Building a Reliable Water System to Prevent H2S Slippage that my wife can handle

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Beets

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Well water with H2S and SRBs. I add H2O2 to my water via Stenner pump ahead of the pressure tank. It then goes into a larger pressurized storage tank, centaur carbon filter, and off to the house. I have RO system to remove natural fluoride which is above recommended limits. My biggest challenge is that several times a year, I have an upset with the system and I get SRB's living in my piping or filters making H2S. I then start sanitizing the house with peroxide, but more often than not, I have to resort to chlorine. I find it especially challenging to get the SRB's out of the carbon filter once they are established because the carbon seems to absorb the H2O2 or Chlorine before killing the SRB's. So far, I've been able to "recover" from every upset. However, I'm not getting any younger and I need to start thinking about how my wife would manage if I passed on. She doesn't have the skills (or desire) to chase down problems and I would hate to know how much a water professional will cost her. I suspect they will want to change the Centaur at least once per year, and do one or two other disinfections. Thus, I've been trying to think of ways to improve the reliability of my system with systems that are no complex than changing filters.

I'm presently thinking about installing a 5 micron big blue filter just downstream of where I inject H2O2, and adding a UV light just down stream of the BB. I suspect this would dramatically reduce the live SRB's that make it into my house. I don't have any experience with BB water filters, and I'm wondering how often I should expect to change them. Perhaps the BB filter on it's own would reduce the SRB's getting into the system. I suspect the only way for SRB's to get to the Carbon filter is if they are protected by slime and the BB should keep them from getting that far.

If I do install a BB, is it wise to put a pressure gauge upstream and downstream of the BB to note when it is plugging?

I know at one point in time, I was running 5 micron carbon filters in my RO system, and they plugged very quickly. That makes me somewhat hesitant to do pre-filtering as I'm worried it might be a nightmare to keep up with changing filters. Is BB the best alternative?
 

Beets

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Another question.....is it OK to put a sediment filter between the well and the pressure tank? Upstream of the pressure tank, I expect it sees larger flows than downstream.
 

Bannerman

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is it OK to put a sediment filter between the well and the pressure tank?
No! No filter is to be installed between the pump and PT. As the pressure switch is to be correctly sensing the PT pressure, a flow restriction/blockage before the pressure switch could prevent the PS from shutting down the pump, thereby potentially causing the pump to continually run until it overheats due to lack of cooling flow.
 
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Bannerman

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Carbon will rapidly neutralize all chlorine and H2O2 as it enters the media.

Ozone will be often utilized with an AIO system to disinfect the fiilter media every one or two days. When there is bacteria present, chlorine is the disinfectant of choice to disinfect the water before it enters the filter media as H2O2 is less effective for killing bacteria unless in high concentration.

UV sanitization is recommended as the final stage of water treatment. When the water continues to contain contaminants, particles and a high concentration of bacteria, the UV light will not neutralize bacteria that is hidden behind and in the shadow of particles and bacteria. For water with a known bacteria presence, a UV light system should be treated as a secondary safety system after primary bacteria neutralization has already occured - belt and suspenders.

As you mention a larger pressurized storage tank, I suspect that will be a contact tank. Chlorine will typically be injected into the water stream just before it enters a contact tank. A contact tank will be sized based on anticipated flow so as to provide sufficient contact time for the chlorine to effectivly neutralize bacteria and to oxidize iron, manganese and sulphur before the water exits the tank.

A contact tank will typically include an ability to discharge precipitated sediment and oxidized iron and sulfur that will collect on the bottom of the tank whereas there is usually no method incorporated into a pressure tank to easily e!iminate precipitants.

Has a recent lab test been obtained for your raw well water? If not, how are you certain there is SRB actually present? A comprehensive lab report is a tool needed to assist to determine the appropriate treatment method(s) required for the specific conditions that are encountered.
 
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John Gayewski

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Another question.....is it OK to put a sediment filter between the well and the pressure tank? Upstream of the pressure tank, I expect it sees larger flows than downstream.
I think I would either look into piping in better water. Rural areas here have a private water company that most use, not sure if that's an option for you. If that didn't work I'd move. I don't believe there is a system of delivering raw water and processing it, that will be maintenance free or require no knowledge of how to troubleshoot etc.
 

Beets

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Thank you. No recent lab tests. This past fall, the water going into the carbon filter had a H2O2 residual of 50 to 100 ppm. The water had no smell going into the centaur carbon filter, but it was coming out with H2S smell.

There are no water coops in my area. I would have to drill deeper and hope for better water. There is a bit too much risk.

