First Post: Iron, Tannins, Low pH & sediment


  #1  
Old 03-09-07, 10:38 AM
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First Post: Iron, Tannins, Low pH & sediment

A new resident in Oregon. We are on well water.

Lab tests show 0.41 iron, 0.0038 manganese, 0.3 tannins, pH is 6.5 and we have red clay sediment.

Think iron is ferric, not sure. How do you tell for sure, other than another kind of lab test? Toilet tank has some red color in water and red sediment on walls and bottom. It is not bacterial iron.

I have had 5 companies out to look and give estimates. Only two looked at the existing Ace 15 micron string wound filter and thought the red was clay sediment. The others assumed it was iron. I think it is clay as a new filter gets pink the first day and red the third day. I change it out about once a month. It is red to the core of the filter.

We have 2+ acres with lots of pine, oak, fir & spruce trees. I did not notice any yellow coloring to the water until it started raining. It has been dry now for a week and a clean 5 gallon bucket of raw well water is only slightly yellow and cloudy. Before, it was very yellow/tan and you could not see the bottom of the bucket. The fixes for this is an anion exchange unit. I was hoping to avoid using potassium or sodium brine and heard that a BigBlue 4-20" housing with extruded carbon block might do the trick. We are only 2 people with 2 BR. This carbon has pores that can be sized to handle tannins, apparently. If I can change out once a month for a decent price I might go this route. Comments?

After looking at all the proposals which range from $2500 to $4800, I have concluded that this would be the way to go. What do you think about this set-up:

First in line out of the well would be a Venturi to oxidize the iron. Next is the existing pressure tank. Then comes a dual BigBlue with a 15 micron string filter followed by a 5 micron filter, maybe not string but cellulose graduated filter to handle the sediment.

Next is a multi-media tank with calcite for the pH and Birm? Zeolite? Pyrolox? for the iron/manganese. This is where I am fuzzy. What are the best media for the iron and manganese.

Next comes the anion resin tank (or the extruded carbon block, if it is feasable).

Or does the anion unit come first, thence to the multi-media tank?

Thence into the house with a branch line for a R/O unit for kitchen faucet drinking water.

Thanks for listening
 
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Old 03-13-07, 04:02 PM
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I'm not an expert in this, but my first inclination would be to want a backwashing filtration unit somewhere in the mix. That way you don't spend a fortune replacing clogged filters every month. And I'd go with a fleck valve.
 
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Old 03-13-07, 04:18 PM
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You have a complicated water treatment situation and you're right to call in the pros. Unfortunately, you don't seem to have found a water treatment pro that makes you feel comfortable and that does happen (way too often).

Ask your neighbors if they have any water treatment experience. They might tell you who's good or who to avoid.

Living on well water can be frustrating at first and requires a steep learning curve and routine maintenance. You are responsible for making your water SAFE and nice and there's no room to fool around or learn on the job. Experimenting with your or your family's health is not the way to go.

Keep investigating local water treatment pros...
 
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Old 03-18-07, 06:08 PM
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As a Plan B, I am thinking of a series of large Big Blue filter housings, in lieu of the usual 10x44 inch tanks.

First in line would be a dandy sediment filter to take care of the red clay, probably in the 5 to 15 micron range. A string cloth filter, perhaps.

Next would be the extruded carbon block cartridge to clear up the tannins.

Next would be the calcite cartridge to raise the pH.

Next (and this is where I need help) is a cartridge to take care of the iron and manganese.

Last would be either a 1 micron string filter or to branch off to the kitchen faucet and install a R/O unit under the sink, just for drinking water. I did a lab test for inorganic chemicals and will do one for organics this week. The R/O would be for the organics, if any show up.

There would be plenty of pressure gauges in line to keep track of in and out pressure.

Will a Venturi or Terminator installed before the pressure tank be of any use to help the (now unknown) iron cartridge trap the iron?

Thanks
 
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Old 03-18-07, 07:16 PM
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You'll be spending a lot of time changing filter elements.

Honestly, there is no plan B.

Successfully treating well water is complicated and IMPORTANT and not easily done DIY.

