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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I just purchased a 24 acres in the Western Oregon Coastal Range. A house was started but abandoned 15 years ago and I am in the process of finishing it off. The original owner planned on using a spring about 100 yards away as the source of drinking water. There is a well about 400 yards in the opposite direction that goes down 200+ feet to the water table, but the water smells badly of sulphur (as do most wells in the area). The spring flows into two cisterns and then was plumbed in 2" pipe to within 20 feet of the house. I piped it into the house. I had it tested and it has coliform bacteria but no e coli. I was going to put in a large carbon filter and then an in-line UV sterilizer. The company I was thinking of buying those units from said I should also install a chlorine purification system at the cistern. I suspect they want me to spend that additional $500 for no purpose. My question is, If I have a carbon pre-filter so that no large solids get past it, wouldn't a UV sterilizer take care of the bacteria/virus/potential pathogen problem by itself?
Any responses are appreciated.
Thanks,
Al
 

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If the UV light is properly sized (and replaced on schedule) it will take care of the bacteria. Since the cisterns have probably had water sitting in them for years I would dump some bleach in there and get the whole system cleaned out.

Not knowing how much sediment is there you might consider putting a 20 micron filter in first and then the 5 micron carbon filter. The 20 micron will take out the big stuff, so the carbon filter will last longer.

Look into UV systems for ponds. They use the same light bulbs but have PVC pipes instead of the stainless ones they sell for drinking water. Way cheaper.

Interesting that they said no e Coli. E Coli is an indicator organism for the coliform family. Most tests look for it because it is easy to grow and identify. The water test that I normally run, looks specifically for e Coli, not the other ones. If it didn't have e Coli it wouldn't come back positive for coliform. Wonder what method they used to test the water?
 

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We've used a washable sediment filter (probably 100micron), followed by a 5 micron replaceable filter (cartridge type) and an oversized UV light (8gpm, which is about twice what the pipe/pressure will deliver), and never had a problem. One of the big advantages of spring water is you don't have to put up with chlorine in your water.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice. The test report said they used the SM9223 B/ Colisure method to test the water sample. The results say: "TOTAL COLIFORM - Unsatisfactory Coliform present, E Coli -absent"
I was told by the prior owner, who developed the spring, that he drove a perforated pipe into the hill then pack the outside with rock and put a cement seal on it (similar to a well). The water runs from the perforated pipe to 2 partially above ground cisterns that are interconnected (some of the piping is broken and needs to be replaced in the spring). Both cisterns are covered in 4 inches of moss, pine needles and then 4' ferns. The overflow from the cistern runs downhill to my pond.
I will physically clean off the cisterns in the spring and fix all the piping. I will then bleach shock the spring and cisterns.
What I was trying to avoid was a system that metered bleach constantly into my water (which the supplier was trying to sell me) and then have to attempt to remove that also from the water.
I will do the larger pre-filter (10 micron) then an activated carbon filter and finally a oversized UV sterilization. Since I don't have a great deal of "head" from the spring to the house I will put a small pressure pump and captive air tank before all the filtration. I have been told that the captive air tank may allow bacteria to grow in it but I figure a yearly bleach treatment should keep that problem in check.
Thanks for all your great advice.
Al
 

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To safely filter out organisms, a ONE micron filter is needed.

Personally, in your situation I would opt for a passive system. Go here, click on products, and then the RIO 2000. http://www.doultonwaterfiltersusa.com/products.html That would likely eliminate the need for either UV or chlorine.

In some situations, an oxidizer like chlorine or hydrogen peroxide is needed to de-potentiate chemicals or deal with viruses, but I don't see that need in your setup.
 

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I think I have an old Colisure brochure at work. Will have to dig it out. We played with it a bit but saw no advantage to switching from the Colilert that we were already approved for.
 

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How is your spring tapped? Have you thoroughly top to bottom cleaned your system? How far above "acceptable" are the contamination levels? North, central or south coast range? Any livestock near-by? Pot grows in the last few years near-by?

I live in the central coast range. Cleaning the system is a once a year thing for us. A pot grown and illegal livestock on timber land have both effected our springs here.



Owl
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't know much more about how the spring is "plumbed" than what I have posted. The testing didn't say how much contamination they found only what I reported above.
I am in the Alsea area of the Central Coast. The spring originates on my side of the mountain and there are at least a few acres between the spring and the nearest neighbor. There used to be horses and mules on the property but that was 20 years ago, nothing recent and nothing nearby. No pot farms or any other farming on my hillside. There is a nearby clear cut forest but my "spring" land is all old Douglas Fir. There are numerous deer trails on the property, with lots of recent "activity". I will shock treat the spring and cisterns yearly with bleach and see how that goes (along with the filtration/UV recommended above).
Thanks,
al
 

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I think that if a salesperson was trying to sell me a system and at the same time was trying to sell me another product in addition because the 1st one wouldn't do the job I think I would just keep on shopping.
 
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