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Thread: Ideas for well water?

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    Ideas for well water?

    I'm new to TFP--in fact, this is my first posting ever. I've been reading and following some of the ideas and processes learned here for the last couple of years, but this year I decided to go all in! I purchased and am using a TF-100 test kit (which I love!). I find it so handy to know exactly what is going on with my water without having to drive over and listen to the pool store version of what I need to buy today. I also installed an SJ-45 SWG from Circupool and have been reading up on proper water maintenance for making my pool as trouble free with that system as possible. This is our tenth year with this pool and I can honestly say that this is the first year I am actually excited about having a pool. I've always viewed it as a management headache but after spending a bunch of time reading through info on this site I have learned so much already about what I was doing wrong. Thanks so much for all the great resources posted here!

    I live in farm country, which means that our snow is usually black after a couple of days of blowing around and even if there's no snow to blow around there's usually dirt blowing around anyway! With all that black stuff in the air I am used to my pool looking like a mud puddle in the spring--there's always plenty of sediment to get taken care of and there's really no way to avoid that. That problem has been compounded this year, however, because we replaced our vinyl liner at the end of last summer and all of our fill water came from the well, which means lots of iron (among other things). I have been working for a week trying to get the water in shape so that I can get our new SWG running and get swimming, but I can't get the rusty look out of the water. At first test last week my alkalinity was over 500! Using the method of dropping the ph and aerating I have managed to get that number down to a slightly more reasonable level, as my TA this morning was down to 180. Here are all the numbers at latest test: PH=7, TA=180, FC=10 (after testing I added another gallon of 12% pool shock), CC=2, CYA=50. I am working on getting the CYA up to between 70 and 80 because I plan on using my SWG when things get cleared up, but I'm quitting at 50 for now in order to avoid using so much chlorine to reach SLAM levels.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for clearing up this nasty brown water? I've used 3 quarts of sequestrant and a bottle of concentrated clarifier to try to get some of the sediment to coagulate. I've been at SLAM level in chlorine for a week and I've been adding small levels of DE to my sand filter according to instructions provided in a couple of other threads. I'm brushing and backwashing like a madman! I'm guessing the two squirrels and the giant frog I've managed to remove weren't helping matters either.

    Any suggestions will be much appreciated. The sun is shining and the kids are ready to get in the pool, so I'll try whatever. Thanks much!
    25000 Vinyl IG
    Sta-rite S8S70 Sand Filter
    Circupool SJ-45 SWG
    Polaris 360 w/ booster

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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    I'm not very experienced with dealing with metals in water. Have you had your fill (well) water tested for metals? A sequestrant will only hold the metals in solution to prevent staining is my understanding and not rid you of the metals.

    Brown water? Can you post a pic? Are you sure it is metals and not organics and dirt?
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    If the water is colored, then the iron is actually tiny pieces suspended in the water so to speak. Some folks have and luck just putting paper towels in the skimmer basket and letting the suction pull water through them trapping the suspended particles get caught. Change the paper towels every hour our so.

    Others have actually take a bottle (like a bleach bottle), punch holes int he side and pack it with the fiber fill you find in pillows and pump water through the bottle bottle, again to trap the suspended particles.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    Welcome to the forum. You have an absolutely excellent grasp of what we teach. I am really sorry your source is well water.

    So, here's the deal. The iron you see can be filtered from your water. You can use cloth, paper towels, etc and line the skimmer basket and it will catch those visible iron particles. It will take time and you have to run the pump 24/7 and backwash as necessary but I believe you can get them out.

    The problem then becomes the soluable iron that is in your fill water. You can't see it until you dump in some chlorine and voila!, it, too precipitates to visible particles and now they need to be filtered.

    The only answer then, as you have tried, is to apply a sequestrant that will tend to hold the iron in solution and not let it precipitate. The problem then becomes that sequestrant gets "tired" and it simply goes away.....then you need more sequestrant.!

    So, I am afraid there is no permanent solution. Well water and swimming pools has always been a potential problem because of iron content. Your ALk is tough to manage as well but you have a handle on that and have done an excellent job making it manageable.

    I wish I had an answer but iron in your fill water may be contained and/or controlled with sequestrant but never eliminated.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    Thanks for all the replies! I know from past experiences that iron doesn't just disappear, I'm just struggling with the quantity at this point. I know some of what is going on is organics and dirt but those are just a matter of filter and backwash cycles as well.

    I'll keep on the same path, and try some sort of liners in the skimmers to help speed it up a bit. I was hoping for a good rain today to provide some refill for all this backwashing but that seems to have missed us. I guess I'll turn on the hose and add some more iron! Hey, if it was easy anybody could do it, right?
    25000 Vinyl IG
    Sta-rite S8S70 Sand Filter
    Circupool SJ-45 SWG
    Polaris 360 w/ booster

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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    We have the same problem here, I don't because my well is 500+' deep, but everyone else on the lane struggles with iron in their water.

    Not sure if this is an option for you, but have you tried calling around to the fire stations. One we have here local will fill from the lake for pools for a donation to the Fire House. Now the water isn't pristine, but if you had that option, drain out as much of your fill as you can without damaging your pool and have them dump in for you. You will have organics, but the iron won't be an issue. If you haven't called around it might be worth it to give it a shot.

    Good Luck!
    AGP: 27' x 52" : 17,500 gallon
    300 lb. Sand Filter (75 gpm) / 1.5 hp pump
    Full Sun ~ All Day

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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    Hi
    I had brown water once after the Sentry stuck on and over filled the pool. So is kinda interesting. Had water tested at a local pro lab and iron was not detectable. And the rusty brown color disappeared after a few days of pumping. Could only conclude that seal between coping and bond beam had failed over years and over filling and subsequent draining washed debris back into the pool.

    But a question please. Does your domestic house water also come from the well? Is it also rusty brown?
    Last edited by engrav; 06-02-2016 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo
    IG under fir trees and one cherry surrounded by grass built in 1979, 30k, plaster, old Sta-Rite HRPB30, 4.9 sq.ft, 20 GPM/sq.ft., but with new glass, new (in 2012) 1 HP WhisperFlo one speed, new (in 2013) Rainbow tab chlorinator attached at the top, old Maxi-Flo Heat Exchanger MF-260, Burnham V7 oil heater 245 MBH, new (in 2012) Compool to Easytouch, Taylor K-2005 and TF-100.

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    Re: Ideas for well water?

    Our house water does come from the well. We've got a whole house filter and a very nice softening system that makes it very nice for use, but if we forget to add softener salt or let the filter go too long it can be noticed quickly where the sinks and tubs start turning red.

    Our pool is actually shaping up really nicely, and looks more blue green now than red brown so I think we're heading in the right direction. All the surfaces definitely turn red though, so we've been brushing steadily and doing our best to keep it in suspension. It seems like each day we can see a few inches deeper into the water, but it is still quite cloudy. I've still been working through the cycle of dropping the ph and aerating and have now taken the alkalinity from over 500 down now to 150. The problem now is that with all the back washing I've had to add water, which brings the TA back up again. I'm hoping for a dump of low pH water in the form of rain tomorrow but we'll see.

    Still keeping after it! Let me know of any suggestions. Thanks!
    25000 Vinyl IG
    Sta-rite S8S70 Sand Filter
    Circupool SJ-45 SWG
    Polaris 360 w/ booster

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