skinny blue housing and come in different micron sizes...they can be machine washed and then hung out to dry in the sun and reused probably forever (I'm on my third year with them). I don't know the name but any well guy could tell you...they really do look like a heavy white fabric windsock.

But because the housing isn't clear on those I left the other filter in place and find that with a heavy silt issue with the well, it is worth it to have both to keep from screwing up everything inside the house.

Good luck. Nothing worse than well problems as we all need water to survive.

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 05:58:27 PM »
Just got an estimate, similar to what another company gave me several months ago. Chlorination system with carbon filters. This quote is for $2350. I need to dig around and find the old one.

Radagast

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2014, 11:31:47 PM »
I'd be happy to try and help but I am not entirely sure what is happening. If sulfur bacteria are regularly plugging your well then downstream equipment won't help much with that. Cleaning and shocking the well would be best.

I guess I don't know what you are asking. "Is it worth the cost?", or DIY suggestions?

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 09:28:46 PM »
Cleaning what exactly? I've shocked the well quite a few times over the past six months. Over the previous seven years, it didn't need anything so drastic. So I'm not entirely sure what the issue is. Just that the tenants are complaining of sulfur smell even after shocking, filtration and UV killing bacteria.

Radagast

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 11:20:23 PM »
I assume by shock you mean dump a gallon or more of bleach down the well? Cleaning would probably only be needed if sulfur-eating bacteria were leaving slimy deposits that were plugging up the well screen.

Has the filter been frequently getting plugged with slimy, grease-like crap? If the answer is no, then bacteria are less likely to be the cause of the odor. In this case it is probably just hydrogen sulfide. I haven't had to deal with that before, but a quick internet search shows chlorine might solve it.  If the answer is yes, then apparently shocking the well hasn't fixed the problem yet.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with your area or the water system, which makes it hard to give specific advice. However, you may be able to purchase and install your own chlorine metering pump for much less than $1000. As long as you are able to wire it to turn on at the same time the well pump turns on the rest should be pretty easy.

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 06:13:01 AM »
Actually I did have such an issue of bacteria clogging the piston in the carbon filter system.

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 09:46:36 AM »
From the most recent water test:

Quote
The raw water is 29 gpg hardness, no iron, 540 ppm of total dissolved solids, 7.0 pH and possible evidence of iron/sulphur related bacteria. Fluctuating sulphur./quote]

Radagast

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 04:10:18 PM »
I don't know enough to make a good recommendation. The easy solution is to dump a gallon or two of chlorine bleach down the well (actual quantity depends on size of well), turn the well pump on and off a few times to help mix the bleach, and let it sit for at least 24 hours. Repeat as desired. Then run all the taps and hoses until the odor of chlorine disappears. Be careful if you have a septic system, those need bacteria to work correctly. Note the objective of this operation is to introduce a lethal amount of chlorine into the well, so your tenants will not be able to use the water over this period. Unfortunately if the bacteria are common in your area they may return fairly quickly. In that case, placing a basic chlorine metering pump before your water tank (hopefully you have one) might be best.

You can probably get "NSF 61" chlorine bleach approved for drinking water at a local hot tub store. It won't really be any different from regular bleach, but it will cost more.

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 05:06:05 PM »
Tenant: "We can smell the water whenever we run it really. It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold specifically. The scent is most noticeable when I use my sink over the shower or toilet, however, that's not to say it's not noticed throughout the rest of the house. If [the other tenant] and I were showering at the same time, you could notice the smell in the kitchen and living room from the bathrooms"

I've done the chlorine shocking quite a few times, actually. It used to tide me over for a good year or so, but now it seems like the smell comes back within weeks.

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 11:13:12 PM »
If you decide to put a chlorine system in you could do it fairly cheaply. You would need to wire it so that the outlet it was plugged into turns on with the well pump, and some basic plumbing to put the chlorine pump discharge tube into the pipe before your water tank. If you do not have a water tank the chlorine might not be as effective because it may not contact the bacteria and sulfur for long enough to oxidize it all (but still maybe better than nothing). It also might not be a good idea to carbon filter the water too early. If the chlorine makes it to all the taps it can prevent bacteria build up in the plumbing and individual fixtures.

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 05:42:55 PM »
Well you got lucky, I actually can answer this question.

