Ran storage tank dry, now smelly water.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Jerod, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Jerod

    Jerod New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Here's the deal, My mom has the above problem now.

    Her system is something like this: A spring and a well both feed a storage tank. Water is pumped from storage tank up to pressure tank under house were it's then pressurized into the house....

    She ran the storage tank dry a few weeks ago and now has smelly water that also tastes bad....

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be apreciated.

    Jerod.
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Maybe a little bleach in the storage tank will kill the bacteria that is probably making it smell?

    bob...
  3. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    I would super chlorinate the whole system and let it sit overnight in the pipes and tank and pumps. Make sure you can smell chlorine at every tap. Use liquid pool chlorine, cheaper and stronger than bleach that often is perfumed. Looks like you sucked all the junk on the bottom of the tank into the piping.... might flush more muck from the tank out carefully before chlorinating.

    I have what I consider an essential method of using large storage tanks that no one else seems to have considered in these parts: I seal up the tanks manway with silicone and especially the so called vent that allows all kind of junk inside. Imagine how much air is moved in and out daily if one is using a float level control.... Then I use a top port or make one and install a 1 micron standard water filter that essentially is an air filter. I have noticed much less need for chlorination, and no more off- odors. It is absurd to be sucking spiders and flys and roaches into the air vent each pump cycle - but thats what thousands in this county are doing right now. No spider soup for me, thank you. Also makes it hard for neighbors kids and hobos to use your tank for a bath - or a bathroom.
  4. Jerod

    Jerod New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for the info, I'll let her know, and report back.

    Jerod.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Pool chlorine should never be used for potable water treatment. It is much different chlorine than regular non-scented household bleach and thereby more dangerous (fillers, additives and inhibitors); the best choice is FDA approved for potable water use chlorine pellets.
  6. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    In these parts the liquid gallons of pool chlorine state on the label - no additives, no scent.... one ingredient, sodium hypochlorite - 10 percent. I use bleach as well, but its several times more expensive by percentage of concentration. This is a one shot clean up, if I were chlorinating for daily use I would seek out the FDA material.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Then it isn't pool chlorine, it sounds like 10% bleach (sodium hypochlorite), although it seems it's used in pools in your area. It will not last long in an outdoor pool without the UV inhibitors and won't do the whole job as regular pool chlorine will.

    I'm not a fan of shocking wells. It can cause expensive pump/plumbing problems and decreased water quality. Also, bacteria produce slime that creates encrustations that chlorine alone can not penetrate, all of which can cause a decrease in water production in the well which then causes acids and caustics be used to remove them. Or a new well to be drilled.

    In this case I would suggest cleaning and then sanitizing (with bleach) the storage tank (cistern under the porch).
  8. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    The box says "chlorinating liquid" but its sold at the pool and spa sections all around California. Very cheap and handy to have around. An old standby book "Ground water and wells" has an elaborate section on cleaning up old wells with acids and chlorine... Quite an art in itself it seems. One must be careful indeed not to damage some component of the system when doing a clean up. I recently did several cycles of chlorination of a well in order to get a building permit finaled - plugged up all the valves with loosened junk too, but without the permit I had no property essentially - so its worth the risk. Did my own 20 year old well that was very aromatic with iron bacteria and many other species- became just undrinkable. Lifted the well seal 5" and recirculated water for 2 days with various chlorine additions - now that well is sweet and safe. I am heading toward chlorination as a regular maintenance item in water wells.
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