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Updated custom water treatment plans - with water test, labeled diagrams, +more

Updated custom water treatment plans - with water test, labeled diagrams, +more


  #1  
Old 03-25-18, 01:52 AM
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Updated custom water treatment plans - with water test, labeled diagrams, +more

I posted previously, but some revisions have happened from all the input I got. Also added labels to the diagrams, made the parts list a bit cleaner, and tried to organize this better. Found those water tests too.

Anyway, posting here to hopefully get some input/advice/reasons why I'm stupid. Just a couple notes about my mindset: This a definitely overkill for what I need, but I'm okay with that. This has become a bit of a hobby project by now. Total price is about $7,000 (breakdown is on the parts list linked below). Ideally I can reduce that while keeping the same performance, but at the same time I'm willing to spend a bit more for a good reason. Finally, it's important to me to add as little as possible to the water as a byproduct of treatment.

Anyway, here it all is.

***

Water

Water comes from a well in Maryland.

- Well/Pump Depth: Unknown, but in 2001 the pump was replaced and 160' of roll pipe is listed on the service receipt. The pitless adapter is about 10' below the surface, so I'd estimate a pump depth of 170'.
- Static Water Level: In 1986 it was 123'.
- Flow Rate: Approximately 8 gpm from a 1/2 hp Schaefer pump installed in 2007. I want the system to accommodate a future pump upgrade though. Nothing specific in mind yet.
- Treatment system is in the 1st floor of a 3 floor house. 1st floor has 2 sinks, a toilet, and shower. 2nd floor has kitchen sink, dishwasher, laundry machine, bathroom sink and toilet. 3rd floor has 2 sinks, 2 toilets, 1 shower and 1 bath/shower. Two outdoor spigots used in summer for watering.
- Hardness: ~7 gpg
- Iron: ~13 ppm
- Sulfur: "Slight"
- pH: Testing has varied over the years from 6.0-7.2
- CO2: ~6 gpg
- TDS: ~100 ppm
- Temperature: ~55įF
- Bacteria: Positive test for Coliform when buying, although I suspect that contamination was from after the well. No E. coli.

***

Images, Model, and Parts List

Regarding the images and model, I've used the largest expected dimensions for all components, so the actual build should be a bit more compact.

- Here is a 3d model built in SketchUp: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T1A...ew?usp=sharing. You will need a program like SketchUp or the free SketchUp Viewer https://www.sketchup.com/download/sk...dows/thank-you.

- Here are a few new pictures of the model: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vuB1IYy17rTdscd23

- Here is a spreadsheet with the parts list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing. For pricing, I can get 15% off at Lowe's, 10% at Home Depot, and 5% at Amazon, so I lean toward them.

***

Design

I'll post my thoughts on the design, first some general things and then divided by section, with each section being a major treatment component and the plumbing leading to it. This follows the breakdown in the parts list for the CPVC plumbing.

General

- CPVC is used within the treatment system, copper is used after treatment and within the house, PEX for outdoor faucets.
- I've done my best to minimize flow restriction and simplify the plumbing wherever possible. Would really like to hear ideas regarding that!
- Easily disassembly and part reuse is something I'm willing to pay a bit extra for. That said, I have a ridiculous number of union ball valves. I would love to save money and reduce points of failure by eliminating some of those. I definitely want to retain the ability to disassemble the entire system without any cutting though.
- A male garden hose threat outlet is present at every point in the treatment to allow for water sampling, pressure testing, and component bypass via a drinking water quality hose.
- Copper Tube Size pipes and NPT threads have been used thoughout, except for the connection to the pressure switch. I'm hoping I didn't miss any...
- I prefer long sweep elbows and tees where possible, but I can't find any for CTS CPVC. Spears has some for Schedule 80 CPVC, but I don't want to transition just for that.
- Pipe supports will be used where needed, but aren't marked in the model.
- This might be a bit odd, but I would love to be able to see the water at each stage, even if that't just a short section of transparent pipe. Not sure if anything like that is made though; I couldn't find anything.