What you need sir, is a water purification system, specifically one that does a 1/x filtration, specifically to the particle size step lower than that of sulphur. I specifically recommend down to 1/1000 or 1/10,000.

Hague is a great place to start.
 
Most carbon filters only do large particles, and UV based ones kill bacteria, but dont filter out the bodies. Yes thats right, drink that PENICILLIN!

I wouldnt be surprised if you have iron in your water as well as many types of silicates. What you need is to go to walmart and get yourself a PPM (parts per million) Detector. Hardware stores sell them as well.

EPA standards drinking water is supposed to be 6-8 ppm, although most water classifies techincally as mineral water due to the fact that out of most taps it comes out 60-85 PPM.

The hague water filter will drop it to 0.

Potassium filter, add salt, big bag o potassium every once in a while, your good.

superathlete

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2014, 06:24:44 AM »
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/hydrosulfide.html

You may have already seen this. In Iceland, city water smells like rotten eggs.  As long as the concentration is not too high to be hazardous (don't mess with high H2S atmospheres, they will kill you), there's not a lot of danger to this.  The bacteria can cause technical issues with the water supply system.

If you are only shocking the well, you may not be getting to the problem. The higher chlorine concentration needs to get everywhere in your pipes. Without knowing your system, recommendations to do this are hard to make.

Back to the Minnesota article - if you are on a septic tank, make sure that is not the source of the problem. 

Also, if a water system is nearby to connect to, do so. It will make the home more valuable and offload a major responsibility onto people who run water systems day-to-day. 

Fallenour

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2014, 07:15:56 AM »
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/hydrosulfide.html

You may have already seen this. In Iceland, city water smells like rotten eggs.  As long as the concentration is not too high to be hazardous (don't mess with high H2S atmospheres, they will kill you), there's not a lot of danger to this.  The bacteria can cause technical issues with the water supply system.

If you are only shocking the well, you may not be getting to the problem. The higher chlorine concentration needs to get everywhere in your pipes. Without knowing your system, recommendations to do this are hard to make.

Back to the Minnesota article - if you are on a septic tank, make sure that is not the source of the problem. 

Also, if a water system is nearby to connect to, do so. It will make the home more valuable and offload a major responsibility onto people who run water systems day-to-day.

Rotten Eggs=Sulphur
Red water=Iron
Brown with purple hue=Copper
Flammable=Fracking Chemicals (I shit you not)
Green=Algae, Chlorine, or waste water contamination (Smell it to tell it)

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2014, 08:03:09 AM »
EPA standards drinking water is supposed to be 6-8 ppm, although most water classifies techincally as mineral water due to the fact that out of most taps it comes out 60-85 PPM.

As stated above, the PPM is over 500 ppm.

heugeneo

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2014, 11:53:18 AM »
Hey everybody, long time reader here, but I finally signed up so I could answer this question.

We had the same issue with well water as we just recently moved to a house in the country, before this we were on city water. The main issue we had was with the sulfur smell (rotten eggs). It appeared as though it had the smell with both hot and cold water, but was definitely worse coming from sink faucets. After speaking with a friend that was a plumber, we learned it had nothing to do with the water, but everything to do with the water heater.

In water heaters there is a long rod inside called an anode rod. It is basically a sacrificial piece of metal that the water destroys, corrodes, and builds deposits on, instead of doing the same to the body of the water heater itself. When the anode rod get covered in all its nastiness you will get a strong sulfur smell. It is typically worse in well water applications.

There are three options to correct this:

1. Replace the anode rod
2. Cut the anode rod off, however this will quickly shorten the water heater tank lifespan
3. Replace the water heater

In our case we replaced the water heater because they are so cheap, $270 for a new electric model. This has solved our sulfur smell problem. So, unless your water heater is brand new you might try one of the above options. You can cut the rod off for free, just to see if that fixes the smell. If it does you should probably then replace the water heater.

I think the reason it seems to smell worse at the sink faucet is because your face normally gets a lot closer to that than a shower faucet.

neo von retorch

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Re: What are the best systems for handling well water?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2014, 11:58:40 AM »
A plumber friend also said "if it's just hot water" that's the issue. The hot water heater was replaced in October, 2010. We're going to be putting in a low maintenance system - the plumber friend ordered it and will be installing it for the price of beer. He had the water tested and some water system friends are confident this is a solid route.