Benseal Contamination in well water

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by CelticRedneck, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. CelticRedneck

    CelticRedneck New Member

    Jul 8, 2011
    Amelia County Virginia
    I have a problem with cloudy looking water from my 4" cased well. It is about 80 feet in depth, with a submersible pump. It was fine for about the first 6 months or so that we used it, then the water started to come out cloudy. Samples taken at that time would be cloudy, then slowly settle out leaving about a quarter inch of extremely fine particles in the bottom of a quart jar. The problem got so bad that the flush tanks on the toilets and the water heater were filling with this sediment. Contacting the contractor who drilled the well and did the pump installation did absolutely no good. All he would do was to send out a couple of guys who would run the water from the well out onto the ground until it appeared to clear up, usually an hour or two, then hook every thing back up. It would cloud up again within an hour after they left Oh yes, the original contractor did replace the pressure tank because the internal bladder had been damaged by the silt in the water. Finally after several months of back and forth with this guy, I gave up.

    I have another well(50' shallow well with a jet pump) on the other section of my property. It was put in in 1978, and hasn't been used much in the last 15 or so years. The jet pump still worked, although with lower pressure than the submersible in the new well. I had the water in the old well tested and it came back as safe to use, so I ran a 3/4" line from the old well to my house and tied it into the system with a ball valve cutoff. I isolated the new well from the system and valved in the old one.

    Earlier this year, my son got married and we are giving him the other section of my property on which to build a house. So, I started investigating putting the new well back in service. When I first started having problem,s. with this well, I installed a tee at the well head and ran a 1/2" line out through the concrete 24" casing which is around the 4" well head, so I could run water from it while still leaving it isolate from the old well. The first samples I pulled looked like milk and would not settle out at all. I took a sample up to the county health department for them to look at. They had no idea what it was, without sending in off for testing, but they put me in contact with a local well and plumbing contractor. When he came out and looked at the water, he immediately said that it was Benseal leaking into the well. Again, the first thinh he recommended was running the water until it cleared up. The difference was that he said that an hour or two was noy long enough. He had me run water at about 3 to 5 GPM for 5 days continuously. After about 3 days of constant running at that rate, the water cleared up. He came back out at the end of the week, and put an entire (about a quart size) of Florine tablets down the well and told us to let it sit for several days, then run it again until the chlorine smell was gone. That took a couple of days. The reason for the chlorine was that hje had discovered, by accident, that the chlorine somehow caused the suspended Benseal to settle out, and had since used this technique to clear up Benseal contaminated wells

    I isolated the old well, and valved the new well back into service. It was crystal clear for a couple of weeks, but now, it is slightly cloudy again. The clarity varies according to how much rain we get. If we go a week or so without any rain, or just light showers, the water stays clearer. But if we get a really heavy downpour, it starts to get cloudy with in a few days after the storm.

    One thing that the contractor who told us about the Benseal said is that we might be getting "too much water flow" into the well, and that it is washing the Bensseal grouting into the well. While he was working on the well, he dug up some of the grouting material to show us. It was a soft putty looking material.

    Is there anything we can do to stop the leakage into the well, and is drinking water with Benseal in it hazardous? Right now, I don't have the money to drill a new well. My wife and I are a retired couple on a less than fixed income, so a new well is out of the question until I get my tax refund next year.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Feb 6, 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It seems almost incredible that there was so much benseal used that a water heater and a bladder tank would be comprimised by it and there still be enough to cause issues. How much benseal could they have used in an 80 foot deep well? Maybe what you have is a natural clay washing into the well.
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