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Thread: Well Water test results. Recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Question Well Water test results. Recommendations?

    We bought a house with a well. The water is brownish in color and leaves reddish oily stains, so we tested it. Here is what we received back.

    Arsenic <0.00047 U
    Copper 0.00829 B
    Lead 0.00997 mg/L
    Manganese 0.0894 mg/L (exceeds allowable limit)
    Calcium 5.90 mg/L (exceeds allowable limit)
    Iron 1 mg/L (exceeds allowable limit)
    Magnesium 2.93 mg/L (exceeds allowable limit)

    Hardness 27 B 0 mg/L
    Microbiological Parameters
    Coliform, Total Absent Absent [blank]
    Escherichia coli Absent 0 [blank]

    Could you please recommend a filtration system? Also, do we need to do chlorination?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Unless the water is discolored as you draw it into a clear glass... A water softener will do it as long as it is sized correctly for your peak demand gpm flow rate.

    If the water is always discolored as you draw it, then you need to identify why or install a turbidity filter before the softener. That is not a disposable cartridge filter. If you have a well which I assume you do, how much water have you ran out of the well? IOWs, don't look at the first draw if the water has been sitting in the plumbing for hours. If that is the case, then you have galvanized pipe/fittings somewhere or rust build up inside copper etc. that is coming off the inside of the pipes as you run water.
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    Thank you Gary,

    Yes, we have a well and the water is always discolored. It's reddish as if we have clay in it (my reading suggests that it's iron feeding bacteria). A disposable cartridge filter gets filled very fast.

    The well is two years old, The house was unoccupied until now. we let the water run for two months (daily regular use, plus once a week we leave it for an hour. It does get less discolored when left running).

    Since the well is just two years old, I would think that pipe rusting should be out of question. Or am I wrong here?

    You did not mention anything about chlorination. Will it do any good?

    Thank you.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Unless the water is discolored as you draw it into a clear glass...
    If I draw untreated water it is clear but let it sit a while and it turns red with an oily looking film on it. I'm told it is iron that oxidizes over time.

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    Any comments of the water test results?

    does the hardness level require a softener?
    Is it safe to drink it?
    Do we need chlorination?

    Thank you.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novas View Post
    Yes, we have a well and the water is always discolored. It's reddish as if we have clay in it (my reading suggests that it's iron feeding bacteria). A disposable cartridge filter gets filled very fast.
    IRB causes a clear to black slime above, at and below the water line in toilet tanks and usually on disposable cartridge filters. It doesn't cause rusty/discolored water, ferrous iron that has been oxidized does and the water will be from light yellow to orangish reddish brown. That must be filtered out mechanically but the remaing ferrous iron is in solution and must be ion exchanged (water softener) or filtered after being oxidized with an iron filter or system.

    You need an iron test and if you take a sample somewhere for testing, fill the bottle so there is no air in it. Air (oxygen) is an oxidizer.

    You don't want to use a softener on discolored water, so you'd filter the discolored water first.
    You may have "clay" or colloidal iron causing the discoloration.
    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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    Thank you. It's all getting clearer to me now (not the water, but my understanding of the problem ). I believe me have ferrous iron (the water is orangish) and we have IRB (the slime is especially noticeable in toilet tanks). So chlorination should get rid of IRB, and a particle filter will remove iron and manganese particles.

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    One more question: If we install a particle filtration system for the whole house, will we still need to have a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System under the kitchen sink to make the water safe to drink? Or is it an overkill?... and one filter is enough considering our water test results?

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you use chlorine or another disinfectant all the iron and any manganese will be oxidized and all types of bacteria killed. Then a backwashed turbidity is used to remove the 'dirt' caused by oxidation and the chlorine is removed if you use Centaur carbon in the backwashed filter.

    Only use an RO IF there is something in the water requiring removal/reduction by RO.
    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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