New Wells S Florida Sulfur Removal Questions

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CRB

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Folks,

You all helped me tremendously 7 years ago when I drilled an irrigation well and needed to learn about softeners. Now I have new house under construction and just drilled 2 new wells. In this area wells of practical depth are either iron containing or sulfur. Not usually both. Generally iron is in the shallower depth and we found very high iron at about 80' with no sulfur. I chose no iron I have great production from both wells - over 25 gpm each. Analysis so far:

Iron 0
Copper 0
Sulfur 3-4 ppm (H2S
Alkalinity 214
Total Hardness 9 gr/gal
pH 7.9
no bacteria or slime

There are about 300 homes in this community and all are on wells. Some people have shallower high iron wells. Some like me have deeper sulfur wells. All are about the same hardness and pH. Most use AIO catalytic carbon (Iron Buster Brand). There are also quite a few mostly older homes that use direct injection chlorine systems. And a few use a newer media called Katalox light. All seem to treat the water very effectively. All homes also have a traditional salt softener after the iron/sulfur removal. So what do you all think for the H2S removal? Chlorine injection, Air Injection Catalytic Carbon, or Katalox? Also brand name (Iron Buster) or generic? Katalox seems to have the ability to remove fairly high levels of H2S and iron so I'm leaning toward a generic Fleck 5600 sxt softener downstream of a Katalox system. Katalox is a little more expensive but not much $ ($100 or so). And I know that in some areas if you don't have iron to start with you will eventually. We'll have under sink RO for kitchen drinking and water/ice maker in the fridge.

Thanks in advance!

Chris
 

Beets

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I'm not a professional, but I've tried a lot of things with my well. I suspect the professionals will correct the stuff I get wrong, but I will kick off the conversation.

I have H2S, no iron, pH of 8.6, Total Hardness of 0.6 gr/gal. Every system I've ever tried worked well at removing H2S (I will discuss what I've tried below), but my problem is sulfide reducing bacteria (SRB's). They live in my system and if I don't kill them, they will stink up the water downstream of the water treatment equipment. If you don't have that problem, I don't know if you have any bad options.

Here is what I tried:

1) Chlorine, large pressure tank, large holding tank, 10 x 54 GAC: This is what I had when I bought the house. I didn't like it. Lot's of upsets with H2S getting through. In fairness, I didn't know what I was doing. I spend a lot of time trying to get my chlorine residuals upstream of the GAC to be 4 ppm (I think that was the target). That is what the forums advised. Water pH has a big influence on the oxidizing power of the chlorine and it's effectiveness at controlling bacteria. I should have cranked it up and not worried so much about the residual. I also had a pump that kept losing prime. Maybe because I was blending the chlorine with well water in the retention tank, which could have introduced some fine precipitates in the tank. You are supposed to use distilled or bottled water instead.

2) Micronizer, large pressure tank, large holding tank with some sort of degasser, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: I believe this is the micronizer (or something similar). Basically, when the well is pumping, it is sucking air into the line. This worked very well. I loved the idea of not adding any chemicals. However, the SRB's slimed the centaur carbon and that was the end of that.

3) Micronizer + Chlorine, large pressure tank, large holding tank with some sort of degasser, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: This worked well. Still upsets when pump lost prime. I changed to a Stenner pump, and went to 100% Hypochlor 12% in the retention tank (no dilution with well water) and no more pump issues. It worked pretty well. I had to keep chlorine contents pretty high to avoid upsets and still had lots. Again, mainly SRB problems. I think some of my problems were caused by the limited shelf life of Chlorine and me buying it in fairly large quantities due to it being difficult for me to get to them during work hours to pick up product. Some of the problems were me trying to be frugal and dialing down the chlorine. Also, the water composition changes during the year. I don't think I was adjusting to compensate. Basically, I was just lazy and not monitoring close enough. Keep a log. I wish I had. I've started one now, but it's missing 15 years of experience. I speculate that the chlorine dosage should be dialed up every fall as many upsets seem to correspond with fall. Due to the high chlorine residuals I run at, I was always concerned with disinfection by-products from chlorine. I don't know if disinfection by-products have anything to do with chlorine dose. I'm not sure it matters as theoretically the Centaur Carbon removes it. However, the unknowns bothered and with occasional upsets, I decided to try hydrogen peroxide (h2o2) instead.

