The Definitive Guide To Well Water Treatment

The Definitive Guide To Well Water Treatment 2017 Clean Water Store ISBN-10: ISBN-13: No part of this ebook may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any
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The Definitive Guide To Well Water Treatment 2017 Clean Water Store ISBN-10: ISBN-13: No part of this ebook may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author-publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, 2 Welcome to The Definitive Guide To Well Water Treatment! You now have at your fingertips a comprehensive resource guide for well water treatment. We hope you find this guide useful and look forward to your feedback and questions regarding well water treatment and water quality. Our company Clean Water Systems & Stores has been providing solutions for tens of thousands of problem water wells since Over the years, we have been asked the same questions by homeowners, contractors, and well specialists dealing with tough problem water: How can I determine which treatment solution is best for my problem? We created this guide to answer these questions in as simple a format as possible. Questions answered include: How do I know if I need water treatment? Where do I start? How can I know I am getting the best solution for the lowest cost? Which type of system should I buy for my water problem? Is it possible to get a filter or treatment system and install it myself? When should I hire a professional to do the installation and maintenance? How to Use This Guide: See the Table of Contents on page 4 and browse to find a water problem or type of issue you are interested in. We have included many tables and charts to help you identify the type and cause of your water quality problems. At the end of the Guide you will see additional information on how your well works, plus various technical data and a comprehensive glossary. If you have any questions about the material in this guide, please contact us! Toll-free: Visit our Web Site Clean Water Systems & Stores Inc A Soquel Ave Santa Cruz, CA Click here to see us on Facebook for daily updates and interesting facts! 3 Table of Contents 1. Well Water Treatment Cheat Sheet 7 2. The Basics Test Your Water Determine Your Well Pump Flow Rate Perform a Toilet Tank Inspection Check Your Water Heater Check for Pipe Corrosion and Scale Build-up Identify Pipe Sizes Choose Your Water Treatment System Hire a Contractor or Buy Yourself? Where to Buy? Which Type of Water Treatment System Is Best? Avoid Pressure Drop Problems with Water Treatment Equipment Best Practices for Installation Hiring a Professional Versus Doing it Yourself Treatment Solutions by Problem Treatment Solutions by Stain Type Odor Identification and Solutions Color Identification & Treatment Flakes, Particles, and Sediment Fixture Problems Identification Water & Health Problems Iron Filtration Iron Treatment Methods Iron Filter Types and Operation Oxidizing Iron Filter Comparison Sediment Filtration Multi-Media Filters for Sediment Removal 36 4 15. Water Softeners No-Salt Water Conditioners Reverse Osmosis Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Systems Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems Ultrafiltration Nitrate Removal Tannin Removal Neutralize Acid Water Down-Flow Calcite Neutralizers Up-Flow Calcite Neutralizers Soda Ash Feeders Eliminating Odors Ozone Treatment Ultraviolet Sterilizers Factors Affecting UV Treatment Routine Testing Pretreatment System for Hard Water Pretreatment for Sediment Pretreatment for Iron in Well Water Ultraviolet Sterilizers and Giardia Microorganisms That Are Treated By UV Chlorinators How to Select and Size a Chlorinator Feed Pump How Much Chlorine Should I Plan to Add? How Do I Know What Size Chlorinator Pump to Install? How to Size the Chlorine Metering Pump Hydrogen Peroxide Systems 76 5 26.1 How Hydrogen Peroxide Systems Work Peroxide Installation Selecting Hydrogen Peroxide Solution Strength & Pump Settings How to Determine Peroxide Residual Disinfection and Contact Time Shock Chlorination for Wells Shock Chlorination Using Chlorine Bleach: How to Sanitize Pipes & Plumbing Shock-chlorination using the Slug-in Method : Shock Chlorination Procedure by High-Pressure Metering Pump Injection: Well Troubleshooting Guide Top 5 Warning Signs Your Water Well Is In Trouble Causes of Sediment, Rust, Minerals or Odors Dissolved Gasses or Air in Water How Your Well Works Case Studies After Neutralizer and Pro-OX Iron Filter: Crystal Clear and Tastes Like Spring Water Upgrading a System with the Greensand Iron Filter Pro-Ox Iron Filter: This new system is great! It was easy Pro-OX AIR Cures Rusty, Murky Water Pro-OX Iron Filter Tackling the Worst Iron Problems Bacteria Disinfection with the Wonder Light UV Sterilizer Calcite Acid Neutralizer satisfaction Sediment Backwash Filter Working as planned Multiple Filter System Water Is Right on the Money Glossary of Terms Additional Resources and Links: 138 