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Thread: Sudden clay like sediment in well water

  1. #1
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    Default Sudden clay like sediment in well water

    We have had clear water for over three years from our well. We changed our filter once every three months. Starting a couple of months ago we noticed that we were having to change the filter more often. Suddenly we went straight to a clogged filter with tons of grey sediment in our water. We let our well settle using our neighbors well instead of our own. We turned our water back on today and the water was clear without a filter on it. We let the water trickle out of the hose all day. We flushed and used it for washing dishes etc. I even did a load of laundry and still clear. I went to give the baby a bath ands suddenly it turned all sediment filled again. Do we just need to cave and get a high priced ultra filtration system or is there a problem with the well that can be fixed. My neighbor has the idea that maybe we having a split in our piping or joint that is praying the well sides and stirring up the water. Is there anyway to know if this is true. He suggested a pressure test. I have three kids and am finding it more and more tempting to just throw my monwy to a water system to treat the problem, but I don't want to spend money where it is not needed. I can't understand how these drastic changes could have suddenly taken place with our water. any help would be appreciated!

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    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    We have had clear water for over three years from our well. We changed our filter once every three months. Starting a couple of months ago we noticed that we were having to change the filter more often. Suddenly we went straight to a clogged filter with tons of grey sediment in our water. We let our well settle using our neighbors well instead of our own. We turned our water back on today and the water was clear without a filter on it. We let the water trickle out of the hose all day. We flushed and used it for washing dishes etc. I even did a load of laundry and still clear. I went to give the baby a bath ands suddenly it turned all sediment filled again. Do we just need to cave and get a high priced ultra filtration system or is there a problem with the well that can be fixed. My neighbor has the idea that maybe we having a split in our piping or joint that is praying the well sides and stirring up the water. Is there anyway to know if this is true. He suggested a pressure test. I have three kids and am finding it more and more tempting to just throw my monwy to a water system to treat the problem, but I don't want to spend money where it is not needed. I can't understand how these drastic changes could have suddenly taken place with our water. any help would be appreciated!
    One thing that you might try is taking a hose from say the pressure tank to the out side and to the back of the yard and turn the water on and let it run at say 4gpm for 24-36 hours with out turning off.
    Some times there is an earth movement that you and I do not feel but it is enough to change the ground where your well is pulling from..
    There are wells that end in say a sand pocket and every now and then some of that sand breaks off and gets pulled out with the water and that will go on til it settles down again.

  3. #3
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    Default Thanks for the advice

    We are trying your suggestion right now! Will update progress. ANy other tip appreciated!

  4. #4
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    My husband just turned our water back on and it is clear again. I am sure it will go back to sediment...we shall see, he is still going to run it as you suggested!

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    My husband just turned our water back on and it is clear again. I am sure it will go back to sediment...we shall see, he is still going to run it as you suggested!
    I would do this a little different. Yes, pump it but, hard. What you want to do is stress the system. Also if there is a sample tap on your pressure tank, use that.

    If this does not work, call a driller to look at it.

    What kind of a well is this??
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  6. #6
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    Default sediment again

    It went back to a yellowish cloudy and now to grey color. We are running the hose outside over night. The well is a private gravel well. Why would it be clear and then go back to sediment. Crack in a joint or pump problem/ or maybe just bad luck and opened a vein of clay?


    Thanks again!

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    It went back to a yellowish cloudy and now to grey color. We are running the hose outside over night. The well is a private gravel well. Why would it be clear and then go back to sediment. Crack in a joint or pump problem/ or maybe just bad luck and opened a vein of clay?


    Thanks again!
    Maybe a hole in the casing. Don't drink this water until a driller checks this.

    Wells just don't get dirty. At least call your local health department.
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  8. #8
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    we just checked the water and it was running clear, 15 minutes later we are clearer, but with black sediment (btter than the clay junk). We did have a well guy come out when it first started. They raised the pump and said they did not see any sign of the casing cracked. Can you tell that from raising the pump? The water did clear soon after, but it may just have been from me running the water because it came back again. Should we keep running the water overnight even though it seems to be clearing?

  9. #9
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    Also had the water checked for bacteria and it came up negative

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    we just checked the water and it was running clear, 15 minutes later we are clearer, but with black sediment (btter than the clay junk). We did have a well guy come out when it first started. They raised the pump and said they did not see any sign of the casing cracked. Can you tell that from raising the pump? The water did clear soon after, but it may just have been from me running the water because it came back again. Should we keep running the water overnight even though it seems to be clearing?
    If he used a camera......maybe.

    I would not rule it out with a camera however, it could be confirmed.

    I am not 100% sure what you mean by a gravel well. What kind of casing do you have??? And what size??

    I do know it is a submersible pump now.
    Last edited by Driller1; 05-09-2010 at 10:24 PM.
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  11. #11
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    280ft well with a steel casing. The compnay that drilled our well is apparently no longer in business, so we don't know much except what the other company told us when they came out to move the pump up. The water is clear now except for large black sediment that I am sure our regular filter housing would take care of. Should we shut off the hose now that it is clear again? It has been clear for a few hours now.

