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Thread: High total alkalinity from well

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    High total alkalinity from well

    Hi, This is my third pool and I have always taken care of my pools myself. I just moved to the country and of course we are on well water. The well has a TA of 400. It is also very hard but I can temper that with an extremely large (apartment style) water softener. Is it permissable to allow the water to go to high levels of TA (like 200-300) and soften it to around 50 - 100 to keep the balance correct as per the poolcalculater? I know I can drive the TA down by aerating and adding acid, but this is a lot of work and I am looking for an alternative. Thanks for any suggestions.

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    Welcome to the forum I don't think the softener will lower your TA. The only PERMANENT way to do that is acid/aeration.

    f you water is extremely "hard", that usually means high calcium and/or iron and is another set of problems in addition.

    I would suggest you look at trucking water in if all those conditions exist.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    I know that softening my water does not affect the TA but I am wondering if I can still find balance by adjusting the other numbers such as getting the water softer.

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselburner
    I know that softening my water does not affect the TA but I am wondering if I can still find balance by adjusting the other numbers such as getting the water softer.
    Removing calcium will allow you to run the TA and pH higher without causing scale as long as the CSI is not too high (I'm assuming that that's what you're referring to).

    The primary problem with the high TA is that it's going to cause your pH to continue to rise. This means that you're still going to end up adding acid anyway. However, with a lower calcium level, you won't have to be as concerned about scaling.

    If you left the calcium high, then you would want to get the TA down as quickly as possible by keeping the pH down to 7.2.

    If the pool is concrete, then you will want the calcium above 200 ppm anyway.

    If you are going to use a SWG, then you will want the TA lower. If you're going to use trichlor tabs, then a higher TA will work until you switch over to bleach or liquid chlorine.

    If you could give some details of your pool type and chlorine source, then that would help.

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    A higher pH increases the risk of metal staining. With well water, iron content might be a concern.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    Chem geek has a good point about metals. If you can have the water tested for metals, such as iron, copper and manganese, then that would be helpful. It's possible that the softener would be helpful for removing any metals.

    Having the calcium hardness (not total hardness) checked would also be helpful.

    Either way, you're still going to have to eventually lower the TA over time because it's going to cause your pH to rise.

    Therefore, it would probably help to use a softener if your calcium is really high or you have metals, but it really won't allow you to ignore the high TA. At best, it will reduce the urgency to lower the TA.

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    Maybe this is not the right forum to ask but does anyone know if it is possible to treat the water coming from the well to lower the TA?

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    It doesn't matter that the water is coming from a well. The procedure is the same to Lower Total Alkalinity as described in the Pool School.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    Yes but I am looking for a process to treat it at the well head. I guess you folks are not the right ones to ask. Thanks anyway

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    Re: High total alkalinity from well

    There are several methods that can lower the total alkalinity of well water. Reverse osmosis, electrodeionization, distillation and ion exchange deionizers will all work to remove cations, such as calcium, magnesium and iron, and anions, such as carbonate and bicarbonate, nitrate, sulfate and chloride.

    A water treatment company would probably be able to help you find a good solution.

    Here are some references that might be helpful:

    http://www.wellowner2.org/2009/

    http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_wa ... atment.asp

    http://www.nsf.org/Certified/Common/Com ... ogram=DWTU

    Note: A softener is an ion exchange system that only removes hardness (cations, positively charged ions, such as calcium). To remove both cations and anions, you need a system specifically designed to do so.

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