Technical and Product Questions Answered Fast 139 6 1. Well Water Treatment Cheat Sheet 7 2. The Basics Test your water for general minerals, physical and coliform bacteria. If you live in an industrial or agricultural area, or near a gas station, also test for additional chemicals and heavy metals. Determine your well water flow rate in gallons per minute. Perform a toilet tank and water heater inspection. Check for odors in the water: odor in cold water? Hot water? Or both? Check for pipe corrosion and scale build up, unless the home is new. Identify the diameter of your main pipe coming in to home. Select a location for your water treatment system and determine space available. Select your water treatment system so it will not adversely affect your water pressure. Use best practices for installation and start-up. 2.1 Test Your Water If you have never had your well water tested, or the well is new, or has recently been serviced, it s a good idea to have a complete general mineral, physical and bacteriological test done. This includes common minerals, salts, metals, and bacteria. It should always include a ph test, which tells you how acidic or alkaline the water is. With these results, you can determine if you need any type of water treatment, and what type of system to select, based on your water chemistry. If you have well water and are experiencing staining, at a minimum make sure you test for ph, hardness, iron, manganese, and total dissolved solids, not just iron and water hardness. If you are trying to correct an aesthetic or corrosion-related problem, such as staining, pinhole leaks in pipes, or odors, then a general mineral analysis (which would include at minimum tests for iron, manganese, tannin, ph, total dissolved solids, hardness, and alkalinity) is recommended. In some cases, additional tests for tannins are recommended. For health-related issues at a minimum include a test for total coliform, e-coli (fecal coliform). If infants and children will be drinking the water, a complete general, mineral, metals and bacteriological test is recommended. See this link for more information about various types of well water testing kits and services: 8 2.2 Determine Your Well Pump Flow Rate Your well pump can pump water up to a certain maximum flow rate, in gallons per minute. For example, say you could fill a 5-gallon bucket in 1 minute. This is a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute or 5 GPM. If the water filled up a 5-gallon bucket in 30 seconds, the flow rate would 10 GPM. Knowing how many gallons per minute your water system can pump is critical to picking the right type of water treatment system, and it is easy to determine. This method works for most well pumps. If your pump turns on at one pressure (typically 30 or 40 PSI) and off at a higher pressure (usually 50 or 60 PSI) this method will work for you. It is easy! All you need is a 1 or 5-gallon bucket and a watch or clock. It takes just a few minutes: 1. Open any hose bib or faucet until pump turns on. 2. Close hose bib or faucet and let pump fill up pressure tank until it turns off. 3. Using a 1 or 5-gallon bucket, open faucet, collect & measure all water discharged until pump turns on. 4. When the pump turns on, immediately close faucet and start timing pump cycle* 5. When the pump turns off, record pump cycle time to refill pressure tank in seconds. 6. Divide the number of gallons collected in Step 3 by the number of seconds in Step Multiply the answer from Step 6 by The answer in Step 7 is the average pumping capacity of the pump in gallons per minute (GPM). If you cannot tell when the pump is turning on and off, in other words, it is too silent and you cannot hear the well pump or pressure switch clicks, then do this: Locate the pressure switch and remove the cover. Warning: live voltage is under the pressure switch cover. DO NOT touch any of the live electrical terminals inside the pressure switch cover! Note that the pressure switch has four terminals; as the well pump runs, fills the pressure tank, and turns off, these points will open and close. When the points are closed together, you can tell the pump is running; when the points are open, the well pump is shut off. Click this link to access our online calculator and make your calculations more quickly and easily: Systems with Variable Speed ( Continuous Pressure Pumps ) Some wells don't turn on at one pressure and off at another. These types of pumps are called continuous pressure or variable speed pumps, meaning that they run slow at first, and then faster as the pressure drops in the pipes. For continuous pressure systems, you need to consult with the pump installer or look at the pump s documentation to see what your flow rate is. 9 2.3 Perform a Toilet Tank Inspection Check your toilet flush tank for staining and sediment: Symptom Cause Solution White scale on float Calcium hardness Water softener Total dissolved solids Reverse osmosis Tank sides are white, but black, rust or sand is