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Old 04-19-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
Joelk
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Default Well Water has excessive amount of sediment in it!

I have a property with a fairly large garage to work on/store cars. No house or septic system, but I may build a house there some day and had a well drilled about 6-7 years ago. I'm working from memory so these # are approximations. IIRC the well is about 250' deep w/160' of steel casing. The driller said that it flowed approx. 15 GPM and to keep the (1 HP) submersible pump about 15' off of the bottom.

I installed the pump and operated it like that for several years. I always had some sediment in the water, sometimes worse than others and the driller said it would probably go away once more water was pumped from it. After the problem had persisted for a couple years, the driller suggested that I turn the water on and let it run over the weekend. I did, and it seemed to help, but only for a limited period of time and was soon back to about the same amount of sediment as before. I have run the water for 12-24 hours straight several more times since them, with the same results.

Last year I pulled the pump. The pipe was wet for about 120' above the pump. Since I had such a large water column, I lifted the pump up about 15' further. This seemed like it might have slightly reduced the amount of silt, but there is still an excessive amount.

I installed a 10 x 4.5 whole house filter with a clear housing, about a month ago. As soon as turned the water back on, the filter discolored as quickly at the water filled the filter. The filter is now so full that it is acting as a significant restriction and will need to replaced/backflushed(not sure if I can backflush the filter I have) soon.

Any opinions on why I have so much sediment in the water?

Would raising the pump furher help any?

Is there anything I can do to the well to reduce the amount of sediment it puts out?

Any recommendations on a filter that I can clean/backflush and not need to replace so frequently?

Thanks, Joel



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Old 04-20-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
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The well make 15gpm.
How many gpm is the pump?

If the pump is 10gpm or less, raising it up should not cause any problems.
Sediment filters, I'm not too fond of them.
If the sediment does not clear up after running the pump for 24 hours, chances are it may never clear completely.

For some of the really bad cases, I have seen some use a water heater. The water goes in the top and out the top. Once a month the water heater is drained out the bottom and flushed of any build up in the tank.
This is done before the main pressure tank.

It may be worth a try depending on how bad you problem is.



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Old 04-20-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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I'm not fond of those little filters either.

Have you determined what this sediment is? What size the particles are?

If you squeeze it, does it smash or stay the same. Silt or sand?

If it's large enough a sand filter might trap it. You can build a manual backwash to dump out the trapped material.

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Old 04-21-2012, 02:33 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

The water has run for > 24 hours straight several times so I am "afraid" the sediment problem will never go away. What would cause this?

I'm not sure of the pump GPM, but IIRC I think it is more than 10 GPM, perhaps 12. I do have 1" instead of 1 1/4" line running from the pump to the pressure tank so that may restrict it to less than 10 GPM.

I think the pump is currently 30' off the bottom. Any likelyhood that raising it more will help a significant amount? If so, how high should I raise it?

I would be content with the current filter if the situation was that I could change the element every 3 - 6 months, but it looks like it will probably need to be changed once a month or sooner, the way it is filling up and restricting now. Even a 20 x 4.5 would probably fill pretty quickly.

The sediment DOES NOT look/feel like SAND, it is reddish like Iron or Clay color and I think silt would be a good description. It does smash up some when squeezed.

I kind of like the like the idea of using a water heater as a "sediment trap", but I don't have room for a large water heater the way I currently have things plumbed. Would a 3' tall water heater work OK or does it need to be a "full size" model?

Any other common (and fairly cheap) types of tanks that I could use instead of a water heater?

I am not familiar with sand filters so I don't know if one of them might work for this material or not. It seems like the particle size is a lot smaller than most sand. If you think one might work for me, could you please link to one that might be suitable. I can only fit something that is about 3' tall.

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Old 04-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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It may be clay that your seeing. I would do a test with a 5 gallon bucket to see how long it takes for the stuff to settle to the bottom. If it's too light, it will probably not work just passing through a tank. It would take some kind of media, like sand to trap those little particles.

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Old 04-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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I fooled around with some of the sediment this morning. It feels soft and kind of slimmy, almost oily.

I got a used fiberglass pressure tank from a buddy this morning that I think I may try to modify to use as a Sediment Bowl type of tank. If it does not work I will not have a lot invested in it, so I think I will give it a try.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #7
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Sounds like clay to me. There is lots of that underground. Your driller should have cased it off.

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Old 04-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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The driller cased about 160'.

So I assume you are saying he should have cased more?

How does the driller know when to stop casing?

Could more casing be installed now?

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Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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It would be my guess that he stopped short of where he should cased to.

The driller is supposed to know these things. It's what they learn by drilling in their area. If I were to go into your area and start drilling, I wouldn't know where to stop, but I think I would have known by the cuttings below the 160' that more casing was needed.

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Old 04-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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I assumed it was something the driller should know from experience and from observation of what came out as he was drilling.

I was there when the well was drilled, but I no longer remember why he told me he stopped casing when he did.

Could and should more casing still be installed now? If so, is there any way to know how much more casing to install?

Any probability that this will eventually "flush out" and go away on it's own?

Any probability that raising the pump higher would help? If so, how much should I raise it?



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