Casing vs Pump Depth?

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firimar

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We live in rural North Central Ohio, and I'm not a DIYer. The 80-100yo pit well in our even-older house was lined with iron casing. The casing (from the top down) rusted through to a point where no plumber or well guy around here would even touch it (because of its disintegrating state). Pumped water just fine, crystal clear; but in the last couple of years the water was starting to smell metallic and orange up the shower a bit. Still drinkable (until then we had amazingly good water), but then started to impart a bad smell to clothes and dried everyone's skin. (Definitely NOT sulfur smell. Like having a mouthful of coins.) After talking to three different drillers around here, we decided to have a new well dug by a well-known local company. That was on 2 Oct 2023.

On 16 Oct, the second team came in and hooked it up, abandoning the old pit well with bentonite. The water from the new well is undrinkable, because of the extreme metallic odor and taste. You can't cook with it, for the same reason. Showers are no longer than a few minutes because of the horrible smell and drying skin. Dishwashing is unbearable, and we can't even drink out of the glasses for the residual smell from washing. Clothes washing has turned everything orange in just two months. It's definitely been getting worse by the day. Hot and cold both smell, but it's definitely worse when hot is added to the mix.

We had a sediment filter from before (wound string) which we now change every three days. No sediment in it, though. Just a VERY orange filter sitting there. When the water comes out of the faucets, it's clear. Leaving it sitting overnight does not change its appearance, and no solids appear. You only know it's orange water because of the toilets, washer tub, and shower tiles with their stains. No black of manganese, just orange. It's definitely getting worse by the week.

This is going to get too long, and I'm sorry to bother everyone. I've been reading through this forum (no, more like COMBING through it) for three months, now, and I've learned a lot. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to post here.

Well company who dug and hooked up to the pressure tank doesn't answer anymore. After a month of begging, they sent a man out to run a cheesy little test to send to Hellenbrand, but the well guy didn't send the required info to the company so no recommendations were made. 3.06 iron, 14 hardness, .08 manganese, 6.91 pH, 245 TDS. On 28 Nov, the well guy wrote "I'll get back to you later." Been crickets ever since, with no answer to my messages or courtesy call to find out if things got fixed.

So, I called our local plumber who sent a guy with the same test kit to send to Chandler (CSI). After three weeks, I got the test results from them. The plumbers are super nice people who have always done a good job for us. However, the test results must have been for someone else (CSI says it wasn't), with its .03 iron, .01 manganese, 7.46 pH, 351 TDS, and "no rust or odor" note. No tannins on either.

So, I've sent to National Testing Labs (after reading about them on this forum) and expect results the first week or January. Once I get that test back, I'll come back and start another thread. County water test for new wells showed no bacteria (after chlorine shocking by drillers).

Meanwhile, I wonder if any of you could look at the attached Well Log and see if there's anything obvious that could be contributing to our problem. I know it's a bit difficult without a good water test, but maybe there's something on here that will stand out. (Like, is it okay for the pump to be hanging in that type of ground two feet below the casing?) I watched the drillers and the second team who connected it all up the whole time they were here and asked a million questions, so please don't be afraid to ask a question about something that isn't listed on here. I'll do my best to answer. But please remember that I'm not a DIYer.

Thanks, in advance, for your time. I'm at wit's end here, and $300/month in bottled water for drinking alone is getting old fast. (Besides, we don't use plastic in our house, so it tastes pretty awful to us.) Oh, that reminds me. The 45' of pipe coming from the well to the pressure tank is copper. Like I said, we minimize plastic use around here.

Again, thanks for your time.
 

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Valveman

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The drill log looks pretty standard. A driller can drill and case a well like that is a perfectly clean water bearing formation or into a contaminated zone. It is just a crap shoot. But once the well is drilled a water test can usually tell you which way to go. I am sorry for all your problems and I don't know what is causing the problem. Iron bacteria can be an orange color but usually has no taste. A local test is usually best but if there is no one available sending off in a proper container will work.
 

Reach4

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Have you "developed" the well by pumping it continuously if the well can deliver that, or continually if the well runs dry during runs? Maybe 96 hours, but don't run the well dry for long without run-dry protection. If you can monitor the flow and shut down when the water falters, then you don't need to automate the run-dry protection.


Feed the water to the ditch before a hard freeze stays.

Then sanitize the well. That will not remove the iron, but it will remove iron bacteria and various smells. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up. Easier to do in warmer weather.

