View Full Version : Water softeners and Wells

07-19-2009, 02:39 PM
I have two wells, separated horizontally by about 400 feet, and vertically by about 75 feet. Both wells are 300 feet deep. I had them both tested by a lab. The upper Well was fine in most respects, but has a low ph of 6.2. I installed a PH neutralizer and it works very well. The Lower well was fine in most respects (good ph too) but had a raised Sodium level. For the life of me I couldn't fugure out where sodium would come from. That was 4 years ago. Today, the upper well has sodium levels now as well.

Now, across the road from me about 200 feet horizontally from the upper well is a neighbors well, with a Water Softener in the well house. The backwash hose for it just exits the building onto the ground. Could that be providing the sodium I'm detecting in my wells? If so, where should you have that backwash go? Even if you have it go into the septic, it just leaches out through the drainfield in the same manner, right?

Am I right in thinking that, or just being too paranoid?

Thank You.

Gary Slusser
07-20-2009, 09:10 PM
Below is a graphic of a rock bore well.

The water doesn't only enter the well from the bottom.

It enters anywhere from the bottom end of the casing to the bottom of the hole, due to seams between layers of rock, cracks and fissures in the layers of rock and any other geological formation that it can pass through.

Here is what the www.wellowner.org (Click Water Quality and then Coliform) says about Coliform bacteria contamination but it applies to salt water from a softener or road salting or any other contaminate.

If I have bacteria in my well, where do they come from?

Many experts in public health and water supply used to think that the subsurface was some kind of giant filter that trapped microorganisms before they could get to ground water, resulting in an effectively sterile water resource. However, we now know that many types of bacteria are native or adapted to saturated sediments and rock, and are indeed present in significant numbers in most water supply aquifers, even deep formations.

Given time and a route (soil and rock provide plenty of both), bacteria will migrate into and take up housekeeping in an aquifer. The environment is really rather nice- quiet, lots of surface area, often adequate carbon sources, and moderate temperatures with little environmental change.

Drillers and pump installers/servicers can also introduce microorganisms during their activities, but should not be considered the primary source of native microorganisms. There is no practical way at present to say for certain what is the source in any one well- maybe someday, but not yet. "Non-native" coliform bacteria or "protozoa" of potential health concern such as Giardia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardia) and Cryptosporidium are most likely introduced from the surface.


Here is a link to a graphic http://tylerwell-pump.com/default.aspx showing the Recharge Area (left edge up the hill) of a confined aquifer where any contaminate poured on or buried in the ground would contaminate the entire groundwater in a large area or region.

Rock Bore Well.

07-21-2009, 02:50 PM
Thanks both of you. The geological formation here is clay surface, then layers of 30 - 40 feet blue rock, 10 feet of crushed quartz vein, then 30 - 40 feet blue rock, Quartz vein etc. They documented it when it was drilled about 10 years ago. This is gold country at about 2,400 elevation. Lots of granite as well. I'm sure a lot of water travels the quartz veins, so getting contamination from a location that is horizontal from us is easy attainable. That has also kept me from installing a softener here, as I don't know how I would deal with the rinse. The water there is not hard, I want to say the report said 88mg/ L. I will be back at the house this weekend and I'll get out the two well reports and I can have the real data.

Thanks again.