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Thread: new well water cloudy...clay?

  1. #46
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alternety View Post
    The guys who do this for a living most likely will respond.

    I would try to have someone with some chemistry expertise and some appropriate equipment determine what is really there before spending $2K. They can run the water through different pore size filters and see what happens.
    Chemists are not knowledgeable about water treatment or the available equipment used to solve problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by alternety View Post
    Bacteria or oxidation could make this iron precipitate as a visible solid. If there is iron bacteria in the well the water would be red when it is drawn.

    You really need a lab to look at the water.
    Untrue, IRB will not cause red water iron.

    He already has all the water test data he needs so he does not need to pay a lab for more tests or to duplicate those he already has had done.
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  2. #47
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Perhaps you have found labs staffed with something other than chemists in one flavor or another, but mostly I believe that is who (or suitably trained lab assistants of course) is responsible for laboratory water testing. The lab would also be the easiest to find place that probably has a series of calibrated filter media to determine particle size.

    The new poster has said nothing about tests except that he has iron. He further suggests from the color of the water that additional materials are present. If there is a particulate problem a lab could determine what pore size would be required to eliminate it. In the long run this could be cheaper than buying a filter and trying different media until a suitable one is found; or not found.

  3. #48
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Chemists are not knowledgeable about water treatment or the available equipment used to solve problems.
    That is what we like to refer to as an unfounded opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Untrue, IRB will not cause red water iron (sic).
    Water containing iron bacteria can have a red, yellow, or orange color and can produce an oily sheen on the surface. Colloidal iron should have precipitated out after 24 hours in an undisturbed sample.

    Scott R. might want to contact his local health department for assistance with diagnosing his particular problem prior to shelling out $2K. If further testing is deemed appropriate, a listing of acredited labs, by state, can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/labs/
    -Sam Smith
    Licensed Professional Geologist - AL, TN, KY

  4. #49

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    The test results that Gary referred to were posted in another thread. Sorry for the confusion. Here they are again (taken about 1-2 months ago before we bought the house):
    Odor: None
    Turbidity: 25
    Color: 40
    pH: 6.71
    Nitrite Nitrogen: < 0.001
    Nitrate Nitrogen: < 1.00
    Chloride: 15
    Hardness: 76
    Iron: 5.32
    Manganese: 0.26
    Sodium: 7.3
    Sulfate: 19.3

    I don't believe I have bacteria, as I wasn't seeing sliminess and there was no odor (I believe that bacteria results in an odor in the water, but correct me if I'm mistaken on that).

    Well, for better or worse, I had the $2K+ system installed today, which included a venturi nozzle pre-tank (I believe this is air injection), a new and larger tank (my old tank was 19 years old), and a Birm filter which will backwash at 1am every 4 days. I believe that he also mixed some substance (I forget what) directly into the tank to bring my pH levels up a bit, so as to allow the Birm filter to remove my Manganese as well.

    The water was already looking a bit clearer last night, pre-new-expensive-system, but it was still slightly discolored. Post-system, water looks clear, but I'll feel much better if things are still looking good in a week, especially with the extra water usage we'll get hit with this weekend with family staying over.

  5. #50
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Alternety and Sam, I'll stay with my unfounded opinion because it is based on many years of dealing with water test results and equipment suggestions from labs: Chemists are not knowledgeable about water treatment or the available equipment used to solve problems. Plus they charge a fair amount of money for simple tests that cost them very little to do.

    Sam, I have treated a lot of IRB and can't recall it ever causing discoloration in water or an oily film. IMO an oily film is usually caused by manganese reducing bacteria.

    The $2k for the air injection system and a new large pressure tank and possibly tank tee, switch, PR, gauge and boiler drain plus installation by a local dealer is a very fair price.

    Scott, all types of bacteria can cause odor problems but, it depends on how much bacteria as to if there is any odor and most times there isn't. I'm glad to hear the water is cleared up and I hope it stays that way. My concern is that due to your high iron content and the bit of odor you mentioned, that you may develop an IRB problem.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  6. #51
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Sam, I have treated a lot of IRB and can't recall it ever causing discoloration in water or an oily film. IMO an oily film is usually caused by manganese reducing bacteria.
    I was going to give you some academic citations re IRB causing an oily film, but I found this one much more on point:

    "Manganese and iron reducing bacteria cause and oily film on water (sic)." Gary Slusser, March 2004. http://forum.************.com (Link blocked by terrylove.com)

    Regarding the discoloration water, from the Handbook of Ground Water Development, Roscoe Moss Company, 1990, p. 371 - "Iron bacteria, such as Crenothrix, Leptothrix, and Gallionella occasionally become established in wells. These bacteria obtain energy for growth from the oxidation of ferrous iron and may have some impact on the concentrations of dissolved iron in ground water. If growth is prolific, they can impart taste and discoloration to water." (Bold text added for emphasis.) I personally observed this phenomenon for the first time in a well located near Burlington, Vermont. While I'm no longer sure of the exact year, it would have been sometime between 1992 and 1995.

    A quick Google searchfor "iron reducing bacteria, groundwater, discoloration" will provide numerous other citations for the phenomenon.

    Your broad based statement regarding chemists remains unfounded and so lacking in merit I will simply choose to ignore it.
    Last edited by sjsmithjr; 11-26-2008 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Added citation
    -Sam Smith
    Licensed Professional Geologist - AL, TN, KY

  7. #52
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Well I guess since it's in a book somewhere, or on a web site, I must be wrong, and since 2004 when I said IRB can cause an oily film, I've learned I was wrong but... I am not talking academically, are those books and sites talking about treating private well water used in residential and smallish commercial buildings?

    I can not recall having seen discolored red water iron caused by IRB in any building that has an iron and/or IRB problem. And you certainly can't tell if IRB is present by looking at the color of water. And I can't see down a well to look for an oily film on water, if that's what you have seen. I have seen an oily film on water in toilet tanks and found no iron in the water yet some manganese and a slight H2S type odor.

    Water treatment equipment, filters or aeration, used to correct/remove an iron problem will not remove IRB or the symptoms of IRB yet the water will be clear. That is because none of that type of equipment kills IRB and disinfection is the only type of treatment equipment that will.

    Anyway it really doesn't matter, you treat all reducing bacteria with a disinfectant, it's the only way to treat any of them.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  8. #53

    Default me too

    Hi, I'm having cloudy water issues as well. I didn't want to hijack your thread, so I started a new one.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25469

    Thx

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