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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought a home with a well in Feb. This is my 1st well and everything I think I know is just what I have come to understand after doing some reading.

The house had been vacant for approximately 20 months, no disclosure, just what I have pieced together.

It's located at the base of a steep hill below a moderately used business center in a flood zone of a large creek approximately 1 mile upstream from a river. It's gorgeous property, but the water inside, not so much. Frozen pipes & stolen copper means the inside water lines have been completely re-plumbed with PVC (1" coming inside from the well.)

The well itself was drilled in 1999 & is located in a separate structure on the hillside above the house, out of the floodzone. It's 403' deep, though I am unsure how far the 4 wire pump is submerged. The well casing is galvanized and rusty. There is a cap, but it's not sealed, there are ropes tied from the roof to the pipe leading down into the well, seemingly to keep it from falling in..? I'd like to seal it. Also Inside the well house is a pressure tank (Pro-Source PS220-t52, 85 gallon?) and a disconnected UV light system (ATS SE-7, broken quartz sleeve).

Once the new pipes were finished, I dumped & 2 gallons of bleach into the well, let it sit for 48+ hours, then ran the water for 12+ hours.

A free Culligan test afterward:
TDS: 746
Hardness: 14 gpg
PH: 7.7
Iron: 1.2 ppm
Nitrate: 2 ppm
Manganese: N/D
Sulphur: Yes

He suggested an RO system for the kitchen sink, a point of entry water softener & maybe a UV light, depending upon getting an additional bacteria test.

After about 2 months, the water looked cloudy when collected, but kinda fizzed & cleared. The toilet bowl turned a reddish brown after a few days & inside the tank it looked like there was a film of gel with air bubbles on the top, some goo along the edges & brown sediment in the bottom.

Last week I dumped a gallon of bleach into the well and ran a hose from the pressure tank back to the well & let it spray a fine mist down for several hours, then used a heavy duty black bag & tape to seal it off the best I could. Then ran the water for a few hours. This seems to have slowed something down as the toilet bowl has stayed pretty clear in the week since.

For some basic info, I have been using 2 different tests with pretty consistent results:

'JNW Direct 9 in 1 Drinking Water Test Strips'

Test Date: 07/02/17 Alkalinity mg/l 240 pH 8.2-9.0 Hardness mg/l 50 IRON mg/l 0 Copper mg/l 0 Lead mg/l 0 Nitrate mg/l 0 Nitrite mg/l 0 Free Chlorine mg/l 0

I also use 'Industrial Test Systems WaterWorks 481195-30 Bacteria Growth Check' (fastidious aerobic bacteria)
That usually show a few spots that register >10,000 - >10(6), even when run thru a UV light. I have not had it tested specifically for e coli and coliform.

I thought my slime problem was iron bacteria, but was told that my water tests lack of iron didn't support that. That leads me to believe it's a sulfur bacteria. I'm not sure the best way to determine this or if I even need to?

What I was leaning toward was adding a system after my existing pressure tank. Starting with a spin down filter (there is one already available), then a chlorine feeding system with a retaining tank to eliminate the bacteria & sulfur, then a backwashing carbon filter to remove sediment & remaining chlorine, plus a water softener to protect my appliances, specifically a new tankless water heater.

But then I started to read about hydrogen peroxide systems and that they were better for higher PH. I really like the idea of H2O2 vs chlorine so I'd prefer to go that route. In trying to determine what tank size I'd need, I saw a calculator that wanted a hardness reading in addition to the hydrogen sulfide ppm. I don't know those things, so should I go ahead and get those tests, too, since I'll have to monitor it in the future?

For a water softener, I was figuring for 1-2 people I should have around 50,000 grains? Would a hardness test help me better determine that?

I do already have a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen, but I have not installed it yet as I don't want to contaminate it. I'm using a generic UV light and an inline whole house sediment filter for a shower & washer, but I'm using bottled water for everything else.

Regarding the UV lights, do I bother replacing the quartz sleeve and adding the existing light back on? I also have a newer, longer light I'm using in a temporary setup (purchased on a whim). Would adding that make any sense? I feel skeptical the UV light is accomplishing much, but that's due to seeing bacteria growth on the test strips from water run thru it.

I also want to make sure I'm not killing my water pressure, it's ok now, but I'd actually like to find any way I can to increase it. I'm getting approximately 12 gpm (20 gallons/95 seconds=.21*60=12.60gpm). What do I need to look out for? Is there anything I can do to make it better?

Another concern, in checking the PVC pipe size in the basement, I noticed the pipes are almost dripping with condensate, is that normal in 77 degree temps? My basement is prone to mold, so that can't be good.

I just want to be armed with info. I'd like to have a system in mind and either find someone to sell it to me or put it together on my own. I don't want to fall into a trap of spending thousands on something that ultimately leaves me unhappy. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


Civil Engineer
5,832 Posts
I suggest you take a water sample to a laboratory and let them run a full suite of tests. Where I live, costs about $85 - $150, depending on how many tests you get for somewhat unusual contaminants like pesticides. The home based tests are generally not as accurate, and do not cover a wide range of contaminants. Once you know exactly what is in your water, you can make a more refined assessment of what treatment, if any, you actually need.
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