Keep looking for a water treatment pro that impresses you. When you find one and they make their recommendations you'll have something to compare other proposed solutions to.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 03-18-07 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 03-21-07, 07:45 AM
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This is an email from Chad Kendrick with CUNO Technical Services:

"Iron will ruin anion tannin removal resin and tannin will ruin iron removal media and other water treatment materials, so if we try to use an iron filter and anion resin unit, whichever system is in line first will be ruined by the other material in the water"

His phone is 260-693-2531

Anyone agree or disagree with the above?

Now what?

I am still thinking about a extruded carbon block BigBlue filter to catch as much tannins as possible before water goes into the conventional 10x44 iron media tank.

The other tannin removal system Chad mentioned was chlorination which involves a 500 gallon tank to hold the newly chlorinated water, sand filter and carbon filter. Not going to do this.
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-07, 06:49 PM
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Had a lab test our well water for pH. Result was 6.09 S.U. Units. Local yokels who tested with their field kits came up with 6.5 to 6.8. YIKES !

I was planning to have a calcite unit installed, among others. Does this now call for calcite and corosex?
 
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Old 04-02-07, 12:14 PM
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UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Have not yet received my LaMott tannin test kit. Tech at Amtrol/WaterSoft tells me that only if tannins are 1.0 mg/L or more then a problem will surface correcting our iron. Ours is 0.3 mg/L. Does this sound correct? May be moot anyway.

Am now down to two companies and one is the Amtrol Provectr AF 12P with a Venturi and A/P tank, thence into the 12x52" 2.0 cu ft, multi media tank with calcite, corosex, Filterag and Birm. The A/P tank has plactic resin beads. Both tanks backwash using plain water.

Other is Water-Right AW 1054T single tank with 1.5 cu ft of Crystal-Right/Zeolite media. It backwashes with sodium.

Cost for either unit is about the same, $2500.

Did a flow test yesterday and came up with 12.5 gpm.

Please, anyone and everyone, send me your thoughts. Even tho I have at this for two months, I realize I Don't Know Jack.........
 
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Old 04-12-07, 06:44 AM
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justalurker:

What do you think about these two setups?

You told grandamanda you would get back to her if she posted her final recommendations.

Are you discriminating against me because I am a nappy headed grasshopper?
 
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Old 04-29-07, 04:09 PM
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My LaMotte test kit showed little or no tannins.

Anyone want to jump in on my two recommended units?

Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 06-27-07, 09:55 PM
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Complicated water problems - look before you leap

Ferric iron is "red water" iron - you can see it with the naked eye.
Ferrous iron is "clear water" iron - not visible until it is oxidized

You might consider chlorinating the water with a drop-feed chlorinator on the well-head, which negates the necessity for a retention tank. Follow-up with a self-backwashing calcite/corosex tank. This will help remove the oxidized iron and balance the pH. Once that's installed, test your water again to determine if further action is required.

How deep is your well ? I'm concerned that your water changes color so quickly after a weather event.
 
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Old 06-28-07, 01:08 PM
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Hi greg:

Thanks for your thoughts. Well is 125 feet. My current thinking is that I am not seeing red clay sediment in the 10 or 15 micron string wound Ace Hdwr filter. I think it is iron. I let a used filter dry thoroughly and pounded it on the ground and a very fine red powder like flour drifted up and away.

I took my iron test kit and put a tiny dab of wet filter residue in the tube with distilled water. It tested 5.0 ppm and over, on the strip.

We have eliminated buying the traditional water softener method because of the sodium or potassium regeneration. So that leaves fresh water backwashing units.

I had not heard of the drop feed chlorinator at the well head. Do you have a name or website of a mfr?

I think we have both ferrous and ferric iron and am looking at units that get rid of both, just to be safe.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 06-28-07, 01:35 PM
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Oxidizing iron via a venture is a mixed bag. Proper flow rate, gas off ability and post filtration need to be properly set or you are constantly babysitting it. Venturis tend to get clogged and start to decrease effectiveness.

I am not a big fan of pellet droppers due to other problems they may cause. If you use a chemical feed system, would use hydrogen peroxide followed by retention and backwashing filter.

Why, again, are you not selecting a sodium- or potassium-type softener?

The red water may be caused by colloidal clay, which is very difficult (expensive) to remove using a membrane technology filtering down to 0.02 microns.