As to how to remove iron, there are various ways-- which I presume you have read about.
 

firimar

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The drill log looks pretty standard. A driller can drill and case a well like that is a perfectly clean water bearing formation or into a contaminated zone. It is just a crap shoot. But once the well is drilled a water test can usually tell you which way to go. I am sorry for all your problems and I don't know what is causing the problem. Iron bacteria can be an orange color but usually has no taste. A local test is usually best but if there is no one available sending off in a proper container will work.
I get the crap shoot, but I didn't expect to draw "snake eyes" on this one. I live in a part of rural Ohio where there are no local test labs. The county rep told me to use some place like NTL. So, I'll know more at the beginning of January.
Have you "developed" the well by pumping it continuously if the well can deliver that, or continually if the well runs dry during runs? Maybe 96 hours, but don't run the well dry for long without run-dry protection. If you can monitor the flow and shut down when the water falters, then you don't need to automate the run-dry protection.


Feed the water to the ditch before a hard freeze stays.

Then sanitize the well. That will not remove the iron, but it will remove iron bacteria and various smells. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my sanitizing write-up. Easier to do in warmer weather.

As to how to remove iron, there are various ways-- which I presume you have read about.
Very interesting read (read through it three times).
TIMELINE for our Well
Oct. 2 DRILLING (arrival through depature) was 2:45 (two hours and 45 minutes). Nothing was done to the well by this team besides drilling it. The log says they tested it for one hour to get the gpm rate, but we didn't see them doing that, and they weren't here very long after the drilling stopped, so it must have been part of the last hour of drilling, perhaps. You'd think we'd have noticed 600 gallons of water in the yard, but I'd have no way of knowing how long they tested so assume they knew what they were doing. Since we had a working well, they said they'd send another team in to hook us up.

Oct. 16 Two weeks later, a second crew of two men came back to connect us up. After the connection was complete, they used bleach and vinegar and stood for a bit with a hose running down the well. They weren't at it very long. They had us open every water outlet in the house (spigots, toilets, washer, etc) and left us with instructions for clearing it 24 hours later. We waited the full 24 hours then opened the water outlets in the house and ran a hose from the outside spigot to a place in the yard about 100 feet from the house (we own two acres).

These ran for 4-1/2 hours. Not a bit of a dip in water pressure (which is and always has been SUPER good). We checked the hose water with chlorine strips every 15 minutes. Unfortunately, our family was hit a year ago with severe Covid, and no one in the house can smell or taste anymore (except for this metallic smell from the water, weird). The only way we knew there was chlorine was the burning in our eyes and stinging if it hit your skin. When we turned everything off, the strips had been showing neutral (no chlorine) for about 30 minutes.

What we hadn't been prepared for, though, was what came out of the inside faucets/toilets with the waste water. For the first couple of hours, it was this dark brownish-orange sludge. Can't say if it smelled, but it was disgusting. The outside hose never had it like that, really just a very-slightly-orange color for a short bit. The inside water outlets gradually cleared of that dark, cloudy stuff after about five days.

For the first month after that, the water was clear but smelled and tasted metallic. It didn't precipitate when left to stand (I told you I was reading this forum). It was crystal clear. No staining. Just couldn't drink it, and it smelled every time someone did laundry, washed dishes or showered.

After that first month, though, the staining started, and the metallic smell got worse. It's continued to get gradually worse ever since. We'd left the Pentair 5mic filter running and had to change it every three days. Started out slightly orange on changing, so we recently went to once a week. The last three changes are now a deeper orangeish-brown, darker each time.

OOPH! Haven't looked inside the toilet tank in 3 or 4 weeks, because it never showed anything but clear. Just opened the one in the attached photo, and it's disgusting! Does that look like IB to you? Oh, my . . . this toilet gets used a lot, too. Last year (pre-well digging), we removed all three toilets and cleaned them outside until they looked brand new. They had NOTHING like this back then (been in this house 25 years); we just wanted to get rid of the small orange rim and hard-water stains they had after 25 years of sitting. Wow! One more thing to learn about. Water has become my enemy (smile). Thanks for your help. Guess I'll call the driller and ask if they "developed" the well and go from there. He isn't going to answer me, but I'll ask anyway. Thanks for your help!

Iron Stained Filter.jpgIron Staining (2).JPGIron Staining (3).JPG
 

firimar

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Okay, turns out that toilet hadn't been used this morning. The two upstairs toilets (one used today, one not) just have orange water but none of the rest of this gross stuff. I just flushed the toilet in the photo, and now it has a visible film across the top of the pretty dark water. Certainly not as clear orange as the ones upstairs. This toilet is the closest water outlet to the cellar-located pressure tank, and the water's always a little colder in this one. Don't know if any of this helps; just making observations. Since I can't get any help around here, I'm floundering a bit. I appreciate being allowed to post here.
 

firimar

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Thank you! I started here, because I wasn't sure about the pump at 140' while the casing stopped at 138'. I do have a lot of questions about treating this mess, though, so thanks for putting me where I belong (smile).
 
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