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Old 07-27-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
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Well Water Silt

When we purchased our home, the well passed inspection. However, after several months, our well was found to have E. Choli(sp)...the bad kind. We chlorinated it. We found out a year or so later we had the problem again. So we added several filtration systems. One to remove iron(the water was also orange enough to taint our clothing and to leave rings in the toilets), one to remove sediment, and a uv light to remove the bacteria. The problem now is we have intermittent flushes of black/grey silt. It isn't all the time and there is no rhyme or reason to the problem. Our toilet tanks fill first...sometimes the water in the tub. I am inclined to believe it is coming from the iron filter. Here's why...our basement floor drain cannot handle the flushing and it backs up and my floor has turned black. We didn't have the silt before the iron filter, and the neighbors who are also on our well don't have the silt problem. Can someone offer ideas. Should I have the water checked from the outdoor spigot...it does not have black silt that I can tell. I have filled jugs and waited for it to settle and don't see it. I am at my wits end and the water filtration folks don't have an answer either.


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Old 07-27-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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I have both a UV system and a sediment filter and have never seen black silt, so it's probably not one of those. I think you're right to look at either the iron filter, or some entirely new problem.


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Old 07-28-2010, 07:52 AM   #3
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The first thing i would do is look at how often your filters backwash? Since your problem kind of comes and goes, maybe it's a result of your filters becoming clogged, allowing fine particles to pass through, then going away once the filters backwash and begin doing there job again. The easiest first step would be to find out specifically when your filters are set to backwash, and then compare when the dark water comes and goes. if you start to see a pattern, especially if the black water comes later in the backwas cycle and disappears some time after the backwash, it may be as easy as setting your backwash setting so it takes place more often

There are different types of iron in water, and they require different treatments. If you already had testing done, look at the type and amounts of iron. If you had your filter people do the testing, consider sending samples out to a different lab. send them samples of both the filtered and unfiltered water

Is your well fairly shallow?

Have you had your water tested for ORGANIC IRONS & TANNINS? Tannins will make water appear dark. Most filtration systems designed for ferric (red water) iron do little or nothing to control Organic iron. It's possible that the dark water was always there, but was mixing with the red water. now that the red is gone, you can see the blackish brown more clearly.

You may want to talk to your filtration people about adding chemical oxidation. That will help with both ferric ( red water ) and Organic & Tannis (brown water)

EDIT: was just thinking about this, and realized that you said the black silt appears in the tiolet tank first, if memory serves me correctly, this is often a sign of Iron bacteria or Maganese bacteria. We had a similiar issue that was solved by chemical oxidation (using metering valves to add tiny amounts of chlorine (bleach) and caustics to our water, prior to a sand filter, whenever the pump was running)
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Last edited by Mr Chips; 07-28-2010 at 08:29 AM.
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