well water lab tests, best treatment option

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by mrtmills, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Hi,

    I finally got my well water tested and would be appreciative if some of you could offer your opinions on the best treatment method.

    iron: 1110 ug/L
    magnesium: 31 mg/L
    manganese: 704 ug/L
    sodium: 44 mg/L
    Hardness (CaCO3): 354 mg/L

    pH: 8.1

    All coliforms etc are fine. The water does have a swampy smell, and I have been on here before seeking advice about IRB but other than the smell there are really no other signs. The iron and manganese are clear water and precipitate out after an hour or so as a colloidal orangy colour.

    Thanks a lot
  2. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    I think I may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Would a water softener be adequate to treat this water? It has a foul smell too, not sure if a water softener will fix that. Thanks again.

    iron: 1.1 mg/L
    magnesium: 31 mg/L
    manganese: 0.7 mg/L
    sodium: 44 mg/L
    Hardness (CaCO3): 354 mg/L (21 gpg)

    pH: 8.1
  3. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    We need to know the source of the "swampy" smell before making a recommendation of a water treatment method. Trace amounts of hydrogen sulfide can give the water a swampy smell, higher levels will be detected as a rotten egg smell. Other items to look for are tannins, this can also give the water an odd odor.

    If the water has small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, a simple Catalytic GAC system will work with a softener. The trace amount of Iron can be treated with the softener, but if you also have hydrogen sulfide and you want very good water quality, other treatment methods might be considered.

    If it were my water, I would test for hydrogen sulfide, or let the water sit for a day and see if the swampy smell goes away. This is not an accurate or proper test, but it should suffice.

    If the smell is gone, then I would use a pyrolox backwashing system and a softener. This combination will handle your water needs well.

    I can give you a better suggestion once you test the water as described above.
  4. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Thanks for the reply. The hot water smells the most, possibly due to the steam, and the cold hardly smells at all. After a few minutes the smell is gone. The water is clear when it comes out of the tap so maybe tannins are not an issue. I got the most extensive water test I could get - that alone took me weeks to orchestrate. I think testing the water further may be out. Thanks for your advice so far, it is comforting to know that this water can be treated without extensive equipment.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Usually the best test for H2S is HER nose. Run water at a fairly strong flow into a large pitcher or other wide mouth container with her nose on the rim as she smells for odor in the air leaving the container. H2S smells like sulfur, rotten eggs, sewage etc..

    If the odor is in only the hot water, you probably have SRB (sulfate reducing bacteria) in the water heater. Turning up the temp to 140f for an hour or two and then back down will kill it and all other types of bacteria that may be present in the water heater.
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Excellent advice. If the problem continues only in the water heater after heating it to the max, changing the sacraficial anode to a different material may also help. They are relatively cheap to experiment with. Check with your water heater manufacturer to determine what anode material you currently have.

    Please use caution when heating the water heater to the max, it will cause 2nd degree burns in as little as 3-5 seconds. Be sure to set it back to a safer temperature fter a couple of hours.
  7. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Hi,
    I did what you asked and found there to be a smell in the cold water too. It is a swampy metallic smell and it decays in a matter of seconds down to an almost unnoticeable smell. Should I still crank the water heater?
    thanks
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I would, it will only add a bit to the electric or other fuel bill. You have to get it up to 140f and then set it back to whatever it was. Don't use hot water for the 2 hrs you let it sit You can use a candy/meat thermometer to check the temp. Don't let it go over the 140 by much.

    Let us know what it's like after this.
  9. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Hi,

    I went down to turn up the water heater and found it to already be at 150F, so I turned her up to 155 for a few hours and still no change. In the recent past I was shocking this well every few months and that would take the smell and metallic taste away for about 3 weeks. Assuming the smell originates from the well, will a carbon filter take care of hydrogen sulfide as well as SRB smell if indeed there is SRB in the well? I have always suspected bacteria of some type in the well because bleach gets me some relief. When you recommended the carbon filter I assume you did not mean those little cartridge types at the hardware store, correct?
    thanks again and have a great day.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If the actual temp is 140 or higher, you can't have bacteria growing in the heater. I'd check the temp with a thermometer and set it about 120 and turn it up for 2 hrs as needed.

    Shocking a well repeatedly is a bad thing. It can damage steel casing, metal drop pipe or fittings and can cause water quality problems. Plus depending on organics in the water, it can cause carcinogens.

    You can't filter any type of reducing type bacteria. Yes carbon will remove odors but, if caused by bacteria you have to kill the bacteria and usually how you do that oxidizes all odors. You can't use a UV light to 'kill' reducing types of bacteria.
  11. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Hi,
    Thanks for all your replies. I got a recommendation back from the plumbing store. I was hoping someone could give their opinion on the setup. Also, if you could recommend a way to remove the odour (what type of carbon filter), I would really appreciate it.
    The numbers are in the original post and this is a family o 4 with 2 bathrooms.
    1) CCSF30TNLC FLTR & SFTNR
    2) M50TFC-3 50GPD RO SYS

    I don't know what these are exactly. I know there is a water softener in there, what about the FLTR, would that be an iron filter, and do I need that? And what are people's opinions on RO for softened water?

    thanks a lot
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    YOU need to go back to the guys giving you that bunch of letters and numbers and have them explain what the stuff is, what size it is, what is in the tanks etc. until you can define it to us in detail.
  13. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Sorry, I am not familiar with how this works. I'll get the information.
    thanks again.
  14. mrtmills

    mrtmills New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    nova scotia
    Hi,

    I just spoke with the plumbing store, which was very unhelpful. He told me that he sends my numbers away to EMCO and they send back those model numbers. He said it is a softener/iron filter combination (one tank) and could not comment on the size of the tank, contents etc. I thought the iron and manganese in my water could be treated reasonably with a water softener. Anyway, I am just going to hire someone to deal with this as my plumber is not too familiar with water treatment.
    thanks again for all your help.
  15. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    It is frustrating when you can't be helped. At least he was honest with you and said he needed to get info elsewhere rather than pretend he knows all about something he has no experience with or knowledge of. There's too much of that, unfortunately.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That reminds me of the many Kinetico dealers that won't help their customers unless they will pay an exorbitant service charge.
  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Maine
    What is your idea of exorbitant? Or perhaps everyone should just service everything for free LOL BTW, I and every other plumber, electrician, HVAC guy, auto mechanic etc won't "help" our customers unless they pay an "exorbitant" service charge. Welcome to capitalism comrade.

    Extra, Extra; I just called my local Kinetico dealer which for my area he's about an hour away. His normal service rate is a whopping $ 76.00 an hour with a 1 hour minimum. OMG that's almost criminal LOL Well I suppose it may seem high to some folks but.......My company charges $ 139.00 an hour so by my standards thats pretty cheap.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Ontario California
    LOL, I just called a couple of our dealers who are Kinetico, and they charge $80 minimum, price includes up to 1 hour of labor, they do not charge for drive time as long as it is within their service area.

    how dare they charge enough to keep their business running! :)

    We charge $80 an hour, and that is shop rates. You bring it to us, and we fix it. No fuel, no vehicle, no traffic, no auto insurance, etc. We do not do field service. We have a 1/2 hour minimum fee. Sounds like their rates are reaonable to me.
  19. chevy427

    chevy427 Banned

    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    USA
    The Kinetico dealer in my area used to charge $65.00 but I think they recently raised it to $75.00 plus parts.
  20. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Now I know that a lot of people reading those figures that have actually had a Kinetico guy out to their place will know from that personal experience that y'all are telling tall tales.
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