ironing out our well

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by drewallen, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. drewallen

    drewallen Member

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    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    WV
    Hello all. I'm a newbie to this forum, living in Pocahontas County, West Virginia where my wife and I got ourselves in slightly over our heads and bought ourselves one of the area's 1920s two-room school houses for our first home.

    In spite of all it's quirks and the fact that we're its first full-time, year-round occupants, it's beautiful to us... most of the time.

    One of the quirks I'm currently dealing with is the well. It's a dizzying 15 feet deep, augered/dug well (about 8" in diameter), located about 20 yards from a year-round creek that flows through part of our yard. The lay of the land is such that the well is probably about 5 feet above the creek. Between the well and the creek is a small, damp wetland.

    One of the previous owners of the schoolhouse installed a 12 gpm submsersible pump. We've added a new pressure tank, 50 gallon electric water heater and plumbed the house (thank goodness for CPVC!) with a full bath and kitchen sink.

    Shock chlorinated the well a couple times before we moved in.

    I recently had a water analysis done on the well because we'd like to get the iron out. It's at about 4ppm of dissolved (ferric) iron.

    I've gotten an estimate from the local hardware store on a MacClean Chem-Free system (greensand filter), but am concerned about the fact that the system needs backwashed with about 30-40 gallons every other day. I'm not sure if our well has that capacity.

    Of course, we both take showers and do our dishes pretty much daily, and I really haven't noticed the water level in the well falling much below 10'.

    We've been in the place for about 2 months and haven't run out of water, in spite of the fact that September and October are the area's driest months. I'm thinking the creek and adjacent wetland has a lot to do with that.

    Should I be concerned about the amount of water used to backflush a filter given our well?

    Does anyone have any alternative suggestions on treating iron-water for drinking and washing clothes? Or is a greensand system the way to go?

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice for the first of what I am sure will be many questions to come.

    -Drew
     
  2. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Need to know before I can comment. When the filter backflushes where does the water go and at what flow rate does it backflush the filter?
     

  3. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    Why not a regular water softener with a 5 micron filter before it.


    mikell
     
  4. tkrabec

    tkrabec Well-Known Member

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    Mar 12, 2003
    Location:
    FL
    I've got a well with iron we have a softner that uses salt, the salt displaces the iron and the filter is regenerated based on demand.

    -- Tim
     
  5. drewallen

    drewallen Member

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    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    WV
    According to the fella at the hardware store, he can route the discharge from the filter wherever I want it. He said he actually prefers not to send it to the septic, but the only other option I really have is to have it directed toward the creek. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure what the flow-rate of the filter is. I think I remember him saying that on the nights when it's programed to backflush, it cycles on and off for a couple of one-hour(?) periods.
     
  6. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 11, 2002
    15 feet is awfully shallow. You're only getting surface water mostly. Can't you have it drilled any deeper. Think you will always have a problem with a well that shallow, especially in a drought year. It would be worth it to go deeper and get better water, IMHO.
     
  7. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Feb 22, 2004
    Were it me, I would skip the sand filtering of all the well water. I would set up a small reverse osmosis system and process just drinking water into a poly storage tank with a small demand pump.

    Brad