Yet another water quality question

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by CraigC, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. CraigC

    CraigC New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Alberta
    Good Morning
    First let me say thank you for the generosity of the forum members here who give so freely of there expertise. If I may beg your indulgence on a water quality issue.

    Background:
    Very rural location farm and residence, Well now 5 years old. 50 ft deep 45 gal/min drilled within 500 ft of a local river running through the property. Typical submersed pump/pressure system. 3 bath, garden irrigation requirements and horse water units.

    Well is tested twice a year for bacteria. It has never tested positive for E. Coli but has occasionally tested positive for Coliforms. Retests after shocking has always corrected this problem.

    I am not hampered by room or power/air/hydraulics etc to build a treatment system. We have a complete fabrication shop on site. Due to the very rural location I am left to do all of the install/service/maintenance my self.

    Latest analytic from testing are:


    Description of Sample:Light yellow fluids with brown sediment at the bottom


    pH @ 25ºC N/A 7.65 I have seen this as high as 8.65 on other testing
    Turbidity <0.11
    Odor N/A Odorless subjective
    p-Alkalinity (CaCO3) 0.000 mg/L
    T-Alkalinity (CaCO3) 187.425 mg/L
    Hardness (calculation in mg/L) 150.31 mg/L
    Hardness (calculation in grains/gallon) 8.78 grains/gallon
    Bicarbonate (HCO3) 187.425 mg/L
    Carbonate (CO3) 0.005 mg/L
    Hydroxide (OH-) 0.005 mg/L
    Electrical Conductivity 201 442 μS/cm
    Chloride 10.25 mg/L
    Fluoride 0.62 mg/L
    Sulfate 15.89 mg/L
    Nitrate - N 0.53 mg/L
    Nitrite - N <0.06 mg/L
    Ammonia - N 0.40 mg/L
    Nitrogen - Total 0.93 mg/L
    Calcium 37.135 mg/L
    Magnesium13.983 mg/L
    Sodium 21.676 mg/L
    Potassium 9.144 mg/L
    Iron 0.514 mg/L
    Manganese 0.052 mg/L
    Total Dissolved Solids 274.04 mg/L
    Ion Balance 1.12 Ratio + : -
    Sodium Adsorption Ratio 0.77 Ratio
    Aluminum 0.04 mg/L
    Antimony <0.015 mg/L
    Arsenic <0.033 mg/L
    Barium 0.0778 mg/L
    Beryllium <0.005 mg/L
    Boron 0.032 mg/L
    Cadmium <0.010 mg/L
    Chromium <0.010 mg/L
    Cobalt <0.006 mg/L
    Copper 0.031 mg/L
    Iron 0.250 mg/L
    Lead <0.022 mg/L
    Manganese0.014 mg/L
    Mercury <0.065 mg/L
    Molybdenum <0.011 mg/L
    Nickel <0.011 mg/L
    Selenium <0.016 mg/L
    Silver <0.028 mg/L
    Strontium 0.374 mg/L
    Thallium <0.020 mg/L
    Tin 0.012 <0.012 mg/L
    Titanium <0.007 mg/L
    Uranium 0.013 mg/L
    Vanadium <0.009 mg/L
    Zinc <0.009 mg/L
    Zirconium <0.009 mg/L


    The issues that we humans have with this water are;

    1) Too Hard (toilet rings, crusting around the tap outlets, spots on dishes and very grey laundry) Oh and yes the scaling does dissolve with CLR etc.

    2) IRB the typical black slime in the toilet tanks etc, rust sludge in standing water etc etc etc.

    3) seasonal variability with the musty tannin type odor.

    4) Alkalinity of the water pretty hard on plants

    My assumptions have always been to build a system which would have the following stages.

    1) 1st stage aeration/settling tank with acid introduction/monitoring to correct the pH
    2) 2nd Stage Chlorine contact tank
    3) 3rd stage Carbon filtering of residual chlorine and other unwanted metals
    4) Softener

    I have always wondered if a filter press might substitute for stage one and two (correcting the pH by inline injection instead).

    My questions to the group are:

    Does my 4 stage process seem reasonable or what am I missing?
    Any thoughts on the filter press proposal?
    Uranium is an odd one Lab can test down to 0.011mg/L ours at 0.013 mg/L any thoughts on acceptable levels?
    Any other thoughts/advice would be most gratefully accepted.

