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Thread: Bad water after new pump install

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    Default Bad water after new pump install

    Hi, I'm hoping to get some much needed advice. I have a deep well 195' that has been in place since 1991 and producing very good water. A little iron content but nothing that could be tasted in the water. 6 months before I changed my pump the water tested perfect. I have it tested annually and have never had any problems or contamination. Everyone has always commented on how good our water tasted. In the fall the well pump went bad and I replaced it. I pulled it up myself and laid the piping on the ground down the side of the driveway and replaced the pump, then lowered it back down. After I turned things back on I noticed that I was getting some small green moss caught in the faucet screens. I cleaned them out for a couple of days and then all was well. I attribute this to having to lay the pipe on the ground since it is 200' of pipe. All was fine for about 3 to 4 weeks then the kids started commenting that the water tasted and smelled like swamp water. It has progressively gotten worse and I now notice an iron smell in the hot water as well. If the water sits in a container, the smell and taste dissipates. I have been told two things.

    1.) I have a broken bladder in my tank which is causing water contamination and I need to replace the tank. This I wouldn't mind as I'd like to increase the tiny tank size to a larger tank and a higher pressure switch. From a 20/40 to a 40/60. The water pressure used to be good but after putting on an addition, the pressure has dropped off considerably. I have a 5 GPM pump and the well produces 40 GPM.

    2.) I need to shock the well as I contaminated it by running the pump piping on the ground? How else was I to do it? 1 gallon bleech down well and obtain specific instructions for taking care of the electric water heater.

    Which is more likely? Could I have contaminated the well in that short period of time? Any advice is appreciated. Obviously since I do this work myself nobody wants to give you accurate information. I can't blame then I suppose. Thanks

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Yes, the well got contaminated and needs to be shocked. The amount of bleach to use however needs to be calculated based on how many gallons of water the well casing holds. Nothing specific for the water heater but if you have a softener, you should put it on bypass for the duration of the shock treatment but it too needs to be sanitized.

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    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Yes, the well got contaminated and needs to be shocked. The amount of bleach to use however needs to be calculated based on how many gallons of water the well casing holds. Nothing specific for the water heater but if you have a softener, you should put it on bypass for the duration of the shock treatment but it too needs to be sanitized.
    Have I ruined this well as a friend tells me? He said once contaminated I will never get it right again, just controlled? I changed the pump in late September and it started to slowly smell more and more in late October or November.

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    There is no knowing how far the bacteria may have migrated into the aquifer so the jury is still out. One shocking method is to recirculate the water back into the well so as not to continually dilute it. That may reach a little further into the aquifer.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    So the sooner I shock it the better my chances ?


    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    There is no knowing how far the bacteria may have migrated into the aquifer so the jury is still out. One shocking method is to recirculate the water back into the well so as not to continually dilute it. That may reach a little further into the aquifer.

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    A well should be chlorinated immediately after any kind of down-hole service. It's part of the job.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Most People find Terry's site after it is to late.

    I would not be so quick to blame the well.

    If Green stuff is making it to the water outlets, I would look for other problems.

    The water softener may be contaminated.


    If the well is contaminated from Your work, look out for the Water Well Police.


    Have Your permit handy when they come...
    Last edited by DonL; 12-05-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    I introduced the green stuff, little particulate pieces of moss that clung to the pipe after dragging it on the ground and putting it back into the well. I had somebody helping me wipe the moss and any mud or dirt from the pipe as it was relowered but apparently we did a bad job. I figured all was well after using the water for two days and cleaning the faucet screens. It took about a month beofre the water went smelly and bad tasting. I believe I introduced iron bacteria into the well. I just hope its not too late. It was a really good well prior.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    Theres another thread on here about two guys who came up with using 12' of stainless rod and copper tubing coiled around the stainless and dropped into the well. The claim is that it does what shocking the well does, but it continues to do it consistantly without using chlorine. I'm really interested in others or anybody who has tried this method? Stands to reason if copper strips or zinc strips placed on a roof ridge keeps black algae off a roof, I believe copper is also placed in shingles these days, it would work the same in a well?

  10. #10
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Iron bacteria is naturally occurring all over the place, it would not be that likely that you "introduced them". Red slime in the toilet tank is one symptom of iron bacteria.

    Some good info here for properly chlorinating a well- http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$departm...nsf/all/wwg411

  11. #11
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Lots of hand-wringing going on in this thread.

    Chlorinate the well and let it sit (residence time). Then pump the heck out of it.

    If you've ever watched a well being drilled you would know that it's not the cleanest process either.

    If the tank is bad it could definitely be the cause of your problems.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    I do not see any slime in my toilet tanks. The tanks are just slightly, I repeat only slightly, discolored from iron. I'm going to take Texas wellmans advice and chlorinate and then pump the hell out of the well. I'll also replace my tank. Can I comfortably go from a 20/40 pressure switch to a 40/60? Or should I only go up to a 30/50. As mentined earlier, I have a very small bladder tank now and a 20/40 switch. I believe that the pump should run for a minimum of a minute at a time to avoid short cycling? I have a 195' well that produces 40 GPM. At least that what it produced when it was dug in 1991. My pump is a 1/2 horse 5 GPM. Thanks All

  13. #13
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Follow the Alberta Gov instructions cc linked to for best results.

    As for pressure settings, you don't have to replace the switch to get more pressure, just adjust the one you have. Whether or not your pump is capable of producing the higher pressure depends on how high it needs to lift the water, something you neglected to tell us.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member rickr's Avatar
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    My well is 198 ' deep. The pump is set at about 150'. It is 30' into the house from the well. Pump is 1/2 HP 5 GPM.



    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Follow the Alberta Gov instructions cc linked to for best results.

    As for pressure settings, you don't have to replace the switch to get more pressure, just adjust the one you have. Whether or not your pump is capable of producing the higher pressure depends on how high it needs to lift the water, something you neglected to tell us.

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