New Well-Water is cloudy. Treatment options?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by GianniD, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Location:
    chagrin falls, ohio
    I'm building a new home and the well was finished last week.. The well is 88 feet deep and our static water is at 32 feet. In the area we're building there's generally a lot of water. The driller stopped drilling in gravel as it seemed to produce a lot of water. After running the well with a test pump, he determined the well to make 20 plus gallons of water. The water was cloudy but he said it should clear.

    On Thursday, we set the well pumping equipment and let the run well. The water was still cloudy so I figured I'd let it run awhile. Well after running it for 3 days it's still cloudy. I figure at this point I've ran over 15000 gallons through it non stop. I'm running it at about 5 GPM to try and get it to clear.

    At this point I'm pretty sure the cloudy water is what I'm going to have. The well driller says it's a combination of fine sand and mud. He said we can pull the pump out and try to go deeper and look for better. He also stated it might clear in time. Obviously, there's no guarantees with this and I may actually get worse water if I go deeper. My preliminary water test is -

    Total Hardness is 14 Grains
    Iron is 1 grain
    PH is 7.7
    Total Dissolved Solids 191

    The water is actually pretty good considering well water. I've had well water at my existing home and this water actually tests better than the water I have now. There's no rotten egg smell in the water and other than the cloudiness, it's pretty good. I'm going to obviously need a water softener. A picture of the water is included after it comes out of the spigot and after sitting overnight. The silt seems like it settles overnight and the water becomes clear. I rain the water through a paint strainer and it catches nothing.

    My thoughts are I'm better off filtering what I got instead of going deeper. From the research I've done it seems like a Turbidex filter is what is used for filtering this out. Thoughts and advice please?

    water.jpg

    IMG_0921.jpg
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    How deep is the well now? I was thinking you meant Iron is 1 ppm or 1 mg/l, but few people would find that to be good tasting water. Clarify the iron situation.

    A backwashing iron filter would do both iron removal and filtering of most sediment that can settle out overnight. A cartridge filter could follow that.

    I would keep pumping.
     
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  4. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    Iron is 1 ppm
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I see the 88 ft.
    How would you think 1 ppm iron is good tasting water? I think that would happen if your previous well was 2 ppm.

    Anyway, I would think maybe 2 cubic ft of Katalox light, in a 52 x 12 tank, backwashed at 10 gpm. Leave provision to add hydrogen peroxide injection before the KL in case the iron removal turns out to need some help, or add air injection. Read past posts on the alternatives. Then a large cartridge filter with a cartridge to be determined. Then softener. The KL filters down to about 5 microns in addition to its iron removal job. I am not a pro.

    Put boiler drain valves between stages to let you sample, and to mount a pressure guage. Consider a tee before the softener to a tap to draw drinking water and water houseplants. I mostly drink softened water, but some may prefer the mineral water aspect of unsoftened water.
     
  6. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    chagrin falls, ohio
    Well in my area, northeast Ohio, 1 ppm iron is considered pretty good. My current well is 18 grains hard and has 3ppm iron. The iron and hardness are easily removed with a water softener. I planned on getting one as it’s basically a must around here with well water. In my current home all the water we consume goes through an ro filter after the softener. I’ll be getting an ro filter in the new home also.

    My biggest problem is the cloudy water and how to deal with it. I either need to drill deeper or treat what I have. I will be getting a more comprehensive test. There’s a water lab 5 minutes from my home. I just wonder if i should test the water now or wait until it runs more. It’s definitely going to run the rest of the weekend.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    You can have a backwashing filter that does not treat iron but removes sediment. That would be a shame to not treat iron at the same time. Alternatively, replace 20x4.5 filter cartridges more often, and maybe put two housings in series.

    With the softener removing the iron, you have additional treatment and cleaning to do. I suspect you are quite familiar with Iron Out.
     
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  8. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    I’m just concerned the combination iron filter/sediment filter will not do as a good as a job as a dedicated sediment filter. I figure i need to soften the water anyways and I’ll take care of iron there.

    Yes I’m familiar with the iron out salt. Currently, I use a bag of regular and one bag of iron out salt at the same time. Also clean the resin twice a year. Seems to be working fine.
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  10. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    While a softener may be used to remove iron, it is not an efficient or best method. As suggested, KL can address the iron efficiently while also removing sediment and debris. A large benefit to a backwashing media filter over a cartridge filter is the significantly larger amount of media contained, and, sediment and debris collected will be flushed to drain on a regular ongoing basis.

    A comprehensive lab test can identify if there are other minerals, metals, chemicals or bacteria that also will require treatment.
     
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  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Sediment reduction can be very easy with a simple and cheap pilot test. No sense in wasting money on equipment that may or may not work. We have sediment filtration for residential applications that range from a simple blowdown filter rated for 90 or 50 micron, similar to your paint strainer, down to the sub micron level. Even these sub micron filters may be ineffective without the addition of a flocking agent at times.