If your iron 5.0ppm, then it is very high as WQA states any iron over 0.2ppm is considered problematic and should be treated.

PH at around 6.0 is not difficult to handle and Calcite alone may be enough depending on flow rate and the size of your tanks.

Andy Christensen, CWS
 
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Old 06-28-07, 04:36 PM
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Andy C:

No sodium or potassium as I have heard/read that sodium takes some effort to keep working efficiently and that even tho I have been told that the residual sodium that gets into our drinking water is in a glass of tomato juice per 50 gallons of water, I'm still wary. No one likes potassium. Messy.

The lab water test was 0.41 mg/L iron. I did my own test with my iron kit to see if iron would register and try to eliminate red clay as being on the string filter. When I tested water with my kit it was around 0.3.

Colloidal clay was not mentioned by the 6 or so water pros and well drillers who were here giving me quotes. This sounds like iron and clay binding together.

Do you know of anyone in Southern Oregon who can tell me exactly what my water problems are and come up with a solution?

Thanks
 
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Old 06-28-07, 07:25 PM
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Phosphoric Acid

Try dissolving about 5ml of the powder from your filter in 100ml of good phosphoric acid based resin cleaner, like hydroclear, res-up, pur-gard, or pro-rescare. That will dissolve iron oxide, but do nothing to clay or non-carbonate sediment.

That will give you a reasonable idea of how much clay you have in there amongst the rust.
 
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Old 07-07-07, 06:46 AM
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greg-cws:

Could not find any phosphoric acid resin cleaners so I put 5ml (1/2 tsp) of my dried filter powder in 4 oz of distilled water and mixed it up. I added 2 tbsp of IRON OUT which is sodium hydrosulfite and sodium bisulfite.

Water started to clear in 5 minutes and in 10 minutes the top 2/3 was "clear" and residue had sunk to the bottom.

What does this tell you, please?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-07-07, 12:51 PM
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Pro rescare, Res-Up, Hydroclear, Pur-Gard

Not enough unfortunately.

Contact me offlist and I'll give you the information you need to get enough of the chemical you need for the test for free.
 

Last edited by greg-cws; 07-07-07 at 12:55 PM. Reason: typo and insufficient info
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Old 07-17-07, 02:24 PM
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Update

Greg:

Found some 20% phosphoric acid in "The Must for Rust" made by KrudKutter.

Put 1 tsp (5 ml) of my powder in a clear plastic container and added 3+ oz (about 100 ml) of the 20% solution at 1430 yesterday. Looked at 0830 today and there was no residue on the bottom.

Guess all the rust was eaten/dissolved and since there was no residue on the bottom.........no red clay sediment was in the dried powder shaken off the string cartridge filter.

Thank you for the good into.
 
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Old 07-24-07, 08:36 AM
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Filox can remove iron

Hi everybody,

I am newbie of the forum. My English is not god enough to describe all my experience dealing with iron in well water in my country - Vietnam.

But hope you will find that Filox media of Alamowater can solve the iron problem.
Here are the features of Filox:
Superior high efficiency media for filtration and
removal capabilities
No oxidizing chemicals needed for regeneration.
High efficiency with 80% manganese dioxide for
enhanced performance and capacity.
Effective, from 5.0 pH to 9.0 pH
Highest flow rate of any standard iron removal media.

This media is put inside a backwahing filter with Watts or Fleck valve to control the fitration, backwash and flush cycle.

The pH around 6 is easy to be raised by Corosex or any kind of calcite.

I recommend the whole system will be:
Point of entry: Filox - Corosex
Point of Use: Acivated carbon and/ or RO under the sink.

Best regards,
Hoan
 
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Old 07-31-07, 08:49 AM
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Thumbs up

We signed off on a proposal for non-softening units. Two tanks. First in line is a calcite or calcite/corosex unit to raise the pH to a minimum of 7.5.

Next tank is birm or birm, filterag, thence to my existing 4x10 Ace housing which I can leave empty or add a charcoal filter or 10 micron string filter or ?????????

Pretty sure there is no red clay sediment. Guess I will have to wait until rains come to see about tannins.

Thanks for your help
 
  #21  
Old 08-01-07, 07:09 PM
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Well water

Well done.

Keep us posted if you have a significant change in water chemistry after the heavy rainfall comes.
 
 

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