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AlaskaPack 05-18-2009 04:03 PM

I ran my well dry and now have discolored water
I was watering the lawn with a regular sprinkler moving it every hour or so and I noticed after about 4 hours the water had quit running. We just bought our house about 9 months ago and have had no problems with the water or pressure. It is on a well and having just moved from a house with city water I didn't realize that we couldn't water for extended periods of time. In any event, I turned the water off for an hour or so and tried to run the kitchen faucet. The water is running fine but it is the color of rust. We have a filter and a water softener and the water filter is full of rust colored sedement or something. What do I do now? Should watering my lawn run my well dry? Will it always recover after a short period of time or is this a sign that I may need a new well soon?

Willie T 05-18-2009 04:49 PM

This is from the DuPage County Health Dept.

Yellowish-Orange, Rusty Looking Water

This condition is caused by the dissolving action water has on iron as it passes through underground iron deposits or comes in contact with iron or steel surfaces. Manganese in the water can worsen this condition.
Common Traits
  1. Freshly drawn water appears clear at first but after exposure to air becomes cloudy or rusty with rust particles settling on the bottom of the container.
  2. Red stains appear on clothes and porcelain plumbing fixtures.
  3. Water may have a metallic taste.

For low levels of iron (.3-1.0 mg/l), a water softener should help. For higher levels of iron (greater than 1.0 mg/l), an oxidizing (catalyst) filter supplementing the water softener will help. This filter should be installed upstream from the water softener and serviced frequently for optimal performance

DUDE! 05-18-2009 05:31 PM

not an expert, but seems you pulled up sediment from the bottom. I had to learn this same lesson at our last house, went from living in the city to having well and septic. It takes some getting used to but will be fine. As for watering the lawn, with a garden hose, you can go through some serious water. As for now, you will need to let the well settle down some, clean your aerators out. Let mother nature water the lawn, thats her job. There is probably nothing in your house that will use as much water as leaving the hose running for 4 hours. Chances seem good that you should be just fine.

creamaster 05-18-2009 06:58 PM

I agree, sounds like you may have sucked in some sediment if the well went dry. I would change the filter first off. We lived in the country and had a well and had to be careful, especially in the summer months about it getting low. Watering the lawn will use a ton of water so if you must water I would use a water timer that you hook up to the spicket and the hose and it will shutoff your water just the same way an electric timer works. You can buy them at any hardware store and they should be under 20 bucks I would think.

4just1don 05-19-2009 10:15 AM

Either you are in a water deprived area or your 'due' for a new well. Maybe talk to well driller and ask about a bigger casing installed in a NEW well,,,and or other ways to 'fix' what you have. Sometimes a acid shock can help them produce more water,thats IF bottom is rusted shut!! Maybe drilling down to a better water depth would help. Its all a 'local' thing that only a well driller is qualified to KNOW. Ask a few so you can weed out the less truthful sounding,if necessary!!

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