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Old 07-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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Well water Filter recommendations


Hello all,

Moved into a new house a while back, slowly getting used to the place. Its a pretty traditional colonial here in CT, built in 1985, 4 bed, 3.5 bath, wiht a well of unknown depth and a submersied pump of unknown age/strength. Here are the results of the water test we had done during the home inspection:

Turbidity=12
Color=45
Odor=none
PH=7.3
Calcium=1.7 mg/L
Magnesium=2.1 mg/L
Hardness=12.9 mg/L
Nitrate=1.2 mg/L
Nitrite=none
Sulfate=7.1 mg/L
Sodium=7.0 mg/L
Chloride=4.3 mg/L
Copper=0.34 mg/L
Iron=1.17 mg/L
Manganese=0.04 mg/L

No coliforms present and no Radon in the water.


We definitely notice the iron, staining in the toilets, washer, etc, and sometimes the water has slight brown tint to it, only really noticible when filling the tub for example. Talking with out neighbors, they have higher iron levels that we do, and iron bacteria also. My wife, justified or not, is worried that we will end up with iron bacteria also. I've been reading about the various types of iron filters, green sand, birm, filox (and similar derivatives), air injection, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, etc, etc, etc.

I understand where the wife is coming from. We may not have iron bateria today, but since we have iron, we have a higher change of it developing. If we put in a filox filter for example, and develope iron bateria at a later date, we would then need to install something else, maybe chlorine. So, since chlorine (or other oxidizer) will do it all, would we be better off installing it to begin with...?

Any advice?

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Old 07-20-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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Well water Filter recommendations


You demonstrate a good understanding of the alternatives and the considerations. In the short run it is clearly less expensive to treat the iron alone and deal with bacteria, of any sort, when and if it occurs.

On the other hand there is a peace of mind to chlorinating well water--it not only deals with the iron and manganese but is an insurance policy against any sort of bacterial contamination.

But if you decide to go the chlorination route I recommend you do it first class--proportional injection after the pressure tank, a large retention tank, and properly sized backwashing carbon filter to remove remaining precipitate and excess chlorine.

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Well water Filter recommendations


Interesting that you have less than one grain hardness and your pH is over 7. Pretty good well water.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:13 AM   #4
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Well water Filter recommendations


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
You demonstrate a good understanding of the alternatives and the considerations. In the short run it is clearly less expensive to treat the iron alone and deal with bacteria, of any sort, when and if it occurs.

On the other hand there is a peace of mind to chlorinating well water--it not only deals with the iron and manganese but is an insurance policy against any sort of bacterial contamination.

But if you decide to go the chlorination route I recommend you do it first class--proportional injection after the pressure tank, a large retention tank, and properly sized backwashing carbon filter to remove remaining precipitate and excess chlorine.

Thanks for the response Bob. I've been reading and googling for a while, just trying tgo cover up my ignorance! I think you summarized it well (no pun intended). We could do just the minimum to take care of the iron, but if some other problem developes, then we will kick ourselves for not going all out the first time around.

What are the advantages to proportional injection after the pressure tank? As I understand it, the flow rate going in to the presure tank should be nearly constant, so once a particular dosing rate is dialed in, you will always get the same proportion of chlorine to water...? Is this not true? What are the downsides to this method?

How does one go about sizing a retention tank? 4 people int he house, 3.5 bathrooms, lots of wash and dishes, a wife who loves long hot showers, and a hot tub on the patio out back which I refill ~4 times per year.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy CWS View Post
Interesting that you have less than one grain hardness and your pH is over 7. Pretty good well water.
In general, I like the water. Even with the iron etc, I think it tastes pretty good. I usually adjust the ph of the water in the hot tub up just a bit when I refill.

Should I be questioning the accuracy of the test? Is this really that abnormal?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people I talk to suggest that I just get a water softener, and say they are capable of removing the level of iron I have. Which may be true, But, IMO, thats not what they are designed for, the wont add any protection against the development of any baterial problems, and in addition, I hate the feel of soft water!!
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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Well water Filter recommendations


Chlorine is a strong oxidant and will accelerate the deterioration of the bladder in your pressure tank. Therefore it is desirable for the chlorine injection to be after the pressure tank. The downside is that proportional injection systems cost substantially more than simply connecting the injection pump to the pressure switch.

A 20 minute retention time is the "standard". At an average of 6 gpm that is 120 gallons and a 120 gallon tank should meet your requirements. You can purchase a 120 gallon composite retention tank from an online supplier for $500+. See here:

http://www.purewaterproducts.com/feedsystems.htm

As to your pH--it is a bit unusual for water with very low hardness and iron. The typical situation is acid water with your hardness and iron characteristics. But the most accurate test for pH is one done on a fresh sample--immediately after the sample is taken because the pH of water can change with time and it is put into even a well sealed container. The test equipment you have for the hot tub should provide good results if done on a fresh sample.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Well water Filter recommendations


I wanted to replace our pressure tank when I add a filter system. Its small for the number of bathrooms/number of people, 20-30 gallon range, (~10 gallon draw down) and I was thinking of going to 60-80 gallon (~25 gallon draw down).

