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Thread: New to forum, dirty well water

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Jerrylco's Avatar
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    Default New to forum, dirty well water

    Hello,
    I'm new to this forum and to having a well. This looks like a great forum, lots of good information and very helpful people and advice.
    I'm in the process of buying a house, it's been vacant for about 1 1/2 yrs and the power, and well pump, have been shut off. The power was just turned on and the pump run for the first time in quite a while. The water is very dirty, you can't see through a glass of water or to the bottom of the toilet tank after running the water. During the test we did run the well empty twice, it was dirty the whole time.
    The well was put in 1997, it's 300 ft deep, uses 3/8" drilled casing (I'm not sure what effect this may have, just saw it on the original records), the flow is pretty low, it pumps at about 7.5 gpm but recovers pretty slow at about 1.3 gpm, same rate from the original test and the retest the other day.
    Is it typical for a well thats been off so long to be very dirty? How long or amount of water should I expect to need to run before it clears up.

    Thanks,
    Jerry

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Can’t be 3/8” casing. Has to be 4” or larger. The water in the pipes can get dirty sitting unused, but it shouldn’t be that bad from the well. It is hard to clean up a well that only makes 1.3 GPM. You may have to pump it out dozens or more times, which takes days. A water test would also be a good idea. Find out what it is your trying to clean out. You might have to treat the well to get it to clean up.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Jerrylco's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. I didn't describe the casing right, I'm still figuring this out. The steel casing is 6 5/8" for 0 to 126 ft. 4 1/2" PVC from 10' to 200'. The perf casing is 3/8" drilled, seemed other reports in the area used screen, this stood out as being different. I don't understand the casing depth though, it looks like it only goes 200 ft but it's a 300' well. Shouldn't the casing go all the way down or is that where the perf casing is?
    The neighbor told me the previous owners had the pump raised, is that typical or could that mean the well is filling through those 3/8 holes in the perfcasing?
    We do have a sample out for testing, bacteria, physical and chemical. Those results won't be back for a few days.
    When I pump it out should I let it run dry or just let it run at a lower rate for a long time?

    Thanks again,
    Jerry

  4. #4
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    It is hard to stop sediment from coming through “drilled”, torch slot, or Skill Saw perforations. 3/8” holes are big. Probably only need about 3 holes this size to let in all the water you need. Neighbors probably have screen for a reason. Mill slot perforations can be .035, .020, even .010 of an inch, and screen can be even smaller slots. These smaller slots tend to collect the fines in the sand and make a media filter out of the well casing itself.

    Well water comes from sand, rock, and dirt layers. You either Screen it, or pump out the crud. Sometimes you pump it out and sometimes you can’t. And with only 1.3 GPM to work with, pumping it out will take some time.

    You need to resolve this before buying the house. There are several ways this could be solved, but it could be expensive.

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    And with only 1.3 GPM to work with, pumping it out will take some time.
    When I was re-mediating my well last year to develop it by overpumping, I was hampered by the low GPM of recovery. What I did was to capture some of the water into a large barrel where the sand could settle to the bottom and I siphoned the water back down into the well. This let the pump run continuously at full GPM flow to carry up more sediment.

    You could use an inflatable swimming pool as a settling pond. Add chlorine to it to not contaminate the well with bacteria. If the water is just discoloured but has little actual sediment to settle out, it wouldn't work.

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