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Old 04-17-2010, 10:18 AM   #31
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colloidal clay in well water


I agree with your assessment of my water - sulfur and iron. I can actually pick out pieces of black "stuff" and rub it between my fingers and it leaves an oily/greasy mark. If I fill a pitcher of water (when it's black) and add a couple drops of bleach it starts to swirl on its own and will clear the black color from it. What's left is yellowish (iron) but it does not precipitate anything out.
Your post suggests that you have ideas on how to treat my problems with one system. I'd appreciate knowing what you have in mind. I have been told to use a chlorine injection and a holding tank to treat my problem. I'm located in Saratoga County.
Look forward to hearing from you.

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Old 04-17-2010, 11:19 AM   #32
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Your options here are limited. You either need to see if you can get the well repaired and properly developed or you are going to have to put together filtration equipment to deal with it. Unfortunately, both options are going to be expensive. Cheaping it out is a bad idea indeed. Crap equipment, when conditions are as bad as yours, have a tendency to go south in short order. I like to think of it like the guy who buys a crapo char-Broil grill every year for 150 bucks instead of buying the Webber and having something that will last 15 or 20 years. Do it once. Do it right.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BobMac View Post
I agree with your assessment of my water - sulfur and iron. I can actually pick out pieces of black "stuff" and rub it between my fingers and it leaves an oily/greasy mark. If I fill a pitcher of water (when it's black) and add a couple drops of bleach it starts to swirl on its own and will clear the black color from it. What's left is yellowish (iron) but it does not precipitate anything out.
Your post suggests that you have ideas on how to treat my problems with one system. I'd appreciate knowing what you have in mind. I have been told to use a chlorine injection and a holding tank to treat my problem. I'm located in Saratoga County.
Look forward to hearing from you.
If there is in fact dissolved iron in the water raise the ph up to around 10.2 and it will come out of solution. Alum injection will speed the settling process, but what will you do with the sludge you create? Aeration can be used to remove the sulphur.
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:00 PM   #34
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colloidal clay in well water


I agree with both replies - cheaping out is not the way to go and that alum will settle out quickly. The alum made a big difference after the well was first drilled. I would put well water into a jar, add alum and it would settle out pretty quickly. After I had been using the well for a while bleach seemed to work as well or better than the alum. Maybe the clay I was getting early on was drilling clay or natural clay in the veins running into the well - clay and shale are very prevalent in this area.

I have switched over to lake water for the season and have time to play around with the well. Other people in this area have had their wells for 20 or more years and still experience the same problems I have. Some use injection/settling tanks, some use chlorine tablet droppers directly into the well. Nobody seems to be completely happy with their results. Developing the well does not seem to be the answer. Before I switched over to the lake I put 50' of garden hose down the well and I would pour bleach into it, then circulate the water through the system and back into the well for about 30 minutes. That would take the smell and the gray/black out of the water. Then I ran it through a carbon wrapped filter and that took the bleach back out, but the filter had a life of about a week. The whole treatment would only last about a week. Before I used the hose to inject the bleach 50' down into the well it would take a couple days for the bleach to react and clear up the water.

When I stopped using the well I put 1 1/2 gallons of household bleach down, circulated it and am letting it sit. In a few weeks I'll turn the well back on and draw it down to see how it is doing, then I'll put a few gallons of bleach back in and let it sit again.

I am willing to invest time and effort to make this work, and, if need be, money for a good system (last resort).

What do you think?
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #35
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colloidal clay in well water


Does anyone have any experience with the "Reactr" pressure aeration systems? CSI water treatment systems out of Ashland, OH sells this unit which they say will remove sulphur and iron without any chemicals. The system seems pretty simple, but I an skeptical about its ability to remove sulphur and iron. I have a question in to them to see if it will remove clay from the water. I would appreciate any feed-back about experiences with this type system.
Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:18 PM   #36
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Interesting thread. This is a well problem and that is where the only permanent fix will come from. Down in the well.

If the first driller will not fix it, find one who will.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:29 AM   #37
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Constantly adding bleach to the well is a serious no no.

Chlorine and steel casing is not a good combination because the chlorine corrodes the steel (especially when it sits there for weeks/months on end) but, you can also create a serious health problem known as THMs (trihalomethanes) known carcinogens measured in parts per Billion.

You need to stop self doctoring and pull the trigger by going after the driller or getting the right type of water treatment equipment before you shoot your self.

If this driller is like most he may be the one that has drilled most of the wells in the neighborhood, and not flushed out his drilling mud and has everyone convinced (read guessing) it's natural clay.

And not using the well is not going to make the problem go away, more than likely it will make things worse. And don't by the pressurized aeration if all it is is the control valve sucking some air into the tank with a regeneration of backwash. They don't work but, no type of aeration will not get rid of 'clay'.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:54 AM   #38
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Thanks again, Gary. People keep recommending "developing the well." How is that done? Is it something I can do myself? Adding bleach is not a health issue since we don't use the well water for drinking or cooking, but I am aware of the effects. Thanks for pointing it out.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:23 PM   #39
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Thanks again, Gary. People keep recommending "developing the well." How is that done? Is it something I can do myself? Adding bleach is not a health issue since we don't use the well water for drinking or cooking, but I am aware of the effects. Thanks for pointing it out.
Are you aware?

The chemicals is a necessary evil at times but, is hard on the pump and well.

There is nothing YOU can do to change this.

You need a pro.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:01 AM   #40
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colloidal clay in well water


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Thanks again, Gary. People keep recommending "developing the well." How is that done? Is it something I can do myself? Adding bleach is not a health issue since we don't use the well water for drinking or cooking, but I am aware of the effects. Thanks for pointing it out.
It is done by a driller or pump guy with a drilling rig or hoist/derrick truck or large air compressor. All but the compressor is out for a homeowner and if you don't know how to do it it isn't something to learn on your own.

You know about the risks of super chlorination but still do it.... Do you realize that showering and bathing in that water is not good? IMO you need to stop the chlorination as you are doing it and get the chlorine out of the well within hours after chlorinating.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:55 AM   #41
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I am in agreement with Mr. Slusser.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:49 AM   #42
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colloidal clay in well water


The driller will also have to extend the casing with a liner.

I always wonder why posters hesitate to call the drillers back about things.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:42 AM   #43
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colloidal clay in well water


Winter is coming, so I broke down and bought a used treatment system from a guy lucky enough to have town water come to his house. I have an alum injection pump, chlorine injection pump, 2 120gal settling tanks, a gravel filter and a carbon filter. He drew a diagram of how he had it hooked up, but I have seen other configurations and am not sure which is the best way to do it. Here's some of my questions: Can I mix the alum and chlorine together in one tank or do I need to do them separately? The person I bought the stuff from had the two settling tanks' input coming from a common line. I have seen other ones where the water goes into the first tank inlet, then from the outlet of that tank to the inlet of the 2nd tank. Which is better? Seems the second way should be better. He had the water go to the gravel filter then the carbon filter. Is that best? And finally, any opinions about using Pex piping? I would be mixing the pex with the existing PVC pipe.

Appreciate your input.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #44
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colloidal clay in well water


Gary - I saw your post regarding the colloidal clay in well water. We have a 150 deep drilled well. Around christmas time the flapper on the toilet broke, water ran all day, and now its gray cloudy. I let it sit for a couple of days, then ran it at 1 fpm for about 2 hours. Water turned black and gray. Its been sitting for about two weeks and was wondering what I could do before I call a well driller. Well is about 30 years old and have had no problems since drilled.

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