Water System (Hard water and Iron Bacteria)


  #1  
Old 09-26-08, 12:02 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Water System (Hard water and Iron Bacteria)

Hello All,

My wife and I bought a house 2 years ago that has a drilled well. There was a very slight smell of "rotten egg" in the water. We had it tested (before buying) and it turned out to be Iron Bacteria, not sulfur (as we expected) in the water. We were told this wasn't a health issue, just the slight smell so we decided we'd worry about fixing it at some point, but loved the house, so it didn't prevent us from purchasing. We've been here for 2 years and honestly, the water "smell" hasn't bothered us and we don't use the bathtub so just showers. However, we are now pregnant for the first time, and knowing how much we'll need to use the bath once the baby is born we want to get the iron bacteria issue fixed sometime before the end of the year.

We also have hard water and there's a water softener from a local dealer installed. We have been having some issues with it for the past 6 months. The first thing that happened is we started getting black particles that would come out of all our faucets and toilets. We had our plumber come over and he told us it was his recommendation that the water softener was causing this (the filter was using charcoal and was most likely not regenerating properly). It made sense as the black stuff that came out of the water seemed to "smudge" whenever you touched it. We had the service folks for the water softener come over and they said it "wasn't them" however I don't believe it as everyone I've talked to locally say they are horrible with doing any servicing. Recently I don't feel the regeneration is working well at all. So we've decided we'll probably replace this water softener as well. As a side note; the black water issue has stopped as of 2-3 months ago...

Last summer we had Culligan come out and we're told the only way to get rid of the iron bacteria would be a chlorination system, they gave us a quote at the time and it was a bit expensive as we also wanted to get the reverse osmosis system so we could drink the water so we passed at the time. As a noted; we're now going to do something to fix the issue. I've been researching other companies that compete with Culligan and have seen Kinetico has a good competitor that people give high praise.

Does anyone have any recommendation on a good company to use? I don't want to have to worry about my "local water softener provider" who may or may not be around in a year. I realize I may pay more for a major corporation, but it's worth it to me.

I do plan to call Kinetico to have someone come out and give us a quote just to compare with the Culligan one.

Any thoughts? Also, anyone have any ideas on other ways to get rid of Iron Bacteria, or thoughts on what could've caused that 3 months of "black water"?

One note; the house is only 5 years old, so everything in it is pretty new (water heater, etc).
 
  #2  
Old 09-26-08, 04:24 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Well to be honest; I've researched people locally that do water softeners and have been unable to find anyone (besides the people that did the one I currently have) that does them. Most people stay away from them as their more effort then their worth.

Plus, being that I also need a chlorination system I'm very hesitant to do it myself since I'm not in the least handy...

Thanks for the info on the Kinetic system; I have someone from their company coming Wednesday to give me the whole Sales pitch so we'll see how that goes. I won't be signing anything obviously; mainly just to make sure I have all my options.

I know quite a few people in my area that have Culligan systems through the same people that gave me my quote and couldn't be any happier with them.

Once I have the full info from both Culligan and Kinetic I'll figure out what my next steps are; which in all honesty could end up being to search harder for another dealer.
 
  #3  
Old 09-26-08, 07:19 PM
Speedwrench's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,679
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
google well shocking and try that on your well, it might stop the iron bacteria, they eat iron and steel so if you have any steel or iron piping you will need to carefully check them for damage especially 90's and joints. i have seen 1" iron 90's eaten through in less than 6 months from iron bacteria

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
  #4  
Old 09-26-08, 09:37 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks, I've been reading up on that tonight and am going to give that a try.

All our piping is copper I believe. The house was built 5 years ago, what's the normal type used? Sorry, I'm not all that good with plumbing...
 
  #5  
Old 10-18-08, 07:32 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 95
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by exorr View Post
Thanks, I've been reading up on that tonight and am going to give that a try.

All our piping is copper I believe. The house was built 5 years ago, what's the normal type used? Sorry, I'm not all that good with plumbing...

Any house built 5 years ago should have either copper or PEX. Our modular has PEX and I find the stuff amazing from what I've read over the last few years. The only expensive part of it is buying the crimper.

