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BRO931 09-23-2013 12:43 PM

Need whole house filter advice
 
I've got a 22 year old drilled well that started producing muddy water about three years ago. When we first built our home and put in this well, we soon had sand plugging the screen in the washer hose. So I installed a whole-house cartridge filter and it worked fine for 19 years with filter changes every month or two. Then three years ago the filters started clogging up every week with orange mud. This was right after we had a ground-source heat pump installed with 75' vertical bore holes over 100' away from the well.

I had a well service guy come out to inspect and he said it was just iron in the water. He recommended a combined water softener and iron filter with an installed price north of $3K. Our water was previously tested by the county and they did indeed find a high level of iron, but very little hardness.

So why the need for a softener to get the iron out? My current cartridge filter does that just fine, it's just that I'm getting tired of changing filters every week. We have no problem with iron/rust on plumbing fixtures. Is there is a good automatic backwash filter that can just handle fine sediment?

And what about the bore holes 100+ feet away? Once they put the lines down the bore holes, they were all grouted top to bottom with the county inspector overseeing things. These bore holes never hit solid formation. It was clay all the way. The well has a 106' galvanized casing that I believe goes into solid rock. The entire well is 305 feet deep.

Oso954 09-23-2013 03:00 PM

Call the county and ask if they ran an iron bacteria test. If not, where can you get one ? (Also, did the sample they tested come from the house side of the filter or the well side. You want one from the well side)

That orange mud sounds like Iron Bacteria Slime.

If it is Iron Bacteria you want to treat the well to get it under control and then keep it controlled.

BRO931 09-23-2013 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oso954 (Post 1245529)
Call the county and ask if they ran an iron bacteria test. If not, where can you get one ? (Also, did the sample they tested come from the house side of the filter or the well side. You want one from the well side)

That orange mud sounds like Iron Bacteria Slime.

If it is Iron Bacteria you want to treat the well to get it under control and then keep it controlled.

The county did test for bacteria, but I don't know if was a test for ALL types of bacteria.

But the mud I'm getting on the cartridge filter does not feel slimy. It really does look and feel like mud. I might try to put some of it under a microscope to see what it looks like up close.

Oso954 09-24-2013 12:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Counties usually test for bacteria that poses a health risk. Since there is no known heath risk with iron bacteria, most don't test for it. That is why you need to ask them. Often you have to go to a private lab and pay for such a test.

Does your mud look anything like the "mud" on this submersible pump.
(Exact color is not important.)
While well people call it a slime, a mud feel is a more accurate description.

Any funny odors from either the mud or the well ?

Fairview 09-24-2013 05:02 AM

If possible catch a non filtered sample in a transparent container for inspection.

BRO931 10-03-2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oso954 (Post 1245801)
Counties usually test for bacteria that poses a health risk. Since there is no known heath risk with iron bacteria, most don't test for it. That is why you need to ask them. Often you have to go to a private lab and pay for such a test.

Does your mud look anything like the "mud" on this submersible pump.
(Exact color is not important.)
While well people call it a slime, a mud feel is a more accurate description.

Any funny odors from either the mud or the well ?

Thanks for the photo. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.

The mud I'm getting on my filters is very smooth with just a little fine grit. It is not stringy or clumpy at all, which is what I think I see on the photo. And there are no odors from the mud or from the water.

I just found the well test results from April 2012 and they did do a test specifically for iron bacteria. None were found.

One other clue here is that the last time I chlorinated the well using 3 gallons of 6% sodium hypochlorite bleach, the water immediately because VERY cloudy with a muddy orange tint just like the sediment on the filters. After sitting overnight, I had to pump water out for an hour or two to get it to run clean enough to use. Maybe the chlorine oxidized the dissolved iron or maybe I just washed mud off of the walls of the casing.

md2lgyk 10-03-2013 09:15 AM

How deep is the well? Maybe you could raise the pump some. I admit to knowing very little about wells, but that makes sense to me.

Benplumbing 10-04-2013 03:16 PM

Iron filters are definitely worth their weight in gold... And typically with a well you would use the softener teamed up with your iron filter unless you really don't care about the hard water. I think I would call a established well pump installer and ask them a few questions. I guess I would check the water table and if you do have the room to pull your pump up some it might help. Also some well piping systems have bleeders which can attribute to stirring up iron bacteria in the well. I just think I would start with the well before you start throwing money at all sorts of filtration systems


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