4) H2O2 + large pressure tank, large holding tank, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: This works well. I'm using the same Stenner pump with 35% H2O2. The H2O2 seems to maintain it's potency better than Hypochlor 12 and a drum is lasting me 9 to 12 months. I don't have to worry about disinfection by-products. I still have upsets caused by SRB's, and when I do I have to buy chlorine to help sanitize system. I'm going to tinker with my system a bit and see if I can reduce the upsets, but simply dialing up the H2O2 injection in the fall for a few months might be the best solution. Again, I wish I had kept logs.

If AIO works for your neighbors and you don't have any bacteria to foul the media, I would be tempted to start there because it has the smallest footprint with the least equipment. I think Centaur Carbon is widely regarded as one of the best media for H2S, but it isn't the cheapest.

One of the only other options I can think of that hasn't been mentioned here is AIO3 (AIO with ozone). One person on this forum has had great success with that system and iron, but I imagine it would work well for H2S as well.

Good luck!
 

CRB

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I'm not a professional, but I've tried a lot of things with my well. I suspect the professionals will correct the stuff I get wrong, but I will kick off the conversation.

I have H2S, no iron, pH of 8.6, Total Hardness of 0.6 gr/gal. Every system I've ever tried worked well at removing H2S (I will discuss what I've tried below), but my problem is sulfide reducing bacteria (SRB's). They live in my system and if I don't kill them, they will stink up the water downstream of the water treatment equipment. If you don't have that problem, I don't know if you have any bad options.

Here is what I tried:

1) Chlorine, large pressure tank, large holding tank, 10 x 54 GAC: This is what I had when I bought the house. I didn't like it. Lot's of upsets with H2S getting through. In fairness, I didn't know what I was doing. I spend a lot of time trying to get my chlorine residuals upstream of the GAC to be 4 ppm (I think that was the target). That is what the forums advised. Water pH has a big influence on the oxidizing power of the chlorine and it's effectiveness at controlling bacteria. I should have cranked it up and not worried so much about the residual. I also had a pump that kept losing prime. Maybe because I was blending the chlorine with well water in the retention tank, which could have introduced some fine precipitates in the tank. You are supposed to use distilled or bottled water instead.

2) Micronizer, large pressure tank, large holding tank with some sort of degasser, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: I believe this is the micronizer (or something similar). Basically, when the well is pumping, it is sucking air into the line. This worked very well. I loved the idea of not adding any chemicals. However, the SRB's slimed the centaur carbon and that was the end of that.

3) Micronizer + Chlorine, large pressure tank, large holding tank with some sort of degasser, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: This worked well. Still upsets when pump lost prime. I changed to a Stenner pump, and went to 100% Hypochlor 12% in the retention tank (no dilution with well water) and no more pump issues. It worked pretty well. I had to keep chlorine contents pretty high to avoid upsets and still had lots. Again, mainly SRB problems. I think some of my problems were caused by the limited shelf life of Chlorine and me buying it in fairly large quantities due to it being difficult for me to get to them during work hours to pick up product. Some of the problems were me trying to be frugal and dialing down the chlorine. Also, the water composition changes during the year. I don't think I was adjusting to compensate. Basically, I was just lazy and not monitoring close enough. Keep a log. I wish I had. I've started one now, but it's missing 15 years of experience. I speculate that the chlorine dosage should be dialed up every fall as many upsets seem to correspond with fall. Due to the high chlorine residuals I run at, I was always concerned with disinfection by-products from chlorine. I don't know if disinfection by-products have anything to do with chlorine dose. I'm not sure it matters as theoretically the Centaur Carbon removes it. However, the unknowns bothered and with occasional upsets, I decided to try hydrogen peroxide (h2o2) instead.

4) H2O2 + large pressure tank, large holding tank, 10x54 Centaur Carbon: This works well. I'm using the same Stenner pump with 35% H2O2. The H2O2 seems to maintain it's potency better than Hypochlor 12 and a drum is lasting me 9 to 12 months. I don't have to worry about disinfection by-products. I still have upsets caused by SRB's, and when I do I have to buy chlorine to help sanitize system. I'm going to tinker with my system a bit and see if I can reduce the upsets, but simply dialing up the H2O2 injection in the fall for a few months might be the best solution. Again, I wish I had kept logs.

