Coliform, Iron Treatement?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by bewing, May 3, 2011.

  1. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Hello, I am back with more info and a few questions.

    I had posted my intial results from a newly drilled well about a month ago. And I am still in the process of trying to figure out what is best for my situation.

    Inital Results: Iron 1 ppm, Ph 6.8, Total Coliform 6 Colonies, Hardness 48 ppm
    (I think the PH was skewed because the lab let the sample sit over the weekend before testing)

    Since then I have shocked the well with bleach, and had another test ran

    Results: Iron 0.82 ppm, Ph 7.5, Total Coliform 16 colonies, Harness 90 ppm

    So my dilema is I must treat for coliform and iron. I like the idea of UV since it is chemical free, but from what I understand I must remove the Iron before the UV will be effective. But this is where the problem and questions comes in. Is it bad to have the untreated coliform in the water run through an Iron filter, or softener (for removing the iron) before the UV Filter? Or is my only option to use a chlorine injection system and forget about UV?

    Thanks
  2. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    NC
    You said a drilled well. So I assume it is cased all the way to the bedrock and has concrete grout from 20 feet below the surface up to the surface with a slab at the surface. I would try to shock it again. I like to use "Super Shock It" a granular chlorine. It is HTH chlorine and you can get it in a pool supply or some other stores that have pool supplies. Dump the HTH in and hook up a hose . Fix the hose so it goes in the top of the well and water runs down the inside of the casing . Allow the water to circulate. When it is mixed up good turn on each faucet in the house till you smell the chlorine then shut the faucet off. Flush all toilets, run showers the washing machine etc to get chlorine in all the pipes. The longer you do it the better. Circulate the water in the well for at least several hours and leave the chlorine in there for at least 24 hours.

    Also your test results are so different. How were the samples taken? At the same time of day? Is there a reason for this difference that you know? Where was the sampling point? What type of faucet? Was one sample a first draw, this would be to let the water set all night and take a sample first thing in the morning?
    Personally I like UV for disinfection and it would be after the iron filter. If iron is considered to be a problem you want to remove it so it does not coat the quartz sleeve in the UV light that could cause it to be ineffective. Also UV light bulbs have to be changed every year and cost about $80.00
  3. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Thanks for the info and reply, the well is a drilled rock bore well. It is cased down about 20 ft and cemented in, with a concrete slab and well house on top. The total depth is 165 ft. with a static level at 80 ft deep. I am not sure where the diffence came from other than I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing the first sample, and it was literally the first time I had ever pumped water out of the well. As of right now I just have the pump set with the drop pipe, and a hose bib on top, I can just turn the pump on and off with a switch. This is the point that the sample was taken from both times, and the time of day was the same. On the second sample I was very cautious when taking the sample to try and not cause faulty results, but ended up with a higher coliform count?


    So UV would be my choice, but have had some filter companies tell me that it wasn't a good idea to have water with bacteria in it contaminate an Iron filter?
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    If they let that test set over the weekend, they I would not be trusting the bacteria test... labs that I know need the water with in 24 hours to test... after that they will not run the bacteria test, and if they had it and did nothing with it over the weekend I my self would not trust it and have them do it again on their dime to get it right.
  5. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I was also skeptical of the results after I realized that they had let the sample set over the weekend, but that was on the first sample, I did have them run another sample and made sure that they tested it upon my arrival the second time, and it still came back with a positve coliform count of 16 colonies.
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    Have you done any thing to sanitize the well and then retest the water?
  7. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The second sample was taken 2 weeks after shocking the well with bleach.
  8. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,494
    Location:
    Alaska
    Is there a system for treating the water right now?
    ie a softener or iron filter?
    If it was taken off line to do the well and then brought back on line after , and then the test.. it is possible that the system and not the well is the reason for the 16 colonies in the test from the lab.
    Seen it before some 6 years ago... got the well cleaned up but still could not pass... left the system off line and did the test and passed.
  9. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The well is a new well never had any system on it. Right now I just have a pump, pipe to the surface and then a hose bib right on top of the output. I can turn the well on and off with a switch.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.
  10. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    NC
    I still recommend shocking the well again. It would be better to eliminate the bacteria if you can. Use a granular chlorine such as HTH. It is sold at pool supply stores and sometimes super Wal-Mart has it in their pool section. Also be sure to wash your hands and be careful not to contaminate the well more when you take the seal off etc. Dump several pounds of the HTH into the well. Connect a hose to the hose bibb and wash down everything and allow water to run down the inside of the casing. Let it run as log as possible. I would just stick the hose in the top of the wall and just let it run all day. I use chlorine test strips to to check the strength . I like to get it up to at least 100 parts per million. The HTH is more concentrated and it is granular so it sinks to the bottom. It will stay in the well longer and that is good.

    After you finish recirculating the water be sure to put the well back together properly and keep your hands and the well head and piping clean.

    To speed up the process of getting the chlorine out run a hose to the ditch and let it run. Depending on how much you put in there, it can take a long time to get it all out.
    When you take the next sample be sure to use a reputable lab. Most county health departments offer this service or they will send you the containers and you do it your self. When taking a bacteria sample I always flame the hose bibb. I also make sure my hands are clean and sometimes use alcohol to clean my hands and the outside of the container. Sometimes I use the alcohol to clean the faucet and even use it as a torch. I do not like to get bad samples so I go a little overboard.
    I would not worry about coliform bacteria clogging the iron filter. But iron in some forms will clog filters and water softeners. There are several ways in which iron is removed and some methods involve using chlorine. If chlorine is used, it would be before the filter to collect the iron that comes out of solution after contact with the chlorine. If you use a UV light to kill any bacteria, it needs to be after the iron filter. Depending on the system that you have or use you may need something like a sediment filter to remove iron precipitate before the water goes into a softener.
    Sometimes if you are dealing with high concentrations of iron, chlorine is a better choice because it kills the bacteria and causes the iron to precipitate out.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Using pool chlorine is a bad idea, it contains inhibitors etc. that shouldn't be put in supposedly potable water. FDA grade and approved pellets (70% chlorine) is the only approved chlorine.

    Running a well pump for 24 hours can cause problems with the well, water quality, the chlorine can damage steel casing and/or you can run the pump dry etc..

    The 90 ppm of hardness, or 90 gpg, is over the max allowed for the use of UV, which is usually 5-7 gpg.

    A water sample can be up to 30 hours old, over that it is not supposed to be used, That is a sample that is chilled.
  12. rjh2o

    rjh2o Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Michigan
    Coliform bacteria

    I would not give up on chlorinating the well yet and would agree with Gary on his recommendation on granular pool chlorine. Get a pool chlorine tester or test strips, flush the well completely of any chlorine residual, test for chlorine, sterilize the area where water is to be drawn, either with flame around faucet or alcohol on swab. Wear latex gloves to prevent contaminating sample, do not touch rim of water sample bottle, keep sample cool (in cooler with ice pack) and take to independent lab for testing. If county comes back to test again make sure they follow these procedures. I almost had my well redtagged because the county would not take these simple steps to assure a proper sample.
    RJ
  13. bewing

    bewing New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Thanks for the advice. I plan on shocking the well again and re-testing. If that doesn't work guess I will be going with a chlorine injection system. Thanks

    Barret
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