    Our most common pilot test for sediment filter is a simple small filter housing with a garden hose connection and a few filters. 5 micron, 1 micron, Micro-D, and even an inline UF. Each one of these filters will simulate a different system design.

    Looking at the amount of silt in your water I would avoid a Big Blue, these are simply to small and you will be maintaining it too often. A backwashing sediment filter using clinoptilolite or Katalox Light (Clinoptilolite impregnated with manganese dioxide) should get you down to the 5 micron range. A simple sediment filter at 5 micron should tell you if Clinoptilolite would work. Clinop goes under many different names, Turbidex, Filter Ag+ Nextsand etc... Most of these medias are fairly similar. Clinoptilolite is the name of the naturally occurring mined ore that is used for these.
     
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I would pump it much harder than that. If you only develop the well at 5 GPM, when you draw it faster, it will motivate the silt again. That happened to me where my driller only pumped 5 GPM and when I dropped in my 10 GPM pump, it sucked up mud.

    It might work best to lift the pump high enough for the pitless to clear the top of the casing and let it run full bore.

    As for filtering, I agree with the others that an iron filter with KL should filter out both the iron and the turbidity. Alternately filter AG will filter the turbidity but you would probably need to oxidize the iron to filter it.
     
  13. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Filter ag or filter ag+? Filter ag is still popular with a few dealers, this media can reduce silt and sediment down to about 20-30 microns, filter ag+ is clinoptilolite, considered a 5 micron capable media.
     
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    I think I have Filter AG and it removes fine clay and iron. Maybe the iron is aiding the filter media? When it back-washes, the drain line discharge looks like coffee with double cream.
     
  15. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    chagrin falls, ohio
    When my driller was done drilling, we developed the well with a temporary pump at 15 gpm for 4 hours. I’m pumping today at 10 gallons a minute which is about as hard as will ever have to pull. After running this well this long, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to clear up. I’m going to run it a few more days.

    I need to decide if I’m going to filter or drill deeper and get the well into the rock versus the gravel. It’s unfortunate as the water seems pretty good other than the cloudiness.

    Forgot to mention that I’m an excavating contractor and install well pumps. I’m pretty familiar at developing wells and we didn’t want to pull the well too hard. There’s a lot of wells that only make 5 gpm or we choke down to that for various reasons. Hell, I’d be happy with 5 gpm if it was clear. I’ve got tons of muddy water, lol.
     
  16. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Filter Ag is considered in most applications a superior replacement to the old "Multi-media" systems. With slightly better sediment reduction and 1/3 the backwash requirements, Filter Ag was a huge mover many years ago. Then came along "Filter Ag+", which greatly increased the sediment reduction but with a little more backwash requirement and the media was a little heavier. Both medias are fairly inexpensive. They are both excellent medias, but most people use Filte Ag+ since it has a much higher performance capabilities.
     
  17. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    chagrin falls, ohio
    Today I put on a 20 micron filter in the filter housing I have in line. The water is clear after the 20 micron filter. The material is obviously larger than 20 micron. The filter did not last long though. I'm going to continue to keep flushing trying to get the water to clear.
     
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  18. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

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    Ontario California
    Excellent, a clinoptilolite backwashing system would likely be an excellent solution for you.
     
  19. Ryan Symons

    Ryan Symons Dihydrogen monoxide specialist

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    Location:
    Ohio
    Removal with a 20 micron filter is great news. I've seen turbidity that blows right thru a 1 micron filter before. Your problem may go away after the well gets settled in. No way to know....just wait and see. It could take months.
    I'm also in northeast Ohio. If I can help just let me know.
     
  20. GianniD

    GianniD New Member

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    chagrin falls, ohio
    IMG_0924.jpg IMG_0928.jpg

    Yes I'm happy about the 20 micron doing the work to get the water clear. Unfortunately, the water is still cloudy after running it since we put the pump in. I figure I've pumped almost 30,000 gallons from this well trying to develop it. I'm pretty much to the point that I know I'm going to have to use some type of sediment filter using Katalox, Turbidex, or Filter Ag. Talked to a gentlemen from the forum who is a professional water treatment guy and he suggested a Katalox filter with an air oxidation valve controller. Sounds pretty high tech but said it'll get the job done. It's either filter it or go deeper and try to find better water.

    My only concern is all the research I've done states that Katalox is used more often for iron, manganese and other impurity removement. Seems like most sediment specific filters are using Turbidex or Filter ag. I definitely want to use the right media for the job. Is Katalox just as effective as a sediment filter as the others? The beauty if the Katalox is that it'll remove a lot of other stuff that the Turbidex and Filter ag will not. Well water can change in time and with the season and the Katalox would seem like it could prevent a lot of other problems.

    Attached is a picture of the fine sand that I'm pulling. Also, a picture of the 20 micron filter after running is for a half hour or so. You can see the filter media is pretty taxed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Yes. Costs more, but given your iron, it is a reasonable adder IMO. Make life easier for the softener and for you attending to the softner.
     
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