Assuming I start with a new pressure tank, what would its expected life be? and how much would that be reduced if exposed to chlorine?

SOme searching has turned up perilistic pumps on the order of $500. Using proportional feed requires the addition of a water flow meter and a controller, at a cost of ~$500 more. Add $500+ for a retention tank. Add say a 1.5 cuft carbon filter for something like $750.

Add in some misc materials, tax, etc, and I bet part will come our to $2500-$3000. Sound about right? I assume bringing in a professional would cost me $4000-$4500..?
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
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Well water Filter recommendations


I really can't quantify the change in life of the pressure tank bladder--it depends in part on variables like the pressure range you operate it at, the amount of water you use and the size of the tank (cycles) and in part on how much free chlorine is in the water.

If you are going to replace the pressure tank consider the largest standard size--120 gallon which has a useful capacity of about 30-35 gals per cycle. It will last longer because there will be fewer cycles for any given water use and it will exend the life of your well pump because of reduced cycles--the single largest factor in pump life.

There are online sources for peristolic pumps for ~$265.

http://www.lockewell.com/index.php?m...ff11d3614168b3

With careful searching you can find the controller for ~$160 and a 3/4" meter for ~$170.

http://www.uswatersystems.com/shop/c...ntrol-Modules/

You can do better than $750 for a 1.5 cubic foot backwashing carbon filter but I think you would be better served with a larger one with a higher effective treatment rate.

http://www.ohiopurewater.com/shop/cu...me.php?cat=213
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:26 AM   #8
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Well water Filter recommendations


Thanks again Bob, looks like I can bring everything under/near 2K then. More questions:

How does one properly size/select an injection pump? The ratings which seem to be important are maximum operating pressure, I would want the 100 psi I believe. The next things is flow rate settings, 0.5-10 gallons per day for example.

Along with that is how does one select the appropriate size chlorine holding tank, 15 and 30 gallon seen to be the most widely available. Cost difference is ~$50, should I just go larger to save any future headaches?

Can I use liquid chlorine available at the local pool supply company? Would seem easier to buy it this way, larger containers and higher concentration, rather than 1 gallon containers of Clorox..?


What size carbon filter would you recommend 2.0, 2.5..? I think I would be mainly limited by back flow rate. I know I can get 6gpm out of the hose, on same level, but opposite end of house. The hose bib is the biggest restriction. I haven't gone through measuring the flow rate of my well pump yet, but it should be at least a little better than that 6gpm.

Using chlorine followed by a carbon filter, would I need anything additional for drinking water? The water taste fine to us now, and if we actually do remove the chlorine properly, will it taste the same?
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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Well water Filter recommendations


I recommend you use household bleach which is 5.25-6% depending on the part of the country you are in. It is generally less cost and you simply won't use enough to justify buying the pool bleach which is available in 5 gal containers and is 10-12%. Bleach degrades over time and buying fresh product regularly just works better. In your situation you are likely to use less than 1 gallon/month of household bleach. So with household bleach and your iron level an adjustable Stenner pump with a max 5 gal rating should work well and you will be able to use undiluted bleach.

Because you want to use fresh bleach you don't need a large solution tank--a 2.5 to 5 gal size would be ideal. Servicing frequently keeps the bleach strength relatively constant while if you put say 5 gal in it will last many months and the strength might be down 50% after 6 months--not what you want.
I am not familiar with a tank sold specifically for injection in the appropriate size. You might consider a tank of the appropriate material designed for something else--like gasoline. The key is you need an opening big enough to be able to put the weight/strainer on the solution line and get it in the tank.

You need to ensure that your well and well pump output are at least equal to the backwash requirement for the carbon filter. If your well and pump support it I recommend a 3-3.5 cubic foot filter. You will have to replace the carbon less frequently and you will get excellent performance. If you know who drilled your well and/or installed the pump check with them for that information. If you don't then you need to estimate it. From specifications for the pressure tank you can determine the effective capacity for the pressure on/off settings you have. With the effective capacity run water until the pump kicks in. Immediately turn off water flow. Determine time from pump on to pump off. Then calculate well pump output--If pressure tank capacity is 10 gallons and it takes 30 seconds to fill then pump output is 20 gpm. Some installers write needed information on the pump control box--like size of pump and depth of pump that allow computation from pump curves and if that info is available it is a cross check on the method I described above.

I don't see the need for any other filtration beyond the carbon with your water conditions and I would expect the taste will be excellent--but not the same with the iron and manganese removed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Well water Filter recommendations


Thanks again, I'll spend a few days searching for components and let ya know what I come up with.

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