Sediment from well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by mark1, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. mark1

    mark1 New Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    I replaced a sediment filter on a home last year.
    It was being flushed out into a bucket through an outside spigot. In my limited well experiece, it was a large amount of sediment very fine gray, finer than play, mortar sand.
    The owner says thats the way in has been for many years. I have been back twice for other plumbing problems, each time I am amazed how much sediment comes out. I was there yesterday for no water pressure, the sediment filter,The spin down type, was total blocked. The spigot would not flush it.
    I cleaned it, flused the holding tank, and ran the water for a while.
    The owner says he flushes it regularly, I am not sure what that is. But still it seems there should not be this much crap in the water. My theories without anymore info is the casing is leaking, It is a 8" case I guess. Not a bored well large hole? maybe the pump is to low in the well? what are the opinions, What fixes are there? Thanks
  2. speedbump

    speedbump New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Water well and pump tech.
    Riverview, Fl.
    I would get rid of the filter. I doubt you will notice the sediment you are talking about in normal usage. Those filters will plug up on next to nothing and were not intended to be used for a whole house.

    If your sediment is really that bad without the cartridge, I suggest a real filter not that in line thing. A filter with an automatic backwash to keep itself clean.

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  4. mark1

    mark1 New Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    what about the hour glass shape filters. that is what was originally there, it was broken off when they where installing a heating system. I could not find this same type local. So I used the large spin type. The faucets strainers stopped up before the first type was installed
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    There is a lot of stuff in the well. I can't tell you the cause of it all, or how to eliminate it from the well, but the sediment filter you describe is not removing all of it. It is just getting the big stuff.

    You can live with the dirt or you can get rid of it. If you get rid of the filter, then you are putting it in the system.

    If you have "sediment" (suspended solids, dirt, whatever), you almost always have a continuum of size from the largest that you see down to colloidal size (1 micron or less).

    What you have seems to be more like a strainer than a filter. Strainers consisting of metal baskets with holes in them, and backwashed granular filters that don't use chemical pretreatment to cause floculation of small particles, are not effective in getting out microscopic suspended solids.

    You need a decent filter that takes out whatever you don't want in the water in the house. Decide what size particles are to be allowed into the house and put in a filter to take out everything larger than that.

    When you are putting in a filter to take out a significant quantity of solids you need enough area to keep from having to change the filter too often. Most "whole house" filters are too small. Doubling the filter area will usually increase your change interval by a factor of 3 to 4, and will reduce your cartridge cost by 1/3 to 1/2, because the flow rate through each filter is reduced by a factor of 2.

    The minimum that I would install for a whole house filter is a double-length "big blue" size filter or two of the double-length 2.5" cartridges in parallel. Cartridges are available from 1 micron absolute up to whatever you want but I would not use anything larger than 5 micron.
    You could leave the strainer in place or get rid of it. It probably won't help the filters much and it doesn't have enough area.

    Put gauges before and after the filter, and a relief valve and safety shutoff switch ahead of the filter, and teach the owner what it all means and how to know when to change the cartridges.

    I like to put the filters ahead of the tank with switches and relief valves to protect the system. That lets the customer get his usual pressure without the pressure drop in the filters. Most well pumps have enough head to take care of the filter pressure drop and still reach shutoff pressure at the tank.

    On the other hand, some people consider their customers to be incompetent to manage their water system operation, so they want the filters after the pressure tank. The customer loses some performance and you sell more cartridges because the pressure drop becomes unacceptable.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    If this sediment is not visible in the water, it can not block up faucet tip aerators. Hard water scale can though, and the little pieces/balls of it that roll around in the plumbing, hot water plumbing especially, can and do.

    Get an analysis done on it and/or thew ater as find out wha tthe sediment is. It may be nothing more than drilling mud from an underdeveloped well.

    Microscopic sediment is not a problem, we can't see particles below 45 microns in size, so how does it build up to block anything let alone become a problem?

    So why spend all this money for filters to remove it? All I can see that that does is make a "whole house" filter salesman wealthier; regardless what type of disposable cartridges are used or how they are installed. And nothing that can blocked up should be installed between a submersible pump and its controlling pressure switch. Human nature says sooner or later that thing wouldn't be maintained and then you have a pump problem that can lead to some serious money to fix, or a new well because the pump is off the drop pipe and nothing short of pounding it down in the well will help. Then finding out they stuck it a short distance below where it was and now it won't budge... and what does a new well cost? What is a house worth that has no water?

    All for the removal of sediment that wasn't bothering anything anyway.

    Also, it can't harm a well pressure tank in any way and is easily flushed out if the tank is drained and then the water (power to the pump) is turned on for a few seconds and then off while you allow the tank to fully drain and then repeat the flush process until the last water to drain out of the tank each time is as clean as possible.

    Quality Water Associates
  7. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Apr 2, 2006
    visability of particles

    I think the material that makes up the sediment can significantly affect visability. I have suspended solids of less than 0.5 microns and they are VERY visable. It is some type of clay.
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