laying on the bottom Decaying galvanized pipes Replace pipes; correct corrosiveness of water Sand, rust or sediment in well water Sediment and/or iron filter Blue stains Acidic (low ph) water Calcite neutralizer or soda ash feeder Rust stains Iron Iron filter (Birm, MangOX, Greensand, Pyrolox) Furry, stringy red growths Furry, stringy gray or black growths Iron (and/or other) bacteria Sulfur (or other) bacteria Chlorination, aeration, ozone injection, hydrogen peroxide, followed by filtration Chlorination, aeration, ozone injection, hydrogen peroxide, followed by filtration Frothy, with bubbles Brown stains Black stains Pink stains Iron bacteria Iron and/or Manganese Iron and/or Manganese Ferric Sulfide (black rust) Airborne bacteria Chlorination, aeration, ozone injection, hydrogen peroxide, followed by filtration Iron filter that removes manganese (MangOX, Pro- OX, Greensand, Pyrolox) Iron filter that removes manganese (MangOX, Pro- OX, Greensand, Pyrolox) Iron filter (Birm, Pro-OX, MangOX, Greensand, Pyrolox) Not water quality related; Clean with chlorine bleach 10 2.4 Check Your Water Heater It is a good idea to periodically drain and flush your water heater. You will see that on the bottom of your water heater is a hose bib, or drain valve, which is a connection where you can attach a garden hose. Simply attach a garden hose, and fill up a white 5-gallon bucket. If the water is clean, your water heater may not have any sediment in it, or it could have sediment from calcium hardness that has solidified. If you see sand or black sediment, or white chips, or blue chips, this can indicate your water heater dip tube has deteriorated, and/or the water heater lining is going bad. If you get a lot of rust or brown looking deposits, and your pipes are not iron piping, then the well water likely contains high levels of iron or manganese. Before draining your water heater, you may wish to buy a brass hose bib cap. These are available at all hardware stores, are inexpensive, and will allow you to cap off the drain valve on your water in the event it will not shut off once you try to close it after draining. 11 2.5 Check for Pipe Corrosion and Scale Build-up Unless your home is new, it is important to check for pipe corrosion and scale build-up in the piping: Check for signs of blue stains in fixtures or toilet tanks that can indicate copper corrosion, and/or test water for copper. If you have galvanized iron pipe, look for signs of rust and scale in the toilet flush tank. If possible, inspect the exterior of pipes and valves, to see if you see any signs of pinhole leaks or corrosion by-products which can be crusty, bluish, white or salty looking or rusty. If you are having any plumbing work done on your house, inspect any sections of the pipes that have been cut to see if there is any scale build-up or signs of corrosion. 2.6 Identify Pipe Sizes It is useful to know the size of your incoming pipes. For instance, say you decide you want to install an iron filter system for your house. They come in different pipe sizes, such as ¾ pipe, 1 pipe etc. Generally, you want to make certain you get a filter or water treatment system that will not restrict the water flow or pressure, so if you have a 1 pipe, you would want an iron filter that has 1 pipe connectors. Knowing what size piping you have solves this problem. It is easy to check the size of your pipes. First, check on the pipe itself, often it will be labeled or written on the side. If not, the string method which measures the circumference is probably the best way to determine your pipe size. Circumference is the distance it takes to go around the pipe once. Remove any insulation from the pipe. Using a piece of string about 6 long (or a cloth tape measure) wrap the string around the pipe once and measure to the nearest 1/8 of an inch... Once you have found the circumference, use the chart below to find your pipe or tube size. Copper Pipe or PEX tubing 2.75 (70mm) = 3/4 pipe 3.53 (90mm) = 1 pipe 4.32 (110mm) = 1 1/4 pipe 5.10 (130mm) = 1 1/2 pipe Flexible (usually black) Polyethylene Pipe (75-85mm) = 3/4 pipe (95-108mm) = 1 pipe ( mm) = 1 1/4 pipe ( mm) = 1 1/2 pipe Steel Pipe or PVC Plastic Pipe 3.25 (83mm) = 3/4 pipe 4.00 (102mm) = 1 pipe 5.00 (127mm) = 1 1/4 pipe 6.00 (152mm) = 1 1/2 pipe 12 3. Choose Your Water Treatment System Now that you know your water chemistry, flow rate, and pipe size, you can select your treatment system. You could choose the purchase based soley on the price, but there are other considerations as well. 3.1 Hire a Contractor or Buy Yourself? Start by consulting the Water Quality Association website for help in locating a Certified Water Treatment Professional in your area. WQA certified professionals pass rigorous certification exams and conform to a code of ethics. Recommendations and quotes from local water treatment companies usually include installation, as most water treatment dealers and contractors prefer to install the system for you and offer you routine service for an additional cost. See the chapter: Hiring a Professional Versus Doing it Yourself. There can be advantages to hiring a qualified local water treatment contractor if they are certified and bonded and have the experience to solve your water problem. If you plan to save money on the installation and equipment costs and do it yourself, you can buy it yourself and hire a plumber to install it, or install it yourself. 