    Thank you for your time and consideration
    Kindest regards
    Craig
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  2. shopco

    shopco New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    What do you mean by "filter press"?
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Location:
    IL
    Part of your info, such as high pH and hardness, points to a deep well. Yet the tannins and seasonal variations in water point to a shallow well. So is the ground so porous that the river water flows right in? High pH doesn't sound like river water. Does that river have a high pH?

    I wonder if your well water is being contaminated by ground water. Does your well have casing to the bottom? Does the casing come up above ground or is the top underground?

    Anyway, your plan, from what I have read, sounds like a well thought out plan, but I have no experience in such systems. I was not familiar with the term filter press. It seems to be a large mechanical filter to remove a lot of particles without having to replace a lot of filter elements. http://www.ffpsystems.ca/filter_press.html If that is the case, it is not going to be an equivalent to aeration.

    From what I have read, I think an injection pump injecting chlorine when the pump runs would be the common thing to have before a contact tank. Then solids get removed by the backwashing carbon filter. But then your water is uncommon. Your high pH seems uncommon.

    Somebody may suggest whether coconut activated charcoal is best for you or some other activated charcoal is better for you.
  4. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,944
    Location:
    Ontario California
    1) 1st stage aeration/settling tank with acid introduction/monitoring to correct the pH?: A simple spray ball into an atmospheric tank with a conical bottom will do great for aeration, and the conical bottom will help keep the tank from getting too nasty. Acid injection is simple, muriatic acid is probably preferred over organic acids, especially if you have bacterial problems. Organic sourced acids can act as a food source for the bacteria.

    2) 2nd Stage Chlorine contact tank Again, simple, and chlorine is much more effective with a pH near neutral.
    3) 3rd stage Carbon filtering of residual chlorine and other unwanted metals: Carbon tanks should effectively remove the residual chlorine, as to the metals, I would have to spend a little time on your water analysis, maybe during the week I will have the time.
    4) Softener: No problem there.

    As to Uranium, the goal is Zero, but the current MCL is 30 ug/L as of 12/08/03

    Filter press, I have only dealt with those in heavy manufacturing, never in a residential application.
  5. shopco

    shopco New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    I wonder if the OP has left the building. I'm not sure if I would spend much time head scratching without some kind of response from him. Also, maybe it's just me but that test seems odd; one the one hand he's testing for a lot of metals but does not bother to break out chrome VI from III. Filter Press???
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  6. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,944
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The filter press is very odd. It is common in many industrial applications. I have never seen one in a residential application, nor could I imagine a use for one.
  7. CraigC

    CraigC New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thank you all who replied to my questions. Dittohead I appreciate your thoughtful reply. When I was scanning White's handbook of chlorination I was mostly confused about where to introduce the acidification step, thank you for the clarification. If I may ask where would you measure for final ph? After softening or between carbon filtration/softening? Special thanks for the heads up on the organic vs inorganic acid recommendation. I have a ready supply and source of 12M HCL.

    I am familiar with filter presses from industry. My thinking it may remove the oxidized iron (post aeration) as well as the IFB and thus save the chlorination stage (not to mention saving on media load/replacement of disposable filters if used)

    Regarding the water analysis components these are simply a result of a "package testing" the closest lab performs they were not chosen with any forethought on my part.

    Dittohead I would be indebted to you for any time you have to spend in analysis thank you for the potential offer.

    Are recommendations for softeners/carbon filtering products allowed openly on the forum or just via PM?

    As to the well details it is cased to the bottom and above ground and sealed with betonite which appears in good shape. There is no active ground water which I can see finding its way into the well, at least not overtly. As to the river ph and contacting the well I am uncertain.

    Kindest regards

    Craig
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Location:
    IL
    I think your next step is to identify how many gallons you use per day or week, and how many gallons/per minute max flow rate you need to support for each stage in the filtering path.
  9. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,944
    Location:
    Ontario California
    For chlorination, the pH should be tested after the acid injection, before the chlorine injection, use caution and check with your standard chemical compatibility charts, and do not over correct the pH, if you get the pH to 7, it is good enough. I t is a complex subject that would bore most people reading it here, I can go into more detail if needed though.
    The filter press is not really needed in this small of an application. The chlorine will oxidize the iron, kill the bacteria, and the solids will be removed by the GAC tank. You should also consider a post UV system as a redundant sanitization method. I can make recommendations to you via PM, we are a wholesale distribution and assembly company and have many distributers all over the world that can sell to you at a very reasonable price.
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