I Give Up - Untreatable Water - Just About All Solutions Exhausted - High Iron

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vip3r1850

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I hit a cliff this evening and I just needed a place to vent and possibly cross check what I did at this point although nothing here is going to be ground breaking to anyone. I'm at a complete loss at this point and ready to jump off a cliff. I've never felt so defeated at this point. I feel like I've spent what needed to be spent, always went above and beyond and I can't get this water under consistent control. I don't care to add up all the equipment and plumbing but it's 20K+ labor not included.

The well is a shallow well at 20' deep. "Legally" we can only position the well in one spot on the lot due to set back requirements from septic and neighbors. For sanity check after all of the below, I had an irrigation well drilled just to make sure we weren't unlucky in our first well. At 25' the same water, at 30' clay, at 40' pure salt [ocean]. A new well simply isn't an option - even though we already tried that after everything we've been through for 6+ months.

The quick notes on the water coming out of the well, although it changes day by day it seems. I've invested in prosumer/basic commercial equipment at this point to be able to test on my own nearly DAILY.

PH - 5.8-6.2
TDS - 800-1000
Iron - 15 PPM fairly consistently
Tannin - 2PPM-3PPM depending on weather conditions and what soaks into the ground
H2S - Unknown but existing
No signs of manganese
Hardness - Just about the only thing consistent at 15 grains although 6 months ago when this started it was at 6 grains.
Water Temp - high 50 to low 60 degrees

Well produces 10+ GPM consistently after the pump and through the plumbing. 1 1/4" to pump, 1" PEX A [NOT B] to Carlon Water Meter. Bucket method, meter method, and pulse counter connected to meter confirm 10+ GPM but let's say 10 on a bad day. All 1" plumbing is true 1" - no sharkbites, no nonsense etc.

Fleck 2510SXT valves w/ 1" Bypass on Katalox and Tannin
Fleck 9100SXT valve w/ 1" Bypass on Softener
Mortens Crystal Salt
H202 Injection - Stenner ECON FP 16GPD [15 Gallon Tank] - Neutra Sul 7%
Soda Ash Injection - Stenner ECON FP 30GPD [35 Gallon Tank] - 10% Mix with Purified Water
Test/Sample ports everywhere in the chain except between the water softener and tannin filter.

Well Pump -> Meter -> Johnson Inline Static Mixer [Soda Ash Injection] -> Tee for H202 Injection -> TWO 13x54 Katalox Tanks in PARALLEL with 2.5 CF of Media w/ 2510SXT -> Twin 10X54 48K Grain [96K Combined] Water Softener CN8 Media -> 13X54 ResinTech SBACR-HP Tannin Filter -> 4.5x20" Big Blue w/ Matryx CTO Cartridge -> Viqua VH410

After taking a sample today after the Katalox Filter - I was getting nearly 5PPM bleed through. It doesn't matter what the injection is set at, the results are always the same - bleed through. I've now had the H202 Injection set at a whopping 10 seconds which is the equivalent of 250+ ppm of H202 with no detectable residual of H202 after Katalox. The "by the book" dose of H202 for my iron should be 7.5-10PPM @ 7%. At the current injection rate I would be looking at 400$ in H202 per month.

Furthermore, after cranking up the soda ash injection to a full 10 seconds and dumping .42 oz of the 10% mix - no detectable change in PH after Katalox or from any faucet. Faucets producing high 5 low 6 PH consistently.

Katalox Backwash = 10 minutes - 3 mins rinse DAILY each tank. That's 250+ gallons of water each night on just Katalox

The water softener seems to be picking up the slack with the bleed through - 0 hardness and .01-.03 PPM iron bleed through. Valve is set to assume 40 grains of hardness - 15 grains for actual hardness and 5 x 5 or 25 grains for the bleed through of the iron.

The tannin filter appears to run out of steam after just a day. Salt load set to 30 pounds with day override every 3rd day.

Between the salt and the H202 - it's easily 500-600$ per month in consumables and up until I got the CTO filter - I couldn't get rid of the H2S smell in the hot water and there was a hint of smell in the cold. The CTO took care of the cold, and Corro-Protec powered rods took care of the H2S smell in the hot water [two 40 gallon tanks].

Every day - something needs to be regenerated - we go trough thousands of gallons of water per week in just regeneration cycles as well. It's completely out of control and its completely inconsistent. Yesterday the tannin filter decided to [after just 18 hours and about 300 gallons] produce yellow water. Regen fixed that quickly [not really - it's like 2 hours].

I'm at a complete loss. My garage looks like a municipal water treatment facility for a 4 bedroom home. What in the world am I missing ?!?!

I feel if I could resolve the iron everything would just fall into place. How I feel must be like a dead horse getting kicked. My 100x300 lot appears to be on a completely different planet. NONE of the 3 houses on the north, south, and west sides have an issue. Minor iron that gets handled by a 9" single tank water softener and a big blue sediment pre-filter. All wells literally within a 300' radius. Talk about getting the shaft.
 
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Reach4

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"Katalox Backwash = 10 minutes - 3 mins rinse DAILY each tank. That's 250+ gallons of water each night on just Katalox"

Do you think you have 19 gpm (250/13) backwash rate? Have you tried to measure your actual backwash rate?

How big is the KL tank?


Is the KL tank painted, or is it natural tan?

