Serious Water Trouble

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, Questions and Answers' started by Dcoop, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. Dcoop

    Dcoop New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Location:
    New York
    Hello,

    My wife and I moved into a house 3 years ago with bad water. We invested in a higher end Kinnetico system thinking we should nip it in the bud, but our water never really improved to the point we wanted it to. This spring after much frustration with the company that sold us that softener we decided to hit the reset button and take stock of the current water coming into our home.

    Water tests have provided results of 110 grains of hardness, 9 grains of manganese, and 4 grains of iron. PH was normal. The softener installed was only taking out up to 70 something grains of hardness and not sure it was really touching the iron and manganese all that much. The best company we have had come look at the water and pitch us on a sanitizer/conditioner combo to remove everything. It costs $6,000 up front with an estimated $2,000/year in salt. It's the yearly salt that usage that gets me. And this is all on top of dumping our old system that costs $2,7000 and was supposed to last 20+ years (any takers?).

    We've also tried to determine why our water changed so much over the past three years - the hardness was initially 58, then 72, and now over 100. We have narrowed it down to a crack in the well casing letting in ground water or the water tables changing sourcing our well, but haven't come across a way to actually discern which it could be (and how we could even fix either).

    At this point we are wondering if digging a new well and hoping for better water is a more cost effective option than fixing a cost of $2,000 per year in salt. One other option is there is an old concrete well pad in the woods 100-150 feet from the house (current well is ~50 feet from house) - I am wondering if this could be used as an alternative as I assume running a pipe from there would be far cheaper (and less unknown) than trying to dig a new well.

    So, to conclude - we have three options as I see it. We could go with a new system and spend $6,000 up front and $2,000 per year on salt, we could try digging a new well for $5,000-10,000 with no guarantee the water is any better, or we could explore the long shot of having this old concrete well be a water source for our home. This has been a huge source of frustration for us, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Post your entire lab test report.

    Some of your numbers do not appear correct as iron and manganese are typically measured and reported as ppm, not grains. It is also useful to consider all water conditions when considering appropriate water treatment methods as other conditions which may not appear to be a concern, could influence how the problem conditions may be best treated.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Also, check with neighbors to see what they get for water and how deep their wells are. Your idea of a new well may pay off.

    $2000 per year in salt sounds incredible. Is that having a service come and put the salt in?

    Your ideas all sound reasonable.
     
  5. Dcoop

    Dcoop New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks Bannerman and Reach4. The iron and manganese were measured in mg/L. We also had 167 mg/L of sodium, though my understanding is that is handled by an RO system and not the softener/sanitizer. We will worry about that once we figure out the hardness/minerals. That is all we had tested.

    We have checked with neighbors, though they have also done research that told them water tables could be drastically different even 50 feet apart - our houses are several times more than that. The salt does not include any type of delivery fee for the salt, which is another component not mentioned. I think the salt estimate was a little high, but the point stands we would be going through A LOT.

    Do you have any experience with drilling wells? My take is we could potentially pay a lot to not even hit water, and if we do hit water, there is no guarantee it wont be any better than what we currently have. Is that a fair take?
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Not me. I would talk to a local driller or two.

    It seems to me that email with your situation info would be an efficient way to present your question. It w

    Regarding the salt, that gets added to the stuff that the RO has to remove.

    Carrying and pouring 25 44-pound bags of salt every month would be no fun. If it came to that, and I am pretty sure it won't, you would be getting your salt in bulk, and maybe get a small forklift to help. If you don't get a new well, the iron and manganese should be dealt with before the softener.

    That old concrete shallow well could indeed be a viable choice if that water is good. There are pitless adapters that are good for putting through a rock/concrete wall. You would usually want to come from the pitless to the house with SIDR polyethylene pipe. You would put a submersible pump in the well, probably horizontal and with a flow inducer sleeve.


    The wires would be buried when the pipe was trenched into place below the frost line.

    I have no relevant experience, and I am not a pro.
     
  7. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That's more appropriate as mg/L and ppm are equivalent measurements.

    Because 17.1 mg/L = 1 grain per gallon, your 110 gpg hardness is equivalent to 1,881 mg/L.

    As requested earlier, post the entire lab report as actual numbers are often useful, particularly when conditions are excessive.

    If you are relying only on onsite test results and haven't obtained a comprehensive lab test, it is advisable to have the raw water tested by a qualified testing lab. When operating a private well, you are your own water company that is fully responsible for water safety and treatment.

    As you are finding, water treatment can be specialized and expensive so it's best to base treatment decisions on complete and accurate data. An independent lab will have no stake in your choice of treatment methods.

    If you do not have prior experience with a testing lab, National Labs WaterCheck is often recommended in this forum. http://watercheck.myshopify.com/?aff=5
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  8. Dcoop

    Dcoop New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2020
    Location:
    New York
    Thank you Reach4, very helpful in terms of conceptualizing what that would look like.

    Bannerman - that is exactly why we went to a certified lab. The numbers I provided are from the report they sent, just easier that way than snipping and pasting the picture. Nothing else of note in the report besides the thresholds they consider unhealthy.
     
  9. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Even as other conditions may be within acceptable thresholds, their specific quantity may influence which treatment methods may be suitable or recommended for the problem conditions.

    For instance, in your initial post, you said pH was Normal. Are we to conclude that to mean exactly 7.0 pH, or is it within an acceptable range of 7.0? To utilize an oxidation method to remove iron, water pH of 7.0 or higher is usually most effective. If the pH is less than 7.0, it's possible that an alternate treatment method might then be recommended.

    Since you have an actual report, best to post a photo so all reported results may be reviewed and considered together. If there is private info you don't want to be posted, simply redact-out the info you don't wish to share.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    What do you know about the well? Depth, diameter, casing material (steel or pvc), how deep the casing goes, whatever.
    Some areas have wells with casing to the bottom. Others run a casing down to rock, and go uncased the rest of the way.

    The county may have well report records.

    Do you know something about the pump? If there is a control box, that would probably tell the horsepower. Otherwise, measuring the current through one of the hot wires, usually with a clamp-around ammeter, could give some indication of horsepower. There are other tests if you are interested. But bringing a local well professional into the picture would give great info. It seems to me that paying for an assessment of your situation seems fair.
    Surface water leaking in would normally make the hardness decrease, I would think. I have no relevant experience.
     
  11. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Occupation:
    Water systems designer, R&D, Technical Director
    Location:
    Ontario California
    The system you mentioned is not a really good option for that quality of water. A properly designed unit with a separate iron reduction system would make a lot more sense, then a softener. I would get a real test done by a lab. Check out these guys, they are our preferred company for water testing. The well standard is the most common.

    NTLWATERTEST
     
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