Fine Sediment Clogging 1-Micron Filters - Will Backwashing Help?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Washington, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Washington

    Washington New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    WA
    New well owner here in need of advice. Please forgive the long post, just want to give as much info on front end.

    Problem: Lots of very fine sediment clogging our three one-micron filters, and subsequently reducing pressure. Changing all three filters every 1 – 3 days.

    Failed solution: Tried to move to 5-micron in one of our three filters to help with the pressure. It helped, but the sediment that started coming through was bad enough to force us back to the 1-micron.

    Professional advice: We’ve had two professionals try to help us, but there wasn’t a consensus – which makes us nervous. Both agreed the sediment is something called ‘glacial till’. The first man is suggesting a backwashing unit, the second one says the backwashing unit won’t help since some of the sediment is so fine that it doesn't 'settle at the bottom of a bucket' after letting it sit for 24-hours. The second man eyeballed our water and thinks it might be iron bacteria (water is being tested right now) and – pending test results - wants to run chlorine through the well for $3000. Trouble is, we have no other symptoms of iron bacteria (no smell, no rust).

    Other problems (related?): Air coming out of one faucet each time it is activated, but no other faucet. Also, sometimes the water stops flowing in the kitchen when the washing machine is on in the basement. This typically only happens when pressure has already slowed. It will return again in 30 minutes or so. Basement shower can be reduced to trickle after basement toilet is flushed. Also only happens when pressure is already low.

    Question: Is there a way to know for sure if a backwashing unit will help before paying thousands of dollars to install one? Should we be looking at other causes (pump/screen/low well)? Don’t mind spending money on a solution, just want more of a consensus on what the right solution might be.

    Stats (if important): Two adults and one baby living in home. Low-water washing machine and dishwasher running every other day. Well has submersible pump and is about 35 years old. New bladder, but other service unknown. We have records of every time the filters were changed in the last five years (single occupant). Seems consistent with our experience – sometimes a month can go by without them being changed, then times when it is almost daily.

    Sincere thanks for any advice.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,496
    Location:
    IL
    Your well may be having trouble producing enough water. Backwashing filters take typically 5 GPM or more of water, and may flush for many minutes. However that is scheduled in the middle of the night usually.


    I would suggest letting some unfiltered water settle and see how long it does take to settle.

    How big are your replaceable filters? Are the elements 20 inches by 4.5 inches? Are they in series now, or are they in parallel with each other?
  3. Washington

    Washington New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    WA
    Thanks for the response.

    Our filters are 20x4.5, 20x2.5, and 10x4.5 - in that order. We have been having trouble finding filters for the 20x2.5, so we thought of changing that to a 20x4.5.

    Not certain about series vs parallel. Here's the setup:

    20140626_093054.jpg

    At our well man's suggestion, we let the unfiltered water settle in a bucket for 24-hours. Settled very slowly, and seemed like it hadn't all settled by end of that period. This is why he is doubtful a backwashing unit will help...?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,496
    Location:
    IL
    Your filters are in series. Good. Typically you might put a 5 micron or a variable 50..5 micron filter first, following that with 1 micron. So a backwashing filter, if added would come first. Then your mechanical filters which we hope would have much less to do.

    I am not saying you have colloidal clay, but that would be the finest size.

    See http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?23057-Colloidal-Clay #10

    Post #15 of this thread suggests running a lot of water at high flow onto the ground. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?13445-new-well-water-cloudy-clay #30 reports success.
  5. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    989
    Location:
    ct
    I don't see how chlorinating the well will do anything but put $3000.00 (if I read that right) in his pocket.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    To me it sounds like a low flow problem with the well that is allowing sucking of 'sediment'. And a backwash filter may make that situation worse. And no amount of chlorine is going to help (you).
Similar Threads: Fine Sediment
Forum Title Date
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Black Fine Sediment well water Jan 3, 2012
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Fine sediment in my well water... Feb 18, 2008
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Water Around Top of Well Casing, Pressure Fine Apr 12, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog how to fine tune 30/50 pressure switch? Mar 1, 2011
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Flow Inducer Sleeve; Need fine details, bolt size, etc Jun 26, 2010

Share This Page