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Thread: Muddy Bore Well

  1. #1

    Default Muddy Bore Well

    I've got a well with the following specs:
    - 1 year old bore
    - 385 feet deep
    - 1 HP Flint and Walling pump
    - Pump at 300 feet
    - Pitless adapter
    - Approx 40 foot of 6" steel casing (have to look up the receipt for exact footage, shouldn't matter should be from top to bedrock anyway)

    I've use the well for a new home for approximately 7 months and the water was clear except for some granite sediment at the begging and that started to clear up and is very slight now.

    But the cloudiness of the water has been increasing at an alarming rate. Unfiltered it's getting down right muddy. At this rate I won't be able to afford replacement filters for long and no telling how much wear is occurring on a pretty expensive pump.

    I'm getting ready to pull the pump up 15 or 20 feet and see if that makes a difference. I would think that 85 feet off the bottom and 255 feet from the water fill line would provide clear water in this type of well.

    I've a few suspicions about what is wrong but I'd like to get some feed back from some knowledgeable folks. I've installed a few deep well system installations in my day although I didn't do the drilling.

    I'd be delighted to hear anyone's analysis of the above and an opinion of what's wrong and how to resolve it.

    Thanks!

    David

  2. #2

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    -You say cloudiness. Is it a slimy brown deposit? Might be iron bacteria

    - Static water line is about 45' from surface - what is the GPM capacity of the well or its water level when pumping?

    -What type of geology are you in? If not all in hard rock, you might have some areas of clay - silt that is mucking up the water on a large drawdown.

    -High capacity-heavy use well?

    I had a dirty well that stopped being objectionable when I went to a 3000 gallon storage tank and throttled back the flow so that the pump was moving much less than rated capacity- water no longer had a large drop in level when pumping.

    Any mines next door doing a little blasting?

  3. #3
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    Moving the pump up or down is not going to stop change the water you are getting.

    Cartridge filters are a joke. So you might want to be looking at a backwashable filter. First you should find out what this cloudiness is. Take a sample and have it tested. Then you will know what you need to filter.

    bob...

  4. #4
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    You could try flushing the well by letting a garden hose run off your tank for a while but sometimes it can make matters worse depending on where the silt is coming from. I have customers that have had this problem in the past. Some have gotten away with flushing the sytem and others have had to take different steps. One problem that you might have is the casing is not seated properly or wasn't grouted right, alowing overburden silts and sediments to enter the bore hole. In this case,to resolve the problem, a jaswel seal is installed to keep the silt and sediment from coming in. Its a seal that is attached to 4" pvc casing and is set atleast 10' beyond where the casing is set.Your basicaly telescoping(one pipe inserted in another) the bore hole. If you have never done it before its not something i suggest you attempt. Get a pro to do it.Alot of people don't notice this problem until the pumping water level gets beyond the area where the silt and sediment is coming in. This is due to lowering the pressure in the bore hole as its being pumped. Try letting the well sit for an hour so the water is at its natural water level. Run a hose off the tank and let it go full blast. Time how long it takes for the water to get cloudy.Depending on what the well produces for water will determine the rate of drawdown but with only 40' of casing it shouldn't take too long for the water to draw down past the casing. If there is a problem with that casing you will notice the water getting cloudy fairly quick. This can give you an idea as to where that silt coming from. Of course a down hole camera might tell all but can be expensive.

    SAM

  5. #5

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    from his math the static water leel is 5 feet blow the bottom of the casing so he is not drawing from the casing at all.

  6. #6
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    Raucina,
    you right about the math but he also isn't too sure about the exact footage of the casing.

    SAM

  7. #7
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    Since it is a submersible pump, he is only pushing the available water up, not drawing from the casing; so moving the pump up or down really won't make a difference. The water is still going to feed from the same place.

    bob...

  8. #8

    Default I never was much good with math. :-)

    I'd have to pull the drillers receipt to know the exact casing depth. I'll do that now that I have the info y'all have provided.