Is ozone practical for residential? I tried chlorine for around 15 years, but I feel my system is more reliable with H2O2 than it was with chlorine.

Since my original post, I've done more reading. I'm thinking really hard about installing a Big Blue upstream of the pressure tank. SRB's are too large to pass through a 5 micron filter (I believe). Thus, I think a sediment filter will greatly reduce the number of SRB's that make the trip from my well to my carbon filter. If I can reduce the number of SRB's surviving that journey, I think the chances of any of them taking up residence in my carbon filters will be reduced. Is this erroneous thinking?

Installing a sediment filter upstream of the pressure tank goes against Bannerman 's advise, but I think I can manage the risk by installing gauges and monitoring for plugging. If I'm diligent in monitoring, the risk to the pump is low. There is still significant risk that the filters will plug too quickly for this to be a viable solution.

I'm curious what the group thinks?
 

Reach4

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Another question.....is it OK to put a sediment filter between the well and the pressure tank?
No. But if you do it anyway, make sure you have a relief valve to avoid deadheading the pump if the filter clogs.

And I am wondering if you could backwash your 10 inch Centaur carbon at 5 gpm thru the 5 micron filter. The answer to that should be yes, no problem.

How about the 5 micron big blue filter downstream of the pressure tank, and adding a UV light before the Centaur Carbon.

After your H2O2, I would not expect you to have H2S remaining.

I am planning to treat my Centaur Carbon this spring with Iron Out, possibly followed by chlorine. Media is about 7 years old, and it is already to where replacement was anticipated. My Centaur Carbon is the front end after my pressure tank. It does have a bleach solution that gets injected during regen every 3 days, and then rinsed out. Your H2O2 is able to deal with bigger numbers.
 

Beets

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I'm reluctant to place it after the pressure tank due to loss of pressure. They suggest to change filters when dP is 9 psi and they recommend 40 psi minimum. If it's after the pressure tank, it will be hard to satisfy that unless I dial all the pressures up. Good point on the backwash.

I haven't run a sediment filter before, but I was expecting it to plug off slowly and fairly predictably. Are you thinking the filters could plug off suddenly and unexpectedly?

Are pressure relief devices easy to locate? I wonder if there are low cost audible devices that could alarm if inlet pressures rise too high? Is there any reason I couldn't install a pressure switch upstream of the filter that is wired in series with the existing pressure switch and set it up so that it provide a high pressure trip?
 

Reach4

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Most pumps can deliver higher pressure. You can probably adjust your 40/60 switch to 50/70 by turning the nut on the big screw about 3.5 turns clockwise.

You then adjust your air precharge to 48.

Now if your injector pump has a hard time pumping into the higher pressure, that could be a problem. That would occur with a venture pump.

With your system, flushing the pressure tank of sediment should be a regular thing. It should be regular for most wells -- maybe annually, but with your system more often.

Pressure relief devices are very easy to find.

Rather than coming up with a system that your wife can handle, I think you would be better to write a how-to that a helper could handle. Could be a handyman or a helpful person. Your wife would ideally be able to identify when it is time to ask for that helper.
 
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Beets

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Thank you, is there much risk to bumping up the pressures in my house? My house is 20 years old. PEX plumbing. Fully finished. Pressure tank is also 20 years old. Pump in well is 20 years old. Water tank was proactively replaced this year when I changed the furnace.

I wasn't aware that pressure relief valves were that common, low cost, and available. That is simpler than what I was thinking. I like it!

I'm not 100% certain what Bannerman was driving at, but it got me thinking. If I put the filter upstream of the H2O2 injection site, then I imagine the SRB's will thrive in the filter. Slime won't be good for filter life. If I put the filter downstream of the pressure tank, the SRB's should be controlled due to the H2O2 being added upstream, however the filter will have to handle the precipitates from the oxidation reaction. I don't imagine that will be good for filter life. I think my best chance of getting this to work might be to install filter immediately downstream of the H2O2 injection which is upstream of the pressure tank. I say that because there is H2O2 in the water at this point, so the SRB's aren't going to take up residence in the filter. The H2O2 should help break down the slime and keep filters functioning longer. Additionally, there is almost no contact time for the oxidation reaction and hopefully there wouldn't be a lot of sulfide precipitates to fill that filter. Does that make sense?

I'm curious how many folks put a sediment filter after their centaur carbon? We've noted that we get a "brownish redish line" in the toilet bowls within days of cleaning them. I'm wondering if that might be fine sediment that the centaur doesn't capture? I'm not sure how to tell the difference between that and microbial?

I like the idea of making a "manual" to communicate learnings.
 