If AIO works for your neighbors and you don't have any bacteria to foul the media, I would be tempted to start there because it has the smallest footprint with the least equipment. I think Centaur Carbon is widely regarded as one of the best media for H2S, but it isn't the cheapest.

One of the only other options I can think of that hasn't been mentioned here is AIO3 (AIO with ozone). One person on this forum has had great success with that system and iron, but I imagine it would work well for H2S as well.

Good luck!
Wow, great info. Can you tell me your well depth and analysis?

Thanks so much for taking time to respond.

Chris
 

Beets

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My well is around 110 to 120' deep. Analysis below.

1645309200170.png
 
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Charlie Bosco

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Folks,

You all helped me tremendously 7 years ago when I drilled an irrigation well and needed to learn about softeners. Now I have new house under construction and just drilled 2 new wells. In this area wells of practical depth are either iron containing or sulfur. Not usually both. Generally iron is in the shallower depth and we found very high iron at about 80' with no sulfur. I chose no iron I have great production from both wells - over 25 gpm each. Analysis so far:

Iron 0
Copper 0
Sulfur 3-4 ppm (H2S
Alkalinity 214
Total Hardness 9 gr/gal
pH 7.9
no bacteria or slime

There are about 300 homes in this community and all are on wells. Some people have shallower high iron wells. Some like me have deeper sulfur wells. All are about the same hardness and pH. Most use AIO catalytic carbon (Iron Buster Brand). There are also quite a few mostly older homes that use direct injection chlorine systems. And a few use a newer media called Katalox light. All seem to treat the water very effectively. All homes also have a traditional salt softener after the iron/sulfur removal. So what do you all think for the H2S removal? Chlorine injection, Air Injection Catalytic Carbon, or Katalox? Also brand name (Iron Buster) or generic? Katalox seems to have the ability to remove fairly high levels of H2S and iron so I'm leaning toward a generic Fleck 5600 sxt softener downstream of a Katalox system. Katalox is a little more expensive but not much $ ($100 or so). And I know that in some areas if you don't have iron to start with you will eventually. We'll have under sink RO for kitchen drinking and water/ice maker in the fridge.

Thanks in advance!

Chris
I am in Martin county fl. I have a well with sulfur and no iron. Never tested it but it's high. I gave I can use your numbers of 3 to 4ppm

Anyway I started with an aio Katalox tank. It sort of got overwhelmed. It would still allow a slight bit of smell get through. I decided to add a second tank as a scrubber with catalytic carbon. This gives me great success and it's simple and mostly chemical free. I backwash nightly the Katalox and every other night for the carbon. and eventually about once a month I let the aio hose ingest a gallon of diluted chlorine.
Also I have boilers valves after each tank so I can monitor the status of each tank by filling up a pail and smelling it.
I do plan to switch the aio head with a Ozone injection soon. Hoping that will eliminate the need for the periodic chlorination.
 

Reach4

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"Sulfur Eliminator" has gotten more expensive over the years. It now includes a filter to prevent the sprayer head from clogging. https://wellwaterstinks.com/

This is for wells in non-freezing areas. It continually aerates water by misting into the top of the well. If using this, I think a big pressure tank would be desirable.
 

CRB

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I am in Martin county fl. I have a well with sulfur and no iron. Never tested it but it's high. I gave I can use your numbers of 3 to 4ppm

Anyway I started with an aio Katalox tank. It sort of got overwhelmed. It would still allow a slight bit of smell get through. I decided to add a second tank as a scrubber with catalytic carbon. This gives me great success and it's simple and mostly chemical free. I backwash nightly the Katalox and every other night for the carbon. and eventually about once a month I let the aio hose ingest a gallon of diluted chlorine.
Also I have boilers valves after each tank so I can monitor the status of each tank by filling up a pail and smelling it.
I do plan to switch the aio head with a Ozone injection soon. Hoping that will eliminate the need for the periodic chlorination.
Thanks much Charlie, great info.
 

CRB

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"Sulfur Eliminator" has gotten more expensive over the years. It now includes a filter to prevent the sprayer head from clogging. https://wellwaterstinks.com/

This is for wells in non-freezing areas. It continually aerates water by misting into the top of the well. If using this, I think a big pressure tank would be desirable.
Thanks for the reply, unfortunately all wells in my area are the 2 inch "suction type" that can't use the sulfur eliminator.
 
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