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Thread: Red clay silt

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member marktim's Avatar
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    Default Red clay silt

    Hello
    So heres the issue that I have. We have New Mexico red clay silt in our water, so much that it plugs a 2 micron filter in less then 24 hours after coming out a water softener.
    We just moved back into a house that we moved out of a year ago. When we we moved out the well and the water were fine. The house sat empty for a year and over the winter the pipes from the well house to the house froze and broke in the well house. Not sure how long the water ran but enough to break up the concrete floor and leave a pile of clay mud about 4 inches thick across the floor. The top of the well casing is flush with the floor so I sure that mud washed into the top of it. When the pump comes on I can hear air being suck into the top of the casing , and when it shuts off I can hear water trickling back. We are rent this house from an elderly lady that lives out of state so I don't have any info about the well itself. Any advice on how to fix it would be greatly appreciated

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Default

    We would need to have a lot more information about the well and the pump. The first thing I would try is to continuously pump the well slowly to see if it clears up. Put a ball valve on the line and just start real slow. If it clears up, open the valve a little and run it a bit faster until it clears up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    If you cannot get it to run clear at a reasonable rate, there may not be much hope for the well. If you can get it to run clear at a slower rate, consider slowly pumping into a non-pressurized storage vessel and then pump from the vessel to the house.

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    DIY Junior Member marktim's Avatar
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    Default thanks

    Thank for the reply. I let the water run pre filters for about 2 and a half hours and it did clear to about 99% with a little sediment in the bottom of a glass after about 15 minuets. I shut the water off and waited 10 minutes and tried it again and it is about the same as when I shut it off. I going to wait an hour and then try it again. What I don't understand is while the pump is running it sucks air down the casing and when I shut the water off and the pump stops it blows air out of the casing for about 5 minutes
    thank again!

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marktim View Post
    What I don't understand is while the pump is running it sucks air down the casing and when I shut the water off and the pump stops it blows air out of the casing for about 5 minutes
    thank again!
    What that means is the pump is pumping water faster than the well can recover. The level of the water in the casing is drawn down by the pump and is replaced with air. When the pump stops, the casing fills back up displacing the air. The store-and-forward system of pump and tank can stir up the clay fines. The larger the tank, the worse it stirs it up. What you might consider is to choke back the pumping rate with a Cycle Stop Valve.

    The well is probably poor producing because of the clay fines. Pumping it faster than it can recover will stir up the well repeatedly. In some cases, the well can be developed by over-pumping, opening up the aquifer to allow more GPM, but not always.

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