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Old 06-28-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
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Sediment in Well Water


Hello, Im having some sediment problems and would like to know more about what I am dealing with before contacting the well company. The house and well is just under 4 years old. First, here is some of the relevant info of my well configuration, which is used for both domestic water and geothermal (open loop), and then Ill tell you more about the sediment.

- 600 foot well, 69 at 10.75 diameter (pilot hole), 131 at 8, 400 at 6
- 70 of 8 steel casing
- pump set at 400
- uses a Shroud
- 8 gallons per minute
- Franklin Subdrive 100 Constant Pressure Controller, 2hp
- Flow thru Tank, 20 gallons

Ive had some sediment since day 1, but very manageable (until recently). It seemed to be a little heavier during the summers than winters. Im in NH, so the heat pump gets used much more for heating than cooling. I have a 25 micron pre-filter (Pentex P25) for the domestic and a reusable filter for the heat pump. Until recently I replaced the pre-filter once every 3 or 4 months and emptied the filter for the heat pump about once every 2 months. Now I need to replace the pre-filter every 2 or 3 weeks, and I cant even run the heat pump for one whole cooling cycle before the filter gets totally clogged.

Im not sure if sediment is the proper term for what I am getting. It is a black powdery substance that settles rather than suspends in the water, and must be larger than 25 microns since my pre-filter prevents it from getting through (my water slows to a trickle if I dont change it soon enough). I do the filters in the basement sink and noticed the other day that the sediment appears to be dark gray rather than black once the water dries out of it.

So what do you think this sediment is? Is it a clay? Was something done wrong by the well company if Ive had this substance from day 1, even though it was manageable back then? And what are the recommended remedies and what am I looking at as far as costs. Thanks.

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Old 06-28-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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Sediment in Well Water


Without getting the water tested it's hard to suggest a fix.

Do you have a sedimant tank before the water filter? A sediment tank is nothing more then a big empty tank, it lets the water settle out before going to the filter. Solids just fall to the bottom of the tank and can be drained out.

Could be a simple as the pumps sitting to low in the well so it's sucking off the bottom. That's what was happening on our well. It's only 100 ft. deep but when the pump gave out they pulled out 100 ft. of pipe. I had them cut off some of the pipe before reinstalling and it stopped plugging up the filter every week.

He's some other ideas.
http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/sediment-well-water.html

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Old 06-28-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Sediment in Well Water


I suggest you have your water tested--specifically for manganese. The sediment you are describing could be oxidized manganese.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Sediment in Well Water


The original water testing results were:

hardness 6
iron .25
magnese non
ph 7.4
sulphur none
nitrate 2
disolved solids 153/ppm
and it was subsequently tested for arsenic with no issue there. The hardness is high so a water softener was installed, but that should have no effect anyway on the sediment.

I do have a "Flow thru Tank, 20 gallons" pressure tank before the filters, but believe that is not intended as a sediment tank.

The pump isn't too low because the well is 600' and the pump is at 400'.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #5
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Sediment in Well Water


Bob, I my last post came in before reading your comment. I believe the line that says "magnese non" obtained from the well driller should have been "manganese none".
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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Sediment in Well Water


Maybe the heat pump is stirring up sediment? Maybe try draining your flow thru tank, it could be collecting sediment and has reached it's limit.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #7
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Sediment in Well Water


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_T View Post
Bob, I my last post came in before reading your comment. I believe the line that says "magnese non" obtained from the well driller should have been "manganese none".
Water conditions can change over time and assuming your interpretation is correct about test results 4 years ago you could have some manganese now.

Also the test results show some iron and a combination of iron and manganese may well show up a black/grey precipitate if there is oxygen present to oxidize the iron/manganese.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Sediment in Well Water


So what is the best way to resolve it, whether manganese or any other substance, and what are the typical costs? Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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Sediment in Well Water


If the only problem is the sediment--that is you are getting no staining and no taste problems--then filtration is probably the best approach.

The least expensive approach with easy maintence, if it will work, is a spin down filter which is available with a 15 micron screen.

Here is one source of supply (there are others):
http://www.freshwatersystems.com/p-9...-screen-1.aspx

My personal experience with manganese and a spin down filter is that the manganese sticks to the mesh and it must be manually cleaned which negates the "easy" mantenance.

The alternative is a backwashing sediment filter.

Here is one source of supply (there are others):
http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/sedim...ckwashing.html

If you have unoxidized iron/manganese in the water that is causing staining or taste problems then the alternative is a backwashing iron/manganese filter-(which also acts as a filter for the oxidized material-perhaps with a prefeed of an oxidant--chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. Given you have an open geothermal system hydrogen peroxide could get pretty expensive assuming your water use is high. Household bleach as the source of chlorine is typically much less expensive.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:33 PM   #10
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Sediment in Well Water


I ended up going with a Rusco sediment trapper and it works well. It holds quite a bit of sediment, so is no problem to empty it. I found a fitting and attached a hose to the end of the housing, and put a large bucket underneath the end of the hose. Every week or so I just turn the valve for a couple of seconds until the sediment empties through the hose. If the sediment ever gets worse in the future, Rusco also makes an automatic flush valve that empties according to a time that you set.

I did find that mesh size makes a big difference. It was getting clogged with my initial filter, and it took me two more tries to get it right.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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Sediment in Well Water


I did not know you could use the same well for HP and domestic water. Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
I did not know you could use the same well for HP and domestic water. Thanks.
Yes, the water splits off into the domestic and the heat pump (right after the pressure tank and the sediment filter).
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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Sediment in Well Water


Just read this thread. Glad you found a cure.
I love water as I have worked at a WTP 33 yrs.

Is your Hardness listed in PPM or grains? 6 PPM is extremely low. By chance did anyone run an alkalinity or Co2 test? Your PH is nice.
I always wanted a GEO system.
Most well water quality improves over time. Next time you get it tested allow it to run for several hours first so you will know what the water is producing. Your trash (turbidity) might be coming from the steel casing or the surrounding area.

I hate Manganese. BTDT.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Know It ALL View Post
Just read this thread. Glad you found a cure.
I love water as I have worked at a WTP 33 yrs.

Is your Hardness listed in PPM or grains? 6 PPM is extremely low. By chance did anyone run an alkalinity or Co2 test? Your PH is nice.
I always wanted a GEO system.
Most well water quality improves over time. Next time you get it tested allow it to run for several hours first so you will know what the water is producing. Your trash (turbidity) might be coming from the steel casing or the surrounding area.

I hate Manganese. BTDT.
My hardness is in grains. Think that comes out to about 100 ppm. No, never had those other tests.

Yes, the geo is great. I spend about $700 a year for heat, hot water, AC, and ventilation (I can tell because it's on a separate meter). Pretty good for NH. We just had a whole week with temps below 0 (minus 22 one day). The geo provides the AC as well as the heat, and also assists in the hot water.

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Last edited by Dave_T; 01-31-2013 at 07:25 PM.
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