Turbidity Question

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by gtsnow, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. gtsnow

    gtsnow New Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    I am about to retire and bought a house in R.I. .The water test on the new home's well came back with a turbitity of 16 with Allowable Limits of 5.0 NTU, and color as 40 with an allowable limit of 15. We ojected to these numbers. The home has a water softener that was dry, no salt for months

    The owner had the system serviced and the second test (not the same lab ) came back as turbitity results 0.30 with the (MCL=EPA Maximum Contaimination Level as no Limit). I am going to have the first lab rerun another sample so I get the same reporting numbers. The second color numbers were 1, with a MCL of 15.0 CU.

    During closing I had $1000.00 held for retest and filters if needed, but the numbers seemed to have gone down considerably (if they were using the same scale ). What scares me is the second tester recommends an 24 GPD (Gallons Per Day) RO unit for $442.40. This sounds like a sink unit, what ever I do I want a whole house fix, not just one sink. Another point that does not sit well is the testing agency trying to sell me the equipment to fix the problem. Is this normal in the home well water treatment business..?

    This is my first house with a well, am I heading in the right direction with the RO unit or will just filtering clear up the turbitity....??
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2005
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Get Complete Water Test

    You need to get a comprehensive water test. If you already have a complete test report, perhaps you can scan it and post it here so you can get help interpreting it from people who are probably too far away to worry about selling you a water treatment system.

    Tell us if you have a shallow or deep well, and anything else you know about the well or system, and kind of pump you have.

    Reverse Osmosis takes out dissolved solids (chlorides, sodium and calcium ions, sulfates, and others too numerous to mention). You should get a result for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and if it is more than 500 mg/liter you MAY want to consider RO.

    A 24 Gallons per Day RO unit is one gallon per hour. That is hardly a good drip. It is probably a waste of money. If you want one anyway, check here:
    And look at their whole site. http://www.waterfiltersonline.com/ (I am not their agent and don't use their filters.)

    The initial turbidity was probably due to iron (rust) in the system, or junk that collected because the system wasn't used. If it doesn't return, then 0.3 NTU is good. Turbidity of 5.0 NTU is not good. It is usually less than 1.0 NTU in a decent well.

    You will want to know the pH (6.0 to about 7.5 is good, 6.5 to 7.0 is better.). If it is too low you may need an acid neutralizer.

    You should have a coliform test which will report if there are any fecal coliforms or E. coli in the well water. If they are present, you will need to chlorinate the well and get the test repeated. You may already have that result.

    There should also be numbers for hardness, iron, manganese, and whatever else may be a problem in the area.

    You probably will not get results for VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) unless you paid for an expensive test. They would be indicators of serious contamination and are usually only tested for if you are near an junkyard or industrial site, or if you smell or taste something like chemicals in the water.

    There are too many possibilities to make more guesses or suggestions. If we see your water test results (the second series) you will probably get a lot of suggestions about whether and/or what treatment you need.
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  4. gtsnow

    gtsnow New Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Answer to question on Turbitity

    Attached are the two water test reports I have received to date, I will request the testing agency to put the results on the same form. The well is a drilled hole, 200 feet deep and the water level is at 100 feet. The water pipe enters the basement (about one inch an a quarter ) black plastic pipe, pressure tank with controls, then a water softener is installed.

    Attached Files:

  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    I don't see any problem with the water and would not spend any money on more treatment. The following are significant:
    1. No detectable hardness reported so the softener is working. If all of the sodium in the water is from the softening process, you had about 100 mg/L of hardness, which is near the limit where one would consider softening.
    2. Sodium (48.2 mg/L) is probably from replacement of the calcium and magnesium with sodium in the softening process. Two mg/L of hardness are replaced by about 1 mg/L of sodium. Don't worry about the sodium. If you drink 2 liters of water every day you will get less sodium than in 1 oz of Tostitos tortillo chips (bag next to my computer for reference) and about 4% of the recommended daily limit. It would have only a minor effect on total sodium intake.
    3. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of 105.4 mg/L is well within limits. I see no need for an RO system.
    4. Iron and manganese are not detectable, which is good.
    5. No coliform bacteria (good)

    Next time you get a sample, get the sample from before the softener so we can see if you really need a softener. You are close to the point where a softener is not required. If you don't need it you can just eliminate the salt from the regeneration tank.
  6. rshackleford

    rshackleford Member

    Oct 18, 2005
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    Some people like the RO unit to improve the taste of the water even if it is not needed for quality reasons. If you have the extra money to spend small units can be reasonable priced.
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