Brown well water

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ChrisMD1

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Hello everyone,

I have a well system in MD that, for the last 10 years or so, experiences brown water after rainfalls. The theory is an earthquake in MD around 2014 caused problems. It's not consistent but moderate to heavy rain events cause varying intensity of yellow/brown water within 10 to 24 hours of the event. During drier periods a heavy rain seems to have less impact.

I had a well company use a camera. They spotted some infiltration around 35' deep. They put in a new casing at about $8k expense and after that the cameras show no visible ground water infiltration. However, the problem persists. We then upgraded our water treatment so now we have a 10micron pre-filter, water softener, 1 micron filter, then 0.1 micron nano filter, then UV light. Yet we've started seeing the discoloration again. Maybe not as bad as original but it's disturbing. Water testing hasn't shown anything out of desired ranges but I'm not satisfied with 'safe' brown water.

The only other alternative I know of is a new well. My question is, how far from the current well would you recommend to put a new well? My lot size is 9 acres. The well company suggested 50' away. My concern is, if the water is a shared source underground, I'll end up with the same bad water. The well company could offer no guarantees (or even slight confidence) that a new well will resolve the issue.

What would you do?

Thank you!
 

Reach4

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How deep do you anticipate the new well to go? If not all that deep, you might want to opt for fully-cased.

On your brown water, can you put that into a glass jar, and it looks brown? Try that. Set that on a shelf, and see how long it takes for the brown to settle out. Hours, days, never?

Brown can come from particles, but I think it can also be from tannins.
 

ChrisMD1

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The current well depth is 280'. The casing goes to I think 52' deep.
When these events occur, the brown is noticeable in a jar and it takes several days to settle out. I was originally guessing it was dissolved iron but the iron levels have always measured low.
 

Reach4

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The current well depth is 280'. The casing goes to I think 52' deep.
When these events occur, the brown is noticeable in a jar and it takes several days to settle out. I was originally guessing it was dissolved iron but the iron levels have always measured low.
The fact that it settles out at all may mean that your problem is not tannins. Not sure.

If you have clay that is passing thru your 0.1 micron filter, I would tend to expect the 1 micron filter before that to be collecting clay.

The finest clay is called "colloidal clay". There is a search term for you. I am not saying that you have colloidal clay, but maybe the same techniques (flocculant etc) would work for your clay.
 

Valveman

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If there is any obvious change in color or anything that can be directly attributed to a rain event, it is not good. The well is not sealed and anything that is on the surface could also be in the water.
 
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