From Main to Prefilter

- I was thinking about the 1000 or 500 mesh screen for the Rusco prefilter. Might be too fine, but new screens aren't very expensive if I need to switch.
- I recently heard about Atlas Filtri and their Hydra prefilter. Finest screen is 50 microns (~300 mesh?). I really like that the DS version can be installed inline on a vertical pipe. I'm trying to find someone to sell me one to use instead of the Rusco, but no luck so far!

To Aerator

- I have the pressure switch after the prefilter to protect the switch a bit. I know this is generally not recommended, but I do have the pressure relief valve before it.
- Pressure switch is set at 40-60 psi, but I am thinking about upping that to 50-70 if my pump doesn't object. I understand that means less buffer capacity in my pressure tank and therefore more wear on the pump. I'm betting I'll be wanting to replace the pump before it would reach it's then hastened end-of-life anyway.
- Speaking of the pressure tank, I'm reusing the one already installed. It is 20 gallons, so undersized anyway. I'll upgrade that when I get a new pump.
- Regarding the odd plumbing here, I'm trying to keep a small water column above the check valve to keep air from the aerator from traveling back down the pipes.
- The aerator is primarily to oxidize iron, but should also take care of much of the radon that seems so common around here.
- The aerator is based on the Aer-Max system and uses some of their parts, but with a few changes I hope turn out to be upgrades. Compressor with tank for air delivery, air filters, 'bubbler' pipe (small holes drilled in the end to get more air/water contact), more robust solenoid... Sort of an experiment at this point.
- That said, I'm hoping to find a better way to diffuse the air than drilling holes in some CPVC.
- Also want to find a quieter compressor if possible. California Air Tools advertises one that is apparently 56 db (opposed to the B&S's 60 db). I don't know about their reliability though.
- 240 V solenoid would be nice - could more easily tie its operation in with the well pump on the pressure switch.
- I would really like to use their tank head with larger ports, but unfortunately it only comes with a 4" base, and I can't find any good 4" opening tanks for a reasonable price.

To Backwashing Katalox Light Filters

- Katalox Light is marketed for very good iron removal, and will apparently also filter sediment down to about 3 microns.
- I'm hoping that with all the dissolved oxygen in the water I won't need any sort of regenerate for the Katalox Light and can simply backwash it.
- These will probably be set so one tank backwashes every night, on an alternating schedule. They will use Fleck 2510 control valves, timer version.
- I've attempted to balance flow through the two filters. Plumbing look alright?
- Had thoughts about using some sort of stacked tank setup, or the mid-Vortech tanks, to have the KL on top of softener resin, but I can't think of any way to make that work well. Would be really nice to save the space and money for extra tanks and control valves though...
- I've heard the Vortech tanks planned for here and for the softeners have potential issues with the plate breaking. I'm willing to give it a shot though, especially with the warranties some have.

To Softeners

- Again, tried to balance the flow between the two softeners. Plumbing okay?
- Outdoor lines break off here to skip softening. One valve for the spigots on the house, and another for a line which will go to a pasture. The separate valve for the pasture will be actuated by a smart-home enabled motor to facilitate work out there.
- The softeners will run in parallel and will have their backwashing offset.
- Will use Fleck 5800 control valves for the soft-water brine tank refilling and counter-current regeneration. Trying to decide between the SXT and XTR2 controls.
- I've been told the 2510 valves used for the filters don't let untreated water past while backwashing. That's good - do the 5800's act the same while regenerating/backwashing? If not, I'll probably rig up something that accomplishes that.
- Resin... Probably one of the harder decisions, but I am thinking of going with the SST-60 from Purolite. My backup was going to be Resintech's CG10-Na. If the SST-60 will perform just as well or better than the competition, I'm okay with the extra price even if it just for the experiment. If there's a better performer for the money though, please let me know!
- Salt: Probably going to go with Diamond Crystal's Hardi-Cube. I was getting a lot of residue in my old brine tank with whatever salt I found at Home Depot/Lowe's and would hope to change that. The Hardi-Cube salt is apparently 99.8+% NaCl. Anyone able to beat that without going into crazy prices?

