New House, Shared Well, Iron and H2S

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Twinpeaksr, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    Been reading through many of the posts out here trying to identify what treatment I need for our new house.

    Specifics (from the well company):
    - Shared Well drilled in 2003, 5 houses, approx 20GPM in 1" pipe to house from tap on lot
    - Well is 860ft deep, 5hp pump, 2 40gal pressure tanks, 2" pipe from well to tap on lot
    - biggest issue is H2S smell
    - Iron is 2-5ppm
    - hardness is 20grain
    - No bacteria or nitrates
    - Most people on the well are using an Iron Curtian to remove the H2S and Iron followed with as softener

    What I am looking for is a good way to address the H2S and Iron (and softening if convienient). I am not sold on the Iron Filter since of the 8 people in the neighborhood I have talked to with them (there are 5 shared wells, all same depth) 7 have had to replace parts on them, or had issues from poor performance, to flooded basements.

    So what are my other options? sounds like a softener may be able to take care of the iron and the hardness, but does not sound like it can handle the H2S (or maybe I missread something).

    Any help would be great, and Gary, if you have a system that could work, you are on my short list for water treatment equipment supply.

    Thanks!
  2. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    How long new is the well?
    Has the pump in the well be run for 48 hours at 5 gpm?
  3. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    The Well was drilled in 2003, less than 7 years old.

    The measurements are made annually by the well company as part of the service agreement with the subdivision. If I understand what you are asking, then yes there had been significant flow in the previous 48hrs.

    thanks.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Not signifacant, continuis flow.
    5-7gpm for 48 hours straight.

    If the well was drilled and then sat for awhile and has not been used it will change the water test.

    The well needs to do what is turn over, pulling water out and that will have New water come into the well.
  5. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    Well has been in use for several years by the other 3 houses on it. Not sure what you are expecting from this type of test. The annual testing has shown that these values are not varying.

    Thanks.
  6. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ok, Some times with new wells the values are different from what one might get after useage.
    Well Drillers in my area always like to have the well used for a few months (hard) before making the choice as to what kind of equipment to use to clean up the water for inside the house.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I have treated up to 13 ppm of iron with a 'special' softener and up to 5 ppm of iron with a regular softener IF the person will do a quick maintenance thing once a month forever but... you have H2S and no softener will remove it so...

    I suggest my inline erosion pellet chlorinator and equivalent 120 gal retention tank followed by a carbon filter with a special carbon. That gets rid of the H2S and all types of bacteria, including all types of reducing bacteria, and means the softener does not have to deal with the iron or H2S.
  8. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    So if I understand your recommendation:

    - Chlorinator
    - Carbon Filter
    - Softener

    Is this the only solution or are their other options?

    Sounds like the Chlorinator removes the H2S, is the Carbon Filter removing the Iron? A little unclear on what each step in the system is doing. The softener is obviously doing the hardness.

    I see maintainance as:

    - Chlorine Addition
    - Filter Change
    - Softener Salt

    What info do you need to identify maintainace timing and use (IE Filter every 3mo, 5lbs chlorine every 4mo, etc...) Just trying to get an idea on maintaince cost and installation cost (we can take this offline if better).

    Thanks!
  9. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Another option would be to use a filox media to remove both the H2S and the iron followed by a softener.

    You would need to check the ORP (oxidation reduction potential) of your water and if it is not adequate would need to add an oxidizing feed prior to the filox. Either chlorine or hydrogen peroxide can be used if the addition of an oxidizer is required. The Filox will remove low levels of chlorine so that a carbon filter may not be necessary with this set up.

    Here is a link to a description of Filox:

    http://www.epsonline.ie/shop/uploads/filtermedia%20-%20filox%20r.pdf
  10. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    What kind of flow rate is needed for the house and another point of use?


    What is the gpm of the well pump to the house?

    There is another media that might work, but gpm would be the make or brake.
  11. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    The Flow rate to the first treatment piece (from the pump) is estimated to be 20GPM by the well company based on me using a 1" pipe. Not sure my flow rate needs for the house (I know that depends on fixtures and many other things), but it will be a 4 bedroom 2.5bath with a whirlpool tub in one of the full baths. future expansion will include 2 additional bedrooms and 1 more full bathroom.

    Thanks!
  12. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    Manganese Greensand Filter, 2.0 cubic foot unit for iron and smell followed with a Softener for the Hardness that is in the water.
    The 2.0 Greensand filter could handle 10gpm flow rate, if more flow rate is needed through the greensand, double up on it, two filters first in last out.
    Softener could be sized for 10gpm with a peak of 15gpm which would be at least 1.5 cubic foot.


