SW Florida well water treatment
Hi all! I've been reading through some of the posts after researching what to install in our house. Great site, I wish I'd found it sooner. I guess I've been shopping more than researching. So, here is my info:
Test result for my water by an internet water treatment sales company:
Hardness: 17 grains per gallon, very hard water.
pH: 7.0 it is neutral
Iron: 5.0 a lot of iron, almost 17 times the limit issued by the EPA for needing treatment.
TDS: 605 Total Dissolved Solids just means all the contaminants in the water added into one test.
Nitrates: 0 means there is no byproduct of animal waste or other form of nitrated usually derived from pesticides.
my own test with one of those kits sold on Amazon give me similar results, except for the iron test, which came back nil. I'm assuming that part of the test kit was bad because I have rust stains on the fence, the walls, window panes, my white clothes (having to use Iron Out in the whites wash), toilet, shower, dishwasher, steel sink, and so on.
We also have tannins, which I don't know the levels of, iron bacteria (sludge in toilet tank), and suspect other organics (film in toilet tank reacts by going away from my finger when I touch the water). The shower heads throw a bunch of black sand-type stuff when first turned on, especially when using hot water. The water doesn't really smell like sulfur most of the time, but sometimes does. It does smell and taste like iron most of the time though. It is also fairly yellow all of the time.
I did a flow rate test from the spigot closest to the well, but beyond the bladder/retaining tank. This was done by spilling water until the pump turned on (which ran for 5 seconds), then measuring how many gallons of water I could get before the pump turned on again. I can get 2.5-3 gallons before it turns on again, and it runs for another 5 seconds once I turn the water off. I've done the test a few times, and I get the same results every time. Also, my pressure valve says 68 p.s.i., and rises to about 74 while the pump is running. Something there seems wrong to me, do those numbers seem right, or could there be another problem I need to deal with?
Our irrigation system is plumbed separately from the rest of the water to the house, so I will not be filtering that.
We currently have a salt-based water softener with a broken timer, which means I have to run the softener by turning the dial manually. I also have to fill the brine tank with water myself, as it does not seem like the softener refills it afterward. Additionally, the brine tank doesn't have a (2"?) pipe inside it which I've seen in other tanks. We also have a iron filter tank which uses a short tank full of a purple liquid to regenerate. There is also a bladder/retaining tank outside, and an under-counter R.O. unit which we never used because we didn't know the state of it when we purchased the house. We've had the house for three years, and we had the system serviced when we purchased it. The gentleman said that the units were functioning at about 50% capacity, and that they should be replaced soon. He cleaned them out, getting all the tannins out (tons of foamy water), and replacing some filter thing in one of them. Currently, the iron filter is out of that purple stuff, and I suspect it's been that way for about 4 months as the staining got worse around that time.
So, I'd like recommendations on whether it is possible to have our current equipment repaired, with bad parts being replaced. Or, if that's not cost effective, what type of system we should replace it with. I had looked at whole house R.O., but that seems too expensive, and I don't know how well that would do with our high Iron content. I have been trying to find a way of taking care of all the problems without adding chlorine to the system, and possibly without whatever that chemical in the little Iron regeneration tank is, as well as any other odd/harsh chemicals.
Please feel free to ask for more information, AND correct me wherever I'm assuming something that is not right. Thank you for your time and patience with me!