Help - tap water is black!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Debbie in IL, May 28, 2004.

  1. Debbie in IL

    Debbie in IL Active Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    Help - all of a sudden our water is black!! We have always had lots of iron and minerals but the water has been clear and I think good. We are on a well with septic. The well is approximately 220' deep. Now the water is black! It happened very suddenly and we first noticed it in the toilets. What could be causing this? I don't see anything unusual in the way anything is operating - well pump, holding tank, ejector pump, etc... I have been here almost 12 years and never seen anything like this. We have a Rainsoft conditioning system with an iron filter if that makes a difference. We have tried running the water in the sinks, etc. - they started out clear and gradually got blacker. The toilet water seems to be a bit lighter than what we first saw, but still definitely blackish. We have had quite a bit of rain recently. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Debbie
     
  2. Debbie in IL

    Debbie in IL Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    Update - we have been running the inside water for about an hour and it is getting clearer. The black stuff was kind of greasy - sounded like the magnesium contamination experienced in parts of the country after Nov. 2002 Alaskan earthquake (I did a search on "black well water" -fairy). We have stopped running inside water as it is only filling my septic tank, and will run it outside through hoses for now. We will have to have the water tested, and will be checking with the neighbors at a more reasonable hour. Who would be the best to call? County, DNA, well company, who???? Thanks!

    Debbie
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    This is only my experience.....we had a rental property with black greasy droplets in the water. It turned out to be some sort of bacteria in the pipes. We drained all the pipes and back filled them with bleach. Let it sit 24 hours, flushed them thoroughly, and that solved the problem. I am not sure how you would do this with pressure tanks.

    Special care must be taken if you are living in the house while you do this so that no one absent mindedly drinks the water.

    Also....Have you changed all your water system filters?
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    I would check the water filtration system, it sounds like a burst filter within the system allowing concentrated previously removed material to seep in.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rainsoft has a very bad name around 'here', with really poor performance and they cheated a friend of mine out of $4000, another friend has the system break about 6 times a year & they charge $40 to come look at it, plus inflated $$$ to do anything at all - the thing breaks if they flush a toilet while it is conditioning, what an unacceptable situation! Looking on the internet, that seems to be their method of operation. I would look to replace their expensive junk with something that actually works.

    You could have bacteria in the system. Several entry points for that. All the flushing in the world won't get rid of it, a shock treatment (bleach etc) is needed.

    The heavy rains could have flooded the well area. Do you have a pit? If standing water around the well pipe covers it, very often the seal does not hold up & muddy surface water flows down the well casing (esp while pumping it gets sucked in by vacumn), clouding the water - or introducing bacteria. You need to fix the cause of this be4 pumping & pumping - you only keep adding more dirt or more bacteria to the well.

    The crappy water conditoner could have broken & released stuff into the water supply. Throw the junk out & get a good one, don't waste more money on that company. Continuing to pump will only run up the electric bill, not clear up a broken system.

    --->Paul