To Carbon Filters

- One last time, tried to balance the flow. Not happy with with one though, mostly because of how the pipes join up downstream from the carbon filters. I also want to get the filters closer to the softener tanks so the whole thing can be closer to the wall.
- Atlas Filtri also has a product I'd like to use here instead, if only I could find them for sale.

To Micron Filter

- Again, Atlas Filtri has a very competitive micron filter, and even a sub-micron option... But where?
- If I do go with the Penteks, I might double up on them to avoid having the restriction of the 3/4" ports on a single filter. That would make this section of plumbing even more of a mess though, and I'm not sure how much benefit I'd see anyway.
- This is the only section that doesn't have complete bypass capabilities, due to space limitations. So if someone takes an ax to the sediment filter, I'll have to bypass the carbon filters too. Oh well.

To UV Disinfection

- As I explained in the beginning, I'm pretty sure the well is not contaminated with bacteria. Still, I'll disinfect the well and my plumbing with chlorine bleach before I do all this work, and I'll use the UV lamp for the lifespan of its bulb before retesting. If there's bacteria, good thing I had the UV. If not... well now I have an extra UV lamp. I'll put it in an air duct or something.

Heating

- This will be my first time with a tankless heater. I'm pretty sold on the Stiebel Eltron Tempras. Probably won't get the Plus version though, since as I understand it, the main benefit is that it limits flow if necessary to maintain a constant output temperature. This seems like it would only be helpful if you only wanted straight hot water, and a lot of it. Either you have a smaller amount of hotter water with the Plus, or you have a larger amount of less-hot water without... Either way you will need to adjust your mixture at the point of use to maintain a stable temperature there, right?
- Where the red/blue copper lines split, the ones that go straight into the wall service only the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washing machine. I'm thinking of putting a separate smaller Tempra under the kitchen sink to get those three more immediate hot water and to take the load off the 36.
 
  #2  
Old 03-25-18, 01:55 AM
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Drainage

Eight lines will connect to the same drain line:

- Relief Valve
- Prefilter
- Aerator
- 2x Backwashing Filters
- 2x Softeners
- Pasture Water Line

I don't think I will need to use any check valves... Any flaws in that idea? As far as the pasture line, I'm taking advantage of the same line for draining and water supply. I'll flush the line a bit before using it for anything, but the worst it should have is raw well water and maybe a bit of salt.


That's it for now! I'll update this as things are changed.

Thanks!
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-18, 08:11 AM
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I’m no expert for sure so you have to take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just have a few comments:

(1) Are the GAC filters supposed to be before the water softeners? I thought that was recommended, but I’m not sure that is an ironclad rule. Maybe something to double-check. Maybe fine where they are.

(2) Why is there another sediment filter just ahead of the UV filter? Wouldn’t any sediment be long gone with all the filtering done prior to that point?

(3) I know you can’t show every detail with a system that big and complex, but I assume you will put quite of few pressure gauges in the system. I think you will need to be able to do pressure readings along the chain of equipment for normal maintenance and troubleshooting. Just a reminder.

(4) My well water tested positive for coliform and I have a UV filter that came with the house. I didn’t maintain the UV Filter properly, but after I started to the test results continually show no coliform. But what I found out about coliform, assuming I understand it properly, is this:

The presence of coliform in well water is an indication of a defect in the well construction. Ground water is getting down into the well through a fast-path and not through the normal slower natural filtration process through the earth layers. At least that’s my understanding.

They give examples of things like a bad well seal, cracked casing, outside of casing not sealed properly, well head in a depression, etc. I know what my problem is: my well head is down in a pit which fills up with several feet of water on a rain. Pits are no longer allowed. However my UV filter does get rid of the coliform. The well was chlorine shocked when I bought the house, which removed the coliform on a subsequent test. But that didn’t last, and now I know why - that is only a temporary measure.