    That is one of the ways that I might handle this kind of water here.
  13. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    Sounds like I have 3 possible solutions:

    Solution G:
    - Chlorinator (H2S and Fe)
    - Carbon Filter (Cl)
    - Softener (Hardness)

    Solution B:
    - Iron Media Filter (H2S and Fe)
    - Softener (Hardness)

    Solution A:
    - Manganese Greensand Filter (H2S and Fe)
    - Softener (Hardness)

    Any thoughts on Pros/Cons for these Systems? I am guessing they all will do the job. What I have So Far:

    Solution G:
    Pro: Reduction in Water usage since no Iron Filter Backwash needed
    Con: Need to replace a Filter, Cl, and NaCl regularly

    Solution B:
    Pro: Only Need NaCl Regularly
    Con: Can take a lot of water to backwash the media (1200gal/3 days based on others experience)

    Solution A:
    Same as Solution B I think.


    Any other info on this? Thanks for the help so far!

    ~R~
  14. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I think the carbon filter Gary is recommending is a backwashing filter. You would need to ask him about the backwash requirements. It obviously depends on the size of the filter among other things. Also Carbon filters need to be re-bedded periodically.

    I think the backwash requirements for a Filox filter are a bit less than your estimate. A 2 cubic foot unit with a Vortech tank requires 10 gallon per minute backwash with daily backwash required. If the backwash is 8 minutes and settling rinse is 4 minutes that is 120 gallons per day.

    Manganese greensand (or Manganese Greensand Plus which has some advantages as compared to traditional Greensand) would typically be regenerated with potassium permanganate which is a poison and really messy. Not something I would chose if there are alternatives.
  15. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    Thanks for the update, good to get clarification. If the Greensand uses KMnO4 I think that one is out, I have worked with that before, with the right second ingreediant it can make a good size bang, also can combust pretty easily.

    I think I need more information on the Carbon Filter, soulds like it is not what I thought. I think I am down to Solution B or Solution G.

    Thanks!
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes there are many choices of treatment for water containing H2S and iron. IMO my suggestion is best overall but mostly for the minimal maintenance and very wide flexibility built into the system while it gives you bacteria free water while none of the others can.

    Yes the carbon filter is automatically backwashed every 3-6 days depending on your water usage, the size of the filter required based on your peak demand flow rate for the house and how much iron the chlorinator has to deal with.

    The carbon removes the chlorine and clarifies the water of all the 'dirt' the oxidation part of the chlorination causes. The water used will be less than most if not all other media would require.

    To discuss this more you have to call me.
  17. Twinpeaksr

    Twinpeaksr Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Denver, IA
    Thanks for the great conversation today, you definitely know your stuff! As I digest what I have learned, I had one open question:

    What are the benefits of the chlorinator/carbon filter over a media based iron filter or an aerator? Always looking to learn something new.

    thanks again!

    ~R~
  18. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Alaska
    With the chlorinator if it is a dry pellet feeder in the water stream there will be build up of the binder of the chlorine tablets, then changing of the carbon media every X number of years.
    Aerator... oh that can and will be a mess... think of it this why, they do work if done right, BUT,, Remember the photos that they show as to why one should eat low fat foods? the build up of Cholesterol in the arteries? or turning 1" pipe to 1/2" pipe with the iron build up..
    There are any number of service calls that I do that are on Iron filters that use Air to oxidize the iron... and it can and often is a blood bath.
  19. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    One of the factors to consider with a chlorinator is the ongoing operational costs. Food grade chlorine pellets are a very expensive way to buy chlorine. The actual amount you use will depend on your water, how the system is set up and maintained, etc. but a cost of $150 per year for pellets is a ballpark figure.

    If you go with a chlorinator an option is an injection pump and use regular household bleach. The chlorine cost is 1/10 or less (less than $15 per year) of the cost from pellets.

    Gary strongly dislikes solution feeders and will give you all the disadvantages.

    There was an extensive discussion in this thread on this board:

    http://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33701

    If you have bacteria problems then chlorination is a very desirable way to go because it deals with the bacteria as well as the iron and H2S. If you don't have a bacteria problem then a filter has a lot less maintenance as compared to either a pellet chlorinator or a solution feeder.
  20. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Yep, here we go again
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