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i get the feeling the answer to this is yes, but have you sanitized your well? i did that 18mo ago and it really helped. reach has a nice write up.
and I'll offer my vote for Ozone injection with Katalox media. i installed one of these and it works great. I had nasty IRB problems, horrid H2S smell, orange sludge clogging up the works etc. the Ozone filter completely solved it. and it's about as maintenance free as a filter can get.
i wouldn't put any kind of sediment or canister filter upstream of the device that eliminates the SRB. it'll just clog with sludge and you'll be constantly changing it. don't do that to your wife.
 

Beets

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Thank you. I've never thought about ozone. It seems to me it is just a different oxidizer, and I can likely get the same affect by dialing up the H2O2. Is that the right way to think about it? I don't have any iron in my water to speak of. Just H2S.

I just read that Katalox light filters down to 3 microns. I'm wondering what Centaur Carbon 12x40 does for filtration? I haven't stumbled across that. Does anyone know how effective Katalox is at removing H2O2 residuals?
 

Reach4

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Beets, you might add "peroxide number" to some of your searches.

One system that removes at least some H2S is to use a "conventional" (no diaphragm) pressure tank. Because air dissolves into the water, air must be added. Then there is what is called an air volume control (AVC) to release excess air.

One disadvantage is that these are much larger for an application than the common air precharged pressure tanks. When precharged tanks became available, some people replaced their old tanks. They then found they had H2S, where they might have been unaware with the old tank.

I am only commenting for discussion, and not because I know the best solution.
 

Skyjumper

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Thank you. I've never thought about ozone. It seems to me it is just a different oxidizer, and I can likely get the same affect by dialing up the H2O2. Is that the right way to think about it? I don't have any iron in my water to speak of. Just H2S.

I just read that Katalox light filters down to 3 microns. I'm wondering what Centaur Carbon 12x40 does for filtration? I haven't stumbled across that. Does anyone know how effective Katalox is at removing H2O2 residuals?
ozone doesn't require your wife to keep a solution tank full of peroxide. its produced by an ozone generator integrated with the control valve. and it doesn't require a contact tank, one less tank for her to deal with. its benefit is as much a sanitizer to kill the bacteria as it is an oxidizer. and the katalox will remove the h2s2.
 

Skyjumper

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fwiw, i have a single mom friend who had a chlorine system with contact tank and carbon tank installed. it was very expensive. worked fine for a couple years then stopped working. she's been spending $700+ a year on maintenance and it still doesn't work. media changed, valve "serviced", etc. and the iron goes right through it and now her softener is all plugged up and fouled. now she just got a quote for $2600 to "service" the entire system... not replace, just service.

the more pumps, tanks, valves, canisters you put in the bigger your wife's headaches will be, and the smaller her bank account.
 

Zenon2cubed

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How do peroxide and Ozone interact with catalytic carbon?

From what I've read I get the impression catalytic carbon breaks down peroxide from 2x H2O2 into 2x H2O + O2 which seems fantastic, but it sounds like this O2 is absorbed into the carbon pores and so it only partially disinfects the carbon bed and has no effect downstream of the carbon filter.

The Ozone O3 seems to not be absorbed into the carbon pores, making its way through the whole carbon bed and beyond. I don't understand the chemistry behind the explanation, but intuitively it makes sense if you think about pools and hot tubs, only chlorine and ozone are used to sanitize what is effectively a petri dish.

Or could it just be that O2 oxidizes some, and nourishes others while O3 sanitizes all?
 

Beets

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Centaur Carbon breaks down hydrogen peroxide; it is mentioned on the datasheet. Based on experience, I know this to be true as well. I've had H2O2 as high as 100 ppm at inlet to 10 x 54" Centaur carbon filter, and I've measured no H2O2 at the outlet.
 

Beets

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@skyjumper I can't find much information on home systems for Ozone. I'm curious what you are using for ozone generation, how much maintenance is involved, roughly what it costs, etc. Do you only use Ozone for backwash on the KL, or is it constantly adding Ozone upstream of the KL? With the H2O2, I have to add Peroxide about every 9 to 12 months, and I have to change a tube in the Stenner pump every year or two. I can't imagine the Ozone being less maintenance than that, but if it could lead to less instances of SRB's establishing themselves in my house, then that would be a big win.
 

Skyjumper

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you couldn't find anything on ozone? google "ozone h2s filter" and the first result is this . pretty much exactly what I have although I bought the valve and katalox separately and put it on my old media tank. and its a canadian company I think they can/will actually ship the clack valve to you unlike here in the states where you can only buy it in person from an authorized dealer.
 
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