Just thought I’d mention that in case you want to take a look and see if you can find anything wrong with your well. If the UV filter was already in your house when you bought it then I think that would be something to think about.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 03-25-18 at 08:58 AM. Reason: typos
  #4  
Old 03-25-18, 09:16 AM
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1. I'm actually not sure! If I had chlorine in my water, before the softener would almost definitely help the resin. On the other had, it would decrease the potential backwash rate for the softener.

2. The prefilter should get sediment down to 15-50 microns, depending on the screen I use. The Katalox Light should take that down to 3-5 microns. The cartridge filter will get down to .4-1 micron depending on which type I choose. Just a little extra filtration that should also capture any fines from the carbon filters. I'm thinking it will last quite a while with all the prefiltration, and it has a very tiny pressure drop.

3. Yup! I'm getting a couple of these: https://www.amazon.com/Winters-PFQ80...dp/B00GD8V3NQ/ and some hose adapters so I can put them on any of the bypass outlets (the ones after the dark grey ball valves) to test pressure drop.

4. Thanks for that info. None of it seems to me the case with mine (un?)fortunately. I did get a new cap though since my old one required a drill and hammer to remove to fix a hole in the riser pipe... Still, I don't know what the old owner's did. Actually, I'm pretty sure they ran into it a few times with a lawnmower, but I don't see anything worse than some scrapes on the outside.
 
  #5  
Old 03-26-18, 06:39 AM
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Forgot to ask this. Since you are building a very comprehensive system which treats everything, why arenít you raising the ph? You have copper in the house and a low ph is harmful to copper. (Mine was really low (5.5-5.6) before I set up treatment, and I used to get the blue green stains in the sinks).
 
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Old 03-27-18, 04:12 PM
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Oh,and in regard to my last thread, I found out that the 5800 does not yet have a no hard water bypass valve, so I'd have to either just live with the occasional hard water in the middle of the night, or add in a solenoid valve.

For the pH... I definitely do want to correct that if it is too far off. Aeration apparently raises pH a bit, so my plan right now is to install the system and see what I'm getting downstream from the aerator. If it still needs correction, I'll probably use calcium carbonate. What't your solution for that?
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-18, 10:07 AM
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Hats-

For the low ph I just use an Acid Neutralizer (AN) which is a tank with Calcite (Calcium Carbonate) and some Corosex (Magnesium Oxide) and a Fleck 2510 backwash valve. The added Corosex was the standard recommendation because of my very low ph: 5.5. But I think normally Calcite alone can do the job. The AN Filter does raise the ph but it also makes the water hard. Many people, or maybe most people, use a softener after the AN Filter. I donít.

The hard water doesnít bother me and I havenít seen any real damage to fixtures, faucets, etc. from the hard water, but I know most people would want to correct the hard water. I was just more interested in protecting the copper pipes. But they did suffer for some time because I let the low ph problem go on for years (out of ignorance). The copper pipes are a little thin now, but no pinholes.

The other method to raise ph I believe is a Soda Ash injector system. The injector is wired so that when the well pump runs the injector also runs and injects a soda ash solution from a tank into the water which raises the ph. I think a contact tank is also recommended immediately downstream from the injector to allow contact time for the soda ash to do its thing.

I went back and forth for a long time trying to figure out which method to use: soda ash or AN Tank. I donít remember all the pros and cons but they both have pros and cons.

You could be right but I donít know what you mean by-

the 5800 does not yet have a no hard water bypass valve, so I'd have to either just live with the occasional hard water in the middle of the night,

As far as I know the valves (2510, 5800, etc.) close the ďServiceĒ port on the valve when they are backwashing, regenerating, etc. That is, no water is getting through to the normal service output port while those operations are occurring, that is, the service port is closed during those operations. But maybe I misunderstand what your concern is.
 