Anyway, we have chlorine injection as part of our water treatment system. We use alum for iron removal in one tank and the other tank has caustic soda and bleach (standard 6% sodium hypochlorite) for PH neutralization, iron oxidation and disinfection. I don't think we needed the chlorine, but in this state it is required with the system we have. After that the water goes to a 120 gallon retention tank where the chemicals do their thing then through a large carbon filter called a Hysulex unit where any remaining chemicals and other things that might affect the taste/smell are filtered out and it backwashes every other night.

As we found out, a softener is great for most water issues, but won't touch the iron levels we have had in the past at times. Later!
 
  #6  
Old 10-18-08, 07:37 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 95
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I forgot to mention one thing....... when we bought our house it had been on the market for 2+ years (not many people like to deal with iron issues) and thought we needed to shock our well since it hadn't been used much. I did and had no idea chlorine would oxidize the iron and pull out as much as it did. I was thinking things would clear up, but it actually flushed alot of the excess iron out and into our home as we used the water. No problem if you like your water to resemble diluted orange juice.

Oh yeah..... if you do get a chlorine injection system installed one simple way to keep things in check is to test your water weekly with pool test strips. I refill our chemical tanks every 7-8 days and always check the levels to see if I need to make a chemical change. Later!
 
  #7  
Old 10-18-08, 12:08 PM
C
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 105
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I don't like solution feeders and my customers never liked them either so I don't sell them anymore. They require a lot of babysitting and they constantly are using up the strongest solution first so the solution is always weakening as time goes by so you use more solution so as to have the weakest still be able to treat the water just before you mix more solution. And you're constantly mixing solution. And most of the time they don't work 100% anyway and you fiddle with the amount of solution you inject.

A much better choice is an inline pellet chlorinator with a special mixing tank that is equivalent to a 120 gal retention tank but much smaller; it's only 12" x 65". You add pellets once every few months and clean out the hopper and drain 10-25 gals of water out the bottom of the mixing tank once a month to get rid of any build up in the tank and that's the only maintenance. No moving parts and it's nonelectric. It costs much less than a solution feeder and retention tank too.

Then you follow that with a special carbon in a correctly sized backwashed filter for the peak demand gpm flow rate of the house.

BTW, greensand filters do not adjust pH or control bacteria, they are used to oxidize and filter out H2S, iron and manganese. They use potassium permanganate which is a serious poison and very expensive. There are many other and safer ways to treat H2S, iron and manganese and kill all types of bacteria at the same time. The best and least expensive is my inline pellet chlorinator system.
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-08, 10:03 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NC
Posts: 95
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Well in all honesty I don't find our system a hassle. I flush the retention tank once or twice weekly, which takes maybe a total of 5 minutes. Then I fill the chemical tanks every 7-8 days on average. To say this system isn't very effective is an unrealistic opinion and I don't find them using the strongest solution first then becoming weak. That really depends on how much the pumps are working. Now if they were running at 10-20% it could take 20-30 days to empty the tanks and of course it'd be diluted by that point. But using the full 15 gallons in the time frame we do there is really no fluctuation to speak of.

Well with the iron issue we have a simple chlorinator wouldn't be very effective. I know chlorine oxidizes the iron to help it be removed more effectively, but a simple filter wouldn't be enough for us. We had the option to go with a filter setup, but they just don't have the capacity to filter out the iron that hits us every now and then. That's the beauty of the injection system. I can adjust it to suit the needs of the incoming water. Some people might find it to be a pain in the butt, but those are the ones that are too lazy to maintain something and would rather pay someone to do it.

********************************************************
 

Last edited by GregH; 10-20-08 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Non beneficial comment.
  #9  
Old 10-20-08, 01:41 PM
biermech's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,007
Upvotes: 0
Received 3 Upvotes on 3 Posts
I've dealt with LMI chlorinator for 18+ years. They are a good product with little maintenance. I tell my customers to check it once a month and fill when needed. If the are set up right in the first place, no more adjustments are needed. I've seen pellet chlorinators and they seem to hold up, but they too, have there problems. Like when (not if) the pellets dissolve and build up in the unit. You have to clean them out. They pellets may or may not be readly available. Chlorine and be purchased at ANY local grocery store.

So if you ask me which system is better, I'll tell you they both have there pros and cons. And that is true of any product.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: