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Thread: Airlift or Submersible Well?

  1. #31
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    I've seen a few through the years. Mostly done in places where there is no good quality deep water and the shallow stuff is full of iron and H2S. It aerates the water going into the tank. You don't need a separate air tank either, the compressor runs straight into the well.

    You are supposed to drain the big tank every so often but few do. Seen some stuff in the tank like dead frogs etc. through the years but I've seen the same stuff in 4" casings.

  2. #32
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    I have a question. Is there a float switch in the tank to shut the compressor off once the tank is full, and to turn the compressor back on once the water level in the tank starts to drop?

  3. #33
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Yes. I think it needs to be a reverse switch but sometimes I get my terminology mixed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by traveller View Post
    I have a question. Is there a float switch in the tank to shut the compressor off once the tank is full, and to turn the compressor back on once the water level in the tank starts to drop?

  4. #34
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Storage tanks use a "pump up" float switch. Sump pumps use a "pump down" float switch. I get it mixed up all the time as well.

  5. #35
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    What an interesting setup! I can't think of a single application here where I might use it but, it's still a fascinating concept.

    Edit:

    Actually, it just occurred to me that iron, manganese and hydrogen sulphide would all be oxidized by this process. If, instead of pumping directly to a storage tank, the water was pumped to filters, this setup has the potential not only to clean up water but to keep sand out of the impellers, as well.

    Those Texans are pretty darn smart!
    Last edited by traveller; 08-06-2013 at 06:01 PM.

  6. #36
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    I keep coming back to this thread like a moth to a candle, I am that fascinated by the concept. There is a rural area north of where I live about 60 miles that abuts some very swampy country. Needless to say, the people living there have a real problem with iron, manganese and hydrogen sulphide in their well water; regardless if those are shallow wells or deeper wells (up to 100'). They have tried a lot of things to cure these problems but most have just resigned themselves to having white shirts that are not really white.

    Would the precipitated iron and manganese not get picked up by the submersible pump in the 300 gallon tank and get pumped to the house? I wonder if some kind of automatic backwashing filter could be installed on the line from the well to the storage tank to keep these oxides out of the 300 gallon tank? Or maybe the filters could go on the delivery line from the pump. Still have the sand to worry about, don't we. How is the sand kept out of the submersible pump, or does the sand fall out of the stream of water as it gets higher up the well?

    Something else I was wondering, if the storage tank was vented on top, would this system be good at removing methane gas from the water, as methane will volatize if water is left to stand at atmospheric pressure and the lighter-than-air methane would escape?
    Last edited by traveller; 09-16-2013 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #37
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    I'm really hoping someone experienced with this type of system will answer my questions.

  8. #38
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Air lift from a 2" well would work great. Much less expensive and simpler! It works like blowing on a straw in a glass of water. . . water boils (flows) out of the glass. The same as many drillers use today to develop a well. The submersible pump in the tank works great, just be sure to use a Pside-kick tank setup http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/products.html. It's less expensive and It'll give you constant pressure throughout the home. I'm also attaching a drawing of such a system. . . just eliminate the pump in the well and replace it with the air lift system. It sounds to me like your contractor knows what he's talking about.Name:  Low Flow Well by Porky.JPG
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    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  9. #39
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traveller View Post
    Needless to say, the people living there have a real problem with iron, manganese and hydrogen sulphide in their well water...

    Would the precipitated iron and manganese not get picked up by the submersible pump in the 300 gallon tank and get pumped to the house?
    I would expect that over time, the interior of the storage tank would get ugly and sooner or later the precipitated iron would get sucked up by the pump. It would also likely build up in the lines constricting it over time.

  10. #40
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    You need to blow or drain down the big tank once or twice per year. Most don't.

  11. #41
    DIY Member traveller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basscat49 View Post
    Got a newby here guys. I was doing a Google search for a new holding tank for my air lift system and found this thread.

    Education day for the guys!

    The air lift well systems are common in my part of the world. Southeast Texas.

    They are used when you may get a lot of sand come up with the water in shallow wells. Obviously, sand will destroy a submersible pump is short order. My well is only 140 feet deep so I was told when I bought the property in 1988.

    I have a 2" well with PVC casing. A compressor blows air into the bottom of the well and lifts the water into (what I have) a concrete holding tank (like the old septic tanks). At the bottom of the holding tank is attached a shallow well jet pump with a pressure tank and this moves the water to the house or elsewhere.

    The well casing is not set in cement. I have had this system since 1988 and have the original (at that time new) compressor with an oil sump. I have only had to replace the jet pump which was $250 per pump three times and the pressure tank once. I never had to call out a well service tech. All the work is easy and above ground.

    We have never had a problem with bacteria in the water and it is excellent and would put it up against any bottled on the market. The lack of sunlight to the inside of the tank keeps algea or bacteria from growing.

    Hope this helps and clarifies some questions. I hope you guys have learned something new today!
    As basscat pointed out, this system is often used when a well has a tendency to produce a lot of sand that could harm a submersible pump. Is it safe to assume that the airlift system will bring a lot less sand to the holding tank than a submersible pump would?

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