3.2 Where to Buy? Online websites such as and hundreds of others allow you to compare costs and features of various systems. If you do basic plumbing or are willing to hire a plumber you can often save hundreds of dollars and end up with an excellent system. Many hardware stores sell water treatment equipment, as do big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, etc. Often these stores have limited selection and cannot treat complex or difficult water problems, but they can be a quick and easy solution for simple water problems for small homes and businesses. Plumbers and plumbing wholesale distributors often sell a limited selection of water treatment equipment direct to the public. Water treatment dealers will sometimes sell their equipment at a discount but typically they prefer to offer a total package of installation and service. 13 3.3 Which Type of Water Treatment System Is Best? After you have educated yourself about your water chemistry and flow rate, you can use the charts in this Guide to determine which system will work best for you. If you have any questions and want to get an expert opinion, consult a technician that has been certified by the Water Quality Association at Select a Location for Your Water Treatment System Most automatic water treatment systems require some the following considerations: System must connect to the main line coming in, or connects to and from this incoming pipe. Often the water treatment system for the house will bypass outside garden water. Determine the height, width and floor space required for each piece of equipment. Most automatic filter systems have some type of backwash or drain water, and need to be connected to a drain. If your home is on a septic tank, this is usually the best place to discharge the backwash waste water. In some cases, a separate French drain (a drainage trench with gravel is used) is best, depending on local codes and soil conditions. If the backwash water contains no chemicals or salts, it can be be discharged to a garden or wooded area and used for irrigation, but local building and health codes may prevent this option. Most automatic filter systems require electrical power, although most use very little actual power. For instance, a typical iron filter will need to be plugged into a 120v outlet, but only use 0.25 to 0.5 amp or about 30 to 60 watts of power at most. Keep the water treatment equipment (and your pump and pressure tank) from being exposed to excessive heat or freezing. If your system will be housed in a small area (e.g. a shed), make sure the area is well ventilated to avoid overheating. Likewise, protect all equipment from freezing. If you live in a seismic zone, strap your system to a wall to prevent damage from earthquakes. It is best to prevent sunlight from directly shining on the equipment to prevent the sun from warming up the filter tanks or water softener. Chlorinator, contact tank, backwash sediment filter, carbon backwash filter and water softener installation in a customer s basement. 14 3.4 Avoid Pressure Drop Problems with Water Treatment Equipment Understand how your well pump and pressure tank works. There is a pressure switch that measures the amount of water pressure in PSI (pounds per square inch) in your household plumbing. As you use water, water flows from your pressure tank, and as the pressure drops to a preset level, the pressure switch turns the well pump on. Unless you have a constant-pressure type of pump that maintains a constant pressure, most pressure switches are set to turn on at one pressure, typically 30 to 50 PSI, and off at a higher pressure, typically 20 PSI over the lower pressure. If you want higher pressure, you or your well service company could theoretically adjust your pressure switch to turn off at a higher pressure. However, in some cases, the pump cannot deliver a higher pressure. For instance, say you want more water pressure, and your well pump turns on at 20 and off at 40 PSI. You could probably adjust it so it turned on at 30 or 40 and off at 50 or 70 PSI, but if your well pump cannot build up enough pressure to reach the new higher cut-off point, it will just keep running and not turn off, and eventually be damaged. Note that if you did adjust your incoming pressure, you would need to adjust the static air in your pressure tank, when there is no water pressure in the system. This is done by locating the air valve for the tank, and using a pressure gauge to test the air pressure. (Do this only when the tank has n
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