sediment and discolored cold water well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by modbuilder, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. modbuilder

    modbuilder New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I have a private water well, about 12 years old. Water goes thru a pressure tank (Well-X-Trol I think). In the last day or so the cold water has turned to a weak tea color and there is a dark gray sediment in it also. Hot water is normal, though probably not enough time has gone by to cycle thru the water already in the heater tanks. Can the discoloration and sedimemnt be caused by the lining or diapraghm disintegrating in the pressure tank and this normal after 12 years??? I need to deal with this today so feedback is appreciated.
    Thx
    Dan
  2. modbuilder

    modbuilder New Member

    Messages:
    3
    more info

    I just spoke to a well guy on the phone. He says because of the age of the well, the tubing going down the well may be galvanized pipe. If so, the sediment is likely this metal corroding or disintegrating. He thinks it highly unlikely to be the lining or diaphragm of the pressure tank. I am waiting for a technician to come out to the home this afternoon.
  3. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I seriously doubt that the droppipe in the well is disintegrating. Although I do buy your theory about a bladder tank that is that old. Once the bladder goes; water can get into the metal part of the tank which isn't painted or otherwise coated with anything. This can start rusting quickly and would cause some of the problem your having. Otherwise I would be looking at mineral build up on the pipes throughout your plumbing system. If the power went off or you let the pressure off the system for any reason, that is enough to release some of this debris and discolor your water.

    bob...
  4. modbuilder

    modbuilder New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Update- tech just came out

    Speedbump,
    Thx for the response. A well tech just came out. The water pipe going down the well is not galvanized, but rather poly. Tech ruled out bladder or pressure tank disintegrating because the water is not orange enough to be iron, and he said if the bladder were compromised I would probably notice the water pressure being variable (it is not) or hear the pump going on and off a lot. The other thing he said is that 36 to 48 hours ago we had torrential rainfalls (maybe 3-4 inches in less than 24 hours) here (SE PA) (I was out of town) and that amount of rain can cause turbidity when it gets down to the aquifer(?). Lastly, he said that my well pump is probably not sitting at the very bottom of the well, but anywhere from 10 to 25 feet above the bottom. If lower, when it kicks on (it's a 1 horse motor) it can kick up enough sediment to cause increased discoloration and solids. As I may have said in my initial post, this problem had a sudden onset. The tech attributes this to the torrential rains.
    Bottomline: a filter system for about $600.
    Does all of this "hold water" (pun intended) to you experienced guys???
    Thx,
    Dan
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes but I wouldn't sell you a filter until you use the water and/or run off the well to see if the color goes away.

    The 'stuff' could be drilling mud etc. coming off the inside of a rock bore well due to a new water 'vein' opening, especially if there was a large volume of water used just before the problem started.

    If you run off the well with garden hose for a few hours, do not allow the water to run the well dry.
  6. PoppyBear

    PoppyBear New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    North Carolina
    dirty water and low pressure

    I didn't see a place for a new post so here goes: Our well is 18 years old and my girlfriend can't find any paperwork on the well (it was dug when she and her ex bought the land and was included in the purchase price; I have only lived here for 13 yrs.). Anyway, we have been in a very bad drought here in NC for several years but have not had a problem with the well until now. The water has been dirty looking for several days now and the flow is sometimes a trickle and then quits altogether. All my "knowledgeable" friends say the well is drying up. My GF wants me to have a well co. check the well out, for $95.00, to see if it's the pump, switch, etc. Or we can hook to county water for $625.00 for just the meter. I can do the trenching and hooking up to the water lines myself. I opt for the county water. I know I haven't given very much info but I hope someone can tell me that dirty water (in toilets, from faucet, etc.) means that the well is going dry and I need county water. Actually, the dirty water is not EVERY time we run the water, it takes spells. Thanks for any help!

    Bill
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    $95.00 is a lot better than what the Water Police want. It might be a simple fix if you let a Pro take a look. Otherwise, get used to a lifetime of water bills.

    bob...
  8. PoppyBear

    PoppyBear New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks Bob

    Thanks for your reply Bob. My GF agrees with you but I am still undecided. I am going to try and measure how much water is left in the well. The only real problem is showering and washing clothes. She has to fill the washer and wash then let it sit for about an hour and then do the rinsing. This takes a while if we have too many to wash, otherwise she will be washing clothes every day. She says she has to use hot water most of the time since the cold water will just stop in a few minutes. I believe the cold water pipe could be clogged with sediment too. We are supposed to have rain this PM, keeping our fingers crossed. The rain just seems to go north or south of us.

    Bill
  9. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Bill,

    The term "The Well is Going Dry" is an old one and is used far too much. You might find that the Pump needs to be lowered or that the screen (if the well has one) has plugged up to the point that it needs to be changed or acid treated to get the flow back.

    bob...
  10. PoppyBear

    PoppyBear New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks again Bob

    I am starting to think my GF is right (hard to admit, LOL); I talked with a new house contractor who was at my job site and he said that he has seen many wells appear to "go dry" only to recover a short time later. He said if it was him he would run the well as long as he could. I am going to do this. Also, I have two full bathrooms and one of the commodes was running off and on. I replaced the flush mechanism, cleaned out the mud that was in the tank and it now flushes only when it has been used. I think that was some of the problem.
    I am so glad I found this website, will come back to it often for advice.

    Bill in NC
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