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Thread: help with grey cloudy well water

  1. #1

    Default help with grey cloudy well water

    Hi - My husband and I bought a property last year that had a drilled well at 465' deep - the well was drill in fall 2007/spring 2008. We are now building a house and a few months ago put the pump down the well, but it would only go down about 260' - so their is some sort of obstruction in the well. We did have to blast for our house site and aren't sure if the blast would have cause the well to be blocked. We weren't overly concerned as the water pressure was great and the water water crystal clear. Two weeks ago the water turned grey and the sediment in the water won't settle (we have had some water in a bottle since this happened and the water is still grey). We had the pump guy come and raise the pump to see if that made a difference and it almost made the water worse. I am wondering if anyone knows if there is anything we can do with this well or is it no longer a viable well.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Assuming you have a rock bore well, the blasting could have caused a cave in.

    You could find someone with a camera to see what the blockage is but, putting the pump lower probably isn't going to solve the problem. It sounds as if the well wasn't developed or if it was, not good enough. Call the driller and see what they say about that.

    Take that bottle and pour it through a coffee filter and see if the water clears up or how much it clears.
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  3. #3

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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I will try to run the water through a coffee filter to see how it looks - if it does clear up when run through the filter, does that mean the water will be fine to run through the house, but we just need to make sure it runs through a filter before?

    We did talk to the driller when this first started a few weeks ago, but we will probably talk to him about our options. We also talked to another drilling company, but they won't go into a hole that they didn't drill.

    I don't know a lot about well development, but this one was developed for 2 hours by air lifting - so I have no idea if that is adequate or not.

    The well is only cased down to 38 feet. From the well log the driller hit a soft spot around 130 feet and my guess is that maybe it should have been cased down to the bottom of that soft spot??? I am in British Columbia and I am not sure if the regulations are different elsewhere, but my understanding is that the property owner does not have case the well once it hits bedrock the first time (in our case at 35 feet)...so if you want spend the money you can case it. These people subdivided their property for sale and wanted to the least amount of money into the well.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Hillary

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdr View Post
    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I will try to run the water through a coffee filter to see how it looks - if it does clear up when run through the filter, does that mean the water will be fine to run through the house, but we just need to make sure it runs through a filter before?

    We did talk to the driller when this first started a few weeks ago, but we will probably talk to him about our options. We also talked to another drilling company, but they won't go into a hole that they didn't drill.

    I don't know a lot about well development, but this one was developed for 2 hours by air lifting - so I have no idea if that is adequate or not.

    The well is only cased down to 38 feet. From the well log the driller hit a soft spot around 130 feet and my guess is that maybe it should have been cased down to the bottom of that soft spot??? I am in British Columbia and I am not sure if the regulations are different elsewhere, but my understanding is that the property owner does not have case the well once it hits bedrock the first time (in our case at 35 feet)...so if you want spend the money you can case it. These people subdivided their property for sale and wanted to the least amount of money into the well.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Hillary
    Any filter will have to be an automatically backwashed (turbidity) type but a filter is the last choice.

    You need to get the driller to make this right by casing out the 'soft' spot or lining the well. The problem with a liner is that it can limit the pump you can use because a 3" liner prevents any pump larger than 3" OD. There are few 3" submersible pumps to choose from and they are much more expensive than the normal 4" OD used for most residential applications.

    The next step after the driller is to go to court; involving the driller and the seller of the property.

    You should be able to use all the water in the well (that the size of your pump can use), and that means the pump's inlet has to be like 10-20' off the bottom.

    Since you have been using water, you may have pulled the water level down to a point where dirty water is recovering the well and as the well ages and you use more water over time, it may get worse that you can't use any of it.
    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.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShezaKG1 View Post
    This is NOT potable water. It could end up in court but, for now let their health department handle it.

    To go in court the well will have to be fixed FIRST. They can not file for damages that has not happed. Start talking court to this driller and he won't come back. IMO, what would be fair is to pay for the materials, fuel and labor.
    I agree, it is not "potable water" and thereby that is the basis of going to court WITH a water test or multiple tests over weeks, from a lab, certified or not, showing turbidity above the government established MCL (maximum contaminate level). And dozens of dated bottles of this water over a month or more until the court date at least.

    And these problems occurred as soon as their pump guy attempted to install the pump and had to set it higher than 'normal' because of a blockage to setting it deeper.

    Now I'm not a lawyer, didn't sleep in a motel last night, nor have I played one on TV or radio, ever, but telling the driller that court is the next step IF he doesn't come out and do something if only tell them what the blockage is and what could be done, is a good step since "We did talk to the driller when this first started a few weeks ago, but we will probably talk to him about our options.".

    Now it sounds to me he didn't say much if anything two weeks ago when he was notified of the problems. And that inaction speaks volumes of what he is wanting or willing to do; or not wanting or willing to do.

    So I would give him a call, and the seller that paid him, and see what he/they says and mention court if he/they doesn't do something other than refuse to show up.

    Then I would send him/them a certified letter with return receipt request and in it tell him/them he/they have 15 days and if he/they didn't show up and do something to identify the problems and fix them, I'd file the court case.

    Your solution to have the OP pay for lining etc. is only good if they want to have someone else fix the problems, and recall that other drillers don't want to get involved, and then go to court to recover their financial loss. And that is iffy and probably would drag out months to a year or more.
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
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    In my county most domestics are a 20 foot anular seal.And when I hit HARD rock there is usually no caseing after that.If it gets Shisty later on the caseing or liner could go deeper,30 bucks a foot for cased and 20 after that.Some wells are drilled to 160 and cased at the bottm with neat cement,Graveled packed above that to take in some water at say 120.The next morning the air hammer comes out and we are hard rock drilling........Upper

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    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
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    Sheza,12 inch well,cased with 6 inch PVC,cap on bottom.Gravel packed up to 20 feet,then last 20 feet bentonite chips.Permit 500 bucks+ anular seal 300 bucks+ 26 to 30 bucks a foot.Ready for the pump man.Of coarse hard rock is different.......Upper

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    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
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    California,What can I say...........Upper

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