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    280ft well with a steel casing. The compnay that drilled our well is apparently no longer in business, so we don't know much except what the other company told us when they came out to move the pump up. The water is clear now except for large black sediment that I am sure our regular filter housing would take care of. Should we shut off the hose now that it is clear again? It has been clear for a few hours now.
    Let is run hard all day. Your health department may know more about your well. The fact it is clearing up is good.
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  13. #13
    TnAKluck@msn.com is offline Junior Member
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    It ran all night and the water is clear this am. We shall see what happens today. Thanks so much for the advice. We have been getting no where with our well company and water treatment guy. They keep telling me to contact the other. No one even made your suggestion. Thanks!

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    It ran all night and the water is clear this am. We shall see what happens today. Thanks so much for the advice. We have been getting no where with our well company and water treatment guy. They keep telling me to contact the other. No one even made your suggestion. Thanks!
    Step two will be putting a liner in the well. This is fixable as long as there is not a hole anyplace. And if there was it "should" has gotten very dirty.

    That is why I wanted you to stress the system. Let the pump build up and turn off over and over and get that water surging in the well.
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  15. #15
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TnAKluck@msn.com
    It ran all night and the water is clear this am. We shall see what happens today. Thanks so much for the advice. We have been getting no where with our well company and water treatment guy. They keep telling me to contact the other. No one even made your suggestion. Thanks!
    More than likely the driller didn't develop the well good enough when it was drilled and the gray stuff is 'drilling mud'. Then if there is a problem like this, many of them will tell you to run the water at your expense with your pump, until it clears. Which may take months because your pump is not large enough to do the job correctly.

    And here is a driller not telling you anything about that, and to run the water hard. That's without mentioning anything to you about the damage that can cause, like enough time to run your pump dry and possibly ruin it. And then possibly scaring you into thinking there's possibly something wrong with your casing and that you may need a liner...

    My guess is that you have a rock bore type well, and from what driller1 has said here or in other forums, she is basically unknowledgeable about them and this type problem. She automattically goes to a small diameter liner for her customers in MI.

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    More than likely the driller didn't develop the well good enough when it was drilled and the gray stuff is 'drilling mud'. Then if there is a problem like this, many of them will tell you to run the water at your expense with your pump, until it clears. Which may take months because your pump is not large enough to do the job correctly.

    And here is a driller not telling you anything about that, and to run the water hard. That's without mentioning anything to you about the damage that can cause, like enough time to run your pump dry and possibly ruin it. And then possibly scaring you into thinking there's possibly something wrong with your casing and that you may need a liner...

    My guess is that you have a rock bore type well, and from what driller1 has said here or in other forums, she is basically unknowledgeable about them and this type problem. She automattically goes to a small diameter liner for her customers in MI.
    And you could get a LAGER pipe down the hole??
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  17. #17
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    There is another idea...

    What if the pit less on the out side of the well casing where it hooks on to the pipe that feeds the house has opened up?

    A customer had way to much sand and dirt showing up... the fitting that holds the pipe and the pit less together had come apart.. the ground had pushed down on that fitting and had undone it.

    The Well Driller that the customer had used over the years came in and put a V over the fitting to keep the ground from pushing it apart along with a more flex fitting to help out.

  18. #18
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    There is another idea...

    What if the pit less on the out side of the well casing where it hooks on to the pipe that feeds the house has opened up?

    A customer had way to much sand and dirt showing up... the fitting that holds the pipe and the pit less together had come apart.. the ground had pushed down on that fitting and had undone it.

    The Well Driller that the customer had used over the years came in and put a V over the fitting to keep the ground from pushing it apart along with a more flex fitting to help out.
    Sure. None of us can see it.

    I NEVER pull off a hole until the water is crystal clear.

    However now, it is what it is.

    If the OP can kill the power and lift the pump up to the lower part of the pitless that would answer this question. Just hook the power back up and pump it though the pitless for a while.

    The driller should have did the when they were there. Or, did they???
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  19. #19
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    I just remembered fixing one as described above. The pump ran most of the time and there was a puddles around the well.

    If it is inside you should hear it with the cap off.

    Something to check.....
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  20. #20
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan
    There is another idea...

    What if the pit less on the out side of the well casing where it hooks on to the pipe that feeds the house has opened up?

    A customer had way to much sand and dirt showing up... the fitting that holds the pipe and the pit less together had come apart.. the ground had pushed down on that fitting and had undone it.

    The Well Driller that the customer had used over the years came in and put a V over the fitting to keep the ground from pushing it apart along with a more flex fitting to help out.
    But she doesn't have any of those complaints and hasn't mentioned a low flow problem which a leak usually causes. Or that the pump runs periodically with no one using water which would indicate a leak if there was no check valve at the pressure tank inlet.

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