Iron Bacteria in 26 Year Old Well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by zink88, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. zink88

    zink88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Had a test completed by the county lab and the only thing that came back identified in their report above recommended limits was Iron at 0.59 mg/L which they reported as above the aesthetic limit of 0.3 mg/L but below the Health Advisory of 2.5 mg/L. There was no mention of iron bacteria in the report.

    Test results

    Iron 0.59 mg/L
    Hardness 41 mg CACO3/L
    Alkalinity 50 mg CACO3/L
    Magnesium 3.1 mg/L
    Manganese < 0.03 mg/L
    PH 6.46 SI
    Lead, flushed < 0.003 mg/L
    Nitrate <0.5 mg/L
    Nitrite < 0.1 mg/L
    Silver < 0.01 mg/L
    Arsenic < 0.005 mg/L
    Barium < 0.1 mg/L
    Calcium 11.2 mg/L
    Cadmium < 0.001 mg/L
    Chromium < 0.01 mg/L
    Copper < 0.05 mg/L
    Selenium < 0.005 mg/L
    Sodium 8.2 mg/L
    Zinc < 0.50 mg/L
    Mercury < 0.0005 mg/L
    Turbidity <1 NTU
    Flouride < 0.1 mg/L

    We have orange slime in our toilet tanks and it builds up fairly quickly on a whole house particle filter. I asssume that is iron bacteria. During a recent bathroom remodeling project I cut back and capped off some plumbing lines and they also have a thin layer of the orange slime on the inside walls of the polybutylene pipes which I again assume is iron bacteria.

    We also get rust colored staining in the toilet bowls that we scrub out with drywall sandpaper periodically...but it starts to come back within 2 to 3 weeks.

    I am attempting to include pictures of the whole house filter (changed out 3 to 4 weeks ago), toilet tank, and toilet bowl. IMG_0073.jpg IMG_0074.jpg IMG_0075.jpg

    There is no treatment system on the well water, just the whole house particle filter. We use a pitcher with a zero filter for drinking water.

    The well was dug 26 years ago and other than the initial chlorine treatment, there has been no maintenace or work done on the well other than replacement of a bad pressure switch at the holding tank under the house last year.

    The county employee who called me with the test results indicated the problem was most likely caused by rusting in the interior of the well casing and he recommended having someone install a smaller diameter pvc casing inside the existing well casing and then fill the space between the original casing and pvc casing with cement.

    What would your recommendation(s) be?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That is pretty high. The SMCL is 0.3 mg/L, which is not a health thing; it's a nuisance thing. A backwashing iron filter would be worthwhile IMO. Do you have H2S ("sulfur") smell? Some backwashing filters can take care of both.

    A softener can also remove iron at that level, but it takes extra cleaning and treatment of the softener periodically. With under 3 grains of hardness, you really don't need a softener for softening. A softener will not remove H2S.

    I would do a good sanitizing with pH lowering to about 5.5 and flooding volume. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....izing-extra-attention-to-4-inch-casing.65845/ is my write-up. I plan to add the alternative suggestion of using a cheap electronic pH meter rather than pH test strips.
    That could be true, but it may still be more from the water in the aquafer.

    More common would be to fill the space around the liner with fine filtering gravel to some level, and I think not filling the rest.

    For the toilet, try Iron Out. https://www.menards.com/main/grocer...mover-9-5-lb/io10n/p-1444444183163-c-7097.htm

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. zink88

    zink88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Sorry for the duplicate post. I was struggling trying to figure out the quotation function on this website.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  5. zink88

    zink88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Raleigh

    No sulfur smell. Is there a particular backwashing iron filter you would recommend?

    Would you start with just the sanitizing and backwashing iron filter to see if that corrects the problem without installing a pvc liner?

    The county representative estimated it would cost ~ $500 to have a well servicing company run a camera down the casing. With the numbers in my test results, is this a worthwhile expense? My problems appear to be limited to aesthetic levels of iron and iron bacteria.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I don't have a simple answer for you. I have an idea of what I think I would do, but I am not a pro. I am not sure I would recommend something specific for you.

    There is a spectrum of things. My system uses Centaur Carbon, but has a bleach solution flowing through the media after backwash. That is followed by a rinse. Katalox Light with a similar solution is what I think I would try. Some use an "AIO" system with KL, which seems to have some advantages. It is said to require a periodic cleaning. I have done no valve cleaning so far, but I do have to add a gallon of bleach every 33 days, and top up the tank with water.

    Others may have a good suggestion for you.

    I would. It's nice weather out. Can you do without water overnight?

    It's not going to remove the iron, but I expect it to stop the sliming.

    I have a pitless adapter, which makes recirculating and adding chemicals easy. You are in NC, which probably means you have a "well seal" rather than a pitless. Can you open a port on that? Maybe show us a photo of the top of your well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  7. zink88

    zink88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Raleigh
    IMG_0076.jpg
    This issue has existed for years...nothing that is going to be addressed tonight. Here is a picture of the top of the well.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Studying first is good.

    If your pit ever floods, consider having your pit demolished and the casing extended above ground. I had my concrete pit demolished and the 4 inch steel casing extended above ground, due to contamination. I had a pitless adapter installed. That's the norm in an area that freezes, but a pitless has some added advantages over using a well seal in addition to the freeze protection.

    Your pump is held up by a pipe that is held up by that white tee.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  9. zink88

    zink88 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Raleigh
    The well casing already extends above ground. The bottom of the concrete cylinder surrounding the top of the well casing sits at ground level.
     
    Reach4 likes this.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That white over gray thing appears to be a Maass Midwest
    PVC WELL SEAL AIR VENT , 5.5 inches long, 1/2 NTP

    So the whole thing could be temporarily unscrewed from the well seal, and either a tube run through the hole, or a 1/2 inch NPT pipe/nipple would be screwed in where the vent unit was. Sanitize, and then put the vent back when done.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    valveman likes this.
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