  #8  
Old 03-29-18, 06:39 AM
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I think I see what you are talking about: the regen cycle in some softeners. But it looks to me like the 5800 SXT blocks the hard water out to service during the regen cycle. Maybe I’m wrong. Take a look at the diagrams on pages 20 and 21.

http://www.alanwater.com/manuals/560...ser-manual.pdf

well I'm totally confused on the bypass for that valve - maybe it does bypass during regen so you're not totally out of water, which would totally make sense. I give up - lol!!!
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 03-29-18 at 06:57 AM.
  #9  
Old 03-29-18, 12:02 PM
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OK, found out that the standard piston in the Fleck 2510 does NOT stop service while in cleaning or regen mode. You need a special piston to do that. So what I told you before about the 2510 was not totally correct. It needs a special piston to not pass untreated water forward (why donít the crummy manuals explain these things Ė uuggg!!)

I checked mine out and sure enough, while it is backwashing you can get water in the house upon demand. Canít believe I never knew that. Just never thought about it.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 03:20 PM
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Thanks for finding all of that! I went through a similar path trying to figure it out. The manuals are a bit frustrating sometimes haha. Good to know about the 2510 though!

For the 5800s, I have a new, unnecessary and overly-complex, plan for the softeners. Here's the setup:

Link to a larger version: https://i.imgur.com/4ymy3zu.jpg

Red is the normal raw water inlet.
Blue is the normal soft water outlet.
Green is for the crossover.
Grey part in the middle is a check valve that only allow flow in the direction away from the blue pipes (soft water to the raw water inlets.)
The two red handled valves are union ball valves that allow full isolation of the softeners and aid in disassembly.
The four copper components are solenoid valves, with the two on the left tied to the left softener and the two on the right to the right softener. Even discounted, they are over $150 each, so if the 5800's do indeed stop service, I could eliminate the two solenoids in the blue plumbing and save $300.
All the pipes are the same in the model, but I'd use 1" for the main inlet/outlet and then switch to 3/4" where they split in two.

Under normal operation there should be no flow through the green pipes.
When the left tank is regenerating, the left two solenoid valves close. This blocks any water coming out of the tank and also blocks raw water from entering the tank. Instead, treated water from the right tank provides water both for regeneration/backwashing (via the green pipes) and for the house.
 
  #11  
Old 03-30-18, 08:20 AM
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Really nice drawings. Fluid dynamics is not my thing. It makes me dizzy sometimes Ėlol. So this could easily be wrong: but it looks to me like there will be a mixture of both raw water and treated water (from the right tank) going into the left tank when the two solenoids on the left are closed. (You can see what I am thinking with the pic and where I am making a mistake)

Did you already come up with a way to synchronize those solenoids with the softener control, or is that still to be done?
 
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Old 03-30-18, 09:30 AM
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Ah, you are completely right! My first design had two separate sections of the green pipes, each with their own check valve. I 'realized' I could merge them together. Thank you very much for catching that! Best case would have had me figuring it out while my water is shut off any I'm putting this all together haha.

I think I can leave everything the same, but instead have two check valves on the vertical green sections, only allowing flow in the downward direction. I also added an outlet on the right for water sampling.



*edit* That might not be the best orientation for the check valves... New picture coming in 5 minutes!

*edit* Okay, here it is. Same thing, but now the check valves only allow flow in the upward direction. Just need to make sure the single softener service flow is significantly greater than the backwash flow.



*and another edit* Depending on the final height for where this connects to the next treatment component, I might go with the first image of this post, but flip the angle of the blue lines and take the green lines below the red without needing that vertical segment. I'm more concerned about lack of restriction from extra plumbing on the service lines though, so that takes priority.
 

Last edited by Hatsuwr; 03-30-18 at 09:56 AM.
  #13  
Old 06-18-18, 12:06 AM
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Upgrade your valve to 5810 XTR2. It already has two programmable auxiliary relays. I wire them to shut-off ro systems operating downstream from softeners/backwash filters.
This will reduce your setup to 1 solenoid and a check valve (if needed).
 
 

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