    The silt looks to be red clay runnoff. I've lived around that stuff long enough I think I'm right about this. The well was tested by the county health department and passed about 6 months ago. Back then when developing the well the water was very clear and only produce some fine grain granite particulate for a while. That's mostly subsided now but I still see a little of that from time to time.

    The refill rate is 4/5 gallons per minute and the well feeds a one bedroom log home for me alons so draw volume is very low. Shower and a dishwasher a day about it. Laundry on the weekends.

    Best I can tell it's muddy all the time period. I've run the pump out a garden hose for a long time and it doesn't stop.

    I've though about a camera. Going to look into that. Maybe one is rentable.

    The casing insert I will check into as well. I have reason to suspect the driller so this could be an answer for me. If he didn't grout it correctly this could be the solution. I've a long history in construction so I may be able to do this one myself. Since I really don't want to I may hire it done. :-)

    One reason I though of raising the pump is that I had to pull the first pump, a Flotec, that burned out. When I dropped the new Flint and Walling It seemed like it hung or hit bottom at 300 feet. I thought it some quirk of feeding the pipe and guards at the time and being 85 feet off the bottom. If it really was something I was hitting then it may be there is mud at that depth now. The pump might even be sitting in mud if the bore is filling up with mud. Raising it would at least give me an answer. I did verify the depth after the driller left wtih a large steel nut and a string line. Pretty close to 385 feet like he said.

    Thanks all for your responses. VERY much appreciated!

    David Morgan

  9. #9
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    Speedbump,
    if there is silt and sediment comming from where the casing is seated it wont matter where that pump is displacing water from,the silt and sediment will work its way downward toward the pump. If the well was 385 and the pump is getting hung up at 300 then i would assume that the well collapsed and he might possibly be getting some silt from the same zone that let go.I would try raising the pump hoping to get it above that zone.

    SAM

  10. #10

    Default Correct Math :-)

    I pulled the receipt and it "says" 53 feet of galv. casing. Had the grout inspected and it passed for whatever that is worth. :-(

    I'm going to go for the raise test just to see what happens. Can't hurt.

    Thanks folks for all your comments!!!!

  11. #11
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    The only way an inspector can inspect grout is to be there when the well is grouted. And even then, he can't see down along that casing to see if all is sealed or not.

    If raising the pump helps, it would be my opinion that the result would only be temporary. If silt is entering the bore hole, it will continue to do so and eventually the silt will come up under the pump. Does that make sense Sammy? The wells here that pump sand usually get it from up above from a lack of casing. When a driller cheaps out and doesn't install enough casing, the surface water starts leaching down along the casing into the bore bringing the sand with it. Then the pump puts it into the house along with the nasty 5.5PH surface water.

    bob...

  12. #12
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhauler
    "says" 53 feet of galv. casing.
    Your well drillers use galvanized casings?

    Rancher

  13. #13
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    It's rapidly becomming a thing of the past. Most of them have Rotary's now. With galvanized pipe using the Spudding method where you drive the pipe first then drill it out, grouting isn't necessary. The pipe is pretty tight in the ground. With Rotary, they make the hole first. The hole is bigger than the casing, so the annular space around the casing has to be sealed. From bottom to top. I don't see how this can be a good seal, and a lot of guys don't even bother to use cement, they just pump the cuttings up around the pipe. So leakage is possible. But if the government says it's ok, it has to be, right?

    bob...

  14. #14
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    Speedbump,
    i'm with you on the sand or silt building up towards the pump so pulling up the pump would be a temporary fix. Unless he knows exactly where this material is coming from its anyones guess as to what he needs to do. If the problem is with the casing a jaswell seal will will correct the issue. Sometimes if its a soft seam we have resolved it by flushing the well for a good period of time.

    sam

  15. #15
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    Some of the wells we have subcontracted in the past with rotary drills pumped a little sand. They would go back and blow the well with the compressor for a few hours and usually that cleared it up. But if his casing isn't deep enough the seal would probably be his only hope. I think your seal is what these guys call a boot. Just a big rubber deal that is hose clamped to a piece of pipe that will seal off below the bad spot? Am I close? Sometimes called a formation packer?

    bob...

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