Do I have a bigger problem?
I have a well system that has been working well (no pun intended) for years.
Not far from me that have built a new upscale housing project that has numerous ponds scattered about. These ponds are HUGE and draw from the same ground water that we have. At the same time, our water table Ö do to lack of rain Ö is down about 8 inches.
For 2 months now, Iíve been getting sediment in my water that I never had before. The water pressure is outstanding, but the sediment is there. At the pump, I can turn the water on and the water is clear, but after a short time the sediment appears.
Iím using a GE whole house water filter system, standard 10Ē, to filter the sediment out. The filters that came with it lasted about 1 day each and were rated at 5 microns. I went to a 10 Micron with the same result. A 20 Micron filter (pleated) seems to last about 3 days so I bought 2 string filters at 40 Microns from you. The String filters clogged immediately and while they filter nice, the pressure in the house drops quickly and we must wait for a few minís for the pressure to come back up. This is only when taking showers or using the washing machine. I guess the flow rate through string isnít all that great?
Last night I ordered a 50 micron pleated filter from you and will try that out since pleated seems to work better. Hopefully I will get the right filters I need until the water table comes up, even if it takes replacing them once a week.
Maybe itís a different problem however. Since I have great water pressure on the pump side of the filter, I am assuming that my well is not collapsing. Instead Iím guessing the low water tables in the area because of the lack of rain along with the massive increase in water usage, has lowed the water table to where it is now. Does this sound correct? Am I wasting my time with a whole house filtering system or do I need to sink my well deeper? How can I tell?
Thanks for the help!
Oh Ö I keep checking the USPS web site to track my order and they always say that it hasnít shipped yet. I did get my filters very quickly however and you did a great job. The USPS site is still waiting on a ship status for the filters I already have. Itís our government at work
50 Micron Pleated filters
Did you receive and try the 50 Micron filters? What were the results? It is hard to give specific advise about a well without being able to inspect the well. Sediment from well water is not unusual and the best way to remove the sediment is with a sediment filter. What diameter filter are you currently using? If flow rate is a problem through the filter system, you could upgrade to a larger water filter housing. This will give you a higher flow rate and increase the length of time in between filter changes.
Construction and increased water usage could certainly drop the water table and increase sediment in your well water, but it is hard to say for sure that this is the cause of the sediment increase.
Sediment in water
Malkosha - interesting observations. I recently developed an issue with my well water where the water is carrying an inordinate amount of oxidized iron or dirt... I can't tell which. About 7 months ago I had a sand mound removed, and about 5 months ago I had a lot of disturbance in the gound near my well as conctete pumper trucks drove in and out. Something must have changed the "veins" of water that natually flow in the ground, and the water bagan to get quite "muddy brown" For better or worse, I have a 2-stage water softener where the 1st stage consists of calcite and MagOxide which help to filter and neutralize the water. But within 5 months or so, the aggregate was overcome and the brown water started coming through all pipes!! Yikes - it looked like mud coming out of the faucet.
After replacing all of the water softener media, I put a cartridge filter on the outlet of the pressure tank, in order to capture the sediment. Like you, I am now noticing that a 5 micron string filter filled up in < 2 days normal usage. I have just tried putting in a 30 micron string filter, and I have yet to evaluate the performance. Oddly, the water coming out of the well does not look TOO bad, but once it comes in contact with that filter, it starts turning the filter a tarnished brown-orange color within seconds of flow...
A local well company came out, and tested the water, and found that I had 10ppm of dissolved iron. This is 20 TIMES normal! But it still doesn't answer the question if the sediment is iron coming out of solution or just plain old dirt.
If you have a well, you can try "shocking" it. This only involves buying a couple gallons of standard 5% household bleach and avoiding using your water for a day. There are lots of resources on the web of how to do this. I tried it, and it didn't solve my problem, but then again, I was worried that I may have had an Iron-producing bacteria. Guess not. In the meantime I'm trying the 30 micron filter, I'll let you know if there is any luck using the larger size.
My question for anybody out there... any way to tell for certain what the material that is soaked up in my filter is? Is it iron or dirt? (The house is in the mountains, and the dirt is "clay-like," making this determination difficult). I scraped off some of the deposted material and tasted it, and it has a chalky-consistency with no mettalic taste. I have put a magnet near it, and there is no reaction. Is it just plain old dirt? Help!
Thanks for the replies.
This is what I've discovered:
I have the filter system outside and I used a coupler to disconnect it fro the house for easier filter changing.
When I change a filter, I always run the water through the housing a little Ö sort of like a using a water hose to water the lawn. The water is very sandy and gritty. However, when the pump kicks on the water gets cleaner and cleaner to the pint where it look pretty good! When the pump goes off, the water once again, turns sandy.
Iíve had quite an education here lately, and my ďnewĒ theory is that the pressure tank, which drives the water when the pump is off, is full of sand and sediment. This is what befouls the line. When the pump kicks on, the tank refills and the house is now being pressured from the pump which seems to be very clear water. The tank is about 25 years old.
Does this make sense?
I am interested to know what you have learned thus far, Malkosha. I have a similar situation, and am wondering how much sand and sediment is in my pressure tank.
As my first post just wanna say hey but I think your problem may be a table issue. If everything has been fine for years and you are now pumping sediment your water table may have changed. If you ran your well low or perhaps even the construction could have run the sediment down the sides of the well and where your pump picks up the water could now be closer to the new floor and you are picking up crud.
This can happen often and you will always be changing filters if you are drawing sediment like you stated and it will get very pricey. I would have an honest plumber that has been around for a while that knows wells to give you a good opinion. You way only need to raise your pump a few feet or the intake or siphon tube up a little and not drill a new well which someone may try to tell you. Good luck and get more than one opinion.
If your 5-micron fills up in a day and and a 20-micron fills up in three, then simply going to a 'larger' micron rating is futile. They will just fill up exponentually.
You need some type of sand filter and there are many depending on the rate that the sediment is coming up. There are both active and passive filter systems.
A backwashing filter would be the best as far as performance and easy of maintenance. A simple timer valve set to backwash every couple of days would most likely take care of your problem.
A Y-screen filter can be put in at a lower cost but you would need to flush it out often.
The reason for your water quality change may very well be related to the ponds nearby. I suppose these ponds are not rain fed but actaully well fed. What is happening is they are darwing water at a great volume from your aquafer. Thus your water is coming, at a rapid rate, from a distant location and its movement is bringing with it large amounts of sediment.
It may be useless to file lawsuits to prevent owners from drawing this water or funding appropriate equipment to handle the sudden change, and there have been cases won this way, but you will most likely have to fend for yourself and provide the correct line of equipment.
You are fortunate that the water is not bringing sulfur problems.
I wouldn't worry about the pressure tank filling with sand if yours is the bladder type. The bladder is at the top of the tank and all water and nearly all sedment that flows into the tank, also flows out the bottom. Sometimes iron deposits may form but sediment should not be a problem.