I am only addressing one tiny part of the system.
 

vip3r1850

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"Katalox Backwash = 10 minutes - 3 mins rinse DAILY each tank. That's 250+ gallons of water each night on just Katalox"

Do you think you have 19 gpm (250/13) backwash rate? Have you tried to measure your actual backwash rate?

How big is the KL tank?


Is the KL tank painted, or is it natural tan?

I am only addressing one tiny part of the system.

Perhaps you missed the part where I stated I have two 13x54 tanks in parallel?

13x10 = 130 gallons per tank. Times two tanks is 260 gallons.

It’s tan and I started to consider bed expansion being an issue late last night and my significant other thought I was insane sitting with a flash light at 1AM to prove a point. I’m only getting about 4”- 6” of rise but still getting the 10GPM.

The water starts dirty as expected and around the 7-8 minute mark is the same as it comes out the well and as expected, yellow, but “clear”.

The backwash rate was tested - easy to do - look at the water meter and time it or just look at the pulse counter. It’s a 2PPG meter so .5 gallons per pulse. Easy to math out.

Also, no DLFC button whatsoever.
 
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Reach4

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Yes, I did miss that.

10 gpm is not enough backwash for a 13 inch KL tank. Perhaps you mean that there is 13 gpm for 10 minutes rather than 10 gpm for 13 minutes.

14 or 15 gpm would be better, but 13 is probably OK.

But yes, a bright light thru the tank (in the dark) will let you see the bed expansion. I would check that.

Are both injector pumps controlled by the pressure switch, and the solution is injected before the pressure tank? Or are the pumps proportional, and you have a flow sensor to set the flow. Oh, wait. That is probably why you have a flow sensor that you use to measure the flow.

I don't know what a CTO filter is.
 

Gsmith22

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you have low ph, high ferrous iron, and high hardness (ignoring tannins for now). usually you want to remove hardness at low ph; but remove high ferrous iron by oxidizing it at high ph, turning it into ferric iron so it can then be filtered out. not sure how tannins were measured but could that just be some of the iron as ferric iron coloring the water yellow?

i have always been under the impression that katalox was helpful only if the iron problem was low to moderate and I don't think 15ppm could be considered either of those. softening can remove very low levels of iron, but will foul your softener at the levels you are reporting. so i think this means that you want to first deal with iron and then deal with hardness. that would mean the order of opertaions would be raise pH, oxidize and filter the iron, and then soften the water. Not sure if you need to lower the ph after the iron removal to soften or if a ph above 7 is okay for softeneing.

the order you reported generally matches the order of operations i have above, but there is no contact tank after the oxidizer so i'm not sure there is enough time for the high levels of ferrous iron to percipitate and become ferric iron. I also don't know if you have a true filter for the ferric oxide - maybe the big blue with the CTO filter? I also don't know if the katalox is a filter for ferric iron - I think it is supposed to help catalyze the ferrous iron but you are oxidizing for that so not sure the iron part is really set up properly. I think you will find too that there is a lot of heartache on this forum over katalox. have you tried a contact tank after the oxidizer?
 

Skipperdan76

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Hello, I was a water treatment specialist years ago in high iron tannins and hardness. I had the extra problem of Iron bacteria. What I think you need is a retention tank. I used ozone as I built my own ozone generators. If you use ozone you would hit the water with it. you would also pump a mixture of diluted coagulate into the stream or directly into the retention tank. I used a 500 gallon tank, but you could get by with less if you circulated it with another pump. You would use simple boost type pump to repressurize the water to the house. This would first go through a simple backwash filter. One of your current filters would work. after that send it through a softener. The water coming out of the filter should be clear before going to the softener. If not just use more coagulant or a longer retention time. As a last resort use two tanks wit ha diverter valve to use one tank till empty then switch to the other one. That way you get a much longer retention time. Your problem is the tannin. It attaches to the iron and will not release it. By oxidizing the iron and coagulating it, it should be able to be filtered out. Longer retention or higher coagulant does this. After that you are just removing the iron that is left and the hardness. The recirculation also is a big help especially if you use an air injector. Ozone just improves this as it converts faster than just air. With the equipment you have it should not cost that much to incorporate. Plus you are going to save a lot of water. I have also used a pressurized retention tank. Looks like a big pressure tank about 80 gallons. dedicated recirculating pump so the water is constantly being circulated with an air injector and air release on top of tank.
 

DYI13

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I am sorry, and I feel for you. I am not in the trade--just a homeowner having water issues (but not as bad as yours. Again, sorry.).

There is a time when the local government entity needs to get involved. I would suggest calling your local government body and advocate for hooking into a public water system, if there is one in your area.
 

MaxBlack

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Ancient thread, but since it's been revived I might have asked the OP if rainwater collection is possible where he lives. Depends on weather as outdoor tanks can of course freeze. We had crummy water in Texas (120+gpg) and switched to rainwater collection and never looked back. Yes it required metal roof(s) and gutters and filters and collection tanks and a pump and...but we loved it. Wasted $15K on that 705' deep water well.
 

xiders

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There's always whole house RO you can throw in to the mix - although you'll be looking at another $8000 at least in addition to everything else.

One idea - have you run the katalox filters in series before? The watchwater site seems to indicate operation in series for iron over 10ppm. https://www.watchwater.com/katalox-light.html
 
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