One last problem with the well water to address

setsailsoon

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Folks,

My well water is turning out to be a challenge. Hardness is 10 gr/gal, Sulfide is 1 ppm, tannin is about .5 ppm based on color I'm waiting for lab test result, pH is 7.3. Hardness was easy to address with a standard cation exchange resin to less than 1 gr/gal. ^^^Edit: also well tested negative for bacterial^^^ The rest isn't so successful. Here's my status and questions:
  • Sulfur drops by 90% to .1 ppm. Unfortunately, this still has a distinct sulfur odor. I'm using air injection with a standard Fleck 5600 sxt control head and catalytic carbon. Is 90% reduction all I can expect? If so, will a second unit get the same % reduction that may then yield undetectable level? What else can I try if that's not the case. I had planned on Katalox previously but it was impossible to find and most people around here use standard catalytic carbon. Any other choices other than more difficult/costly peroxide treatments?
  • Tannin level is TBD but based on color (very light yellow, not brown or red). Iron level is not detectable. Just to be sure it's not iron I treated a sample with Iron Out and had no impact. The tannin also has a little bit of a musty odor that doesn't help.

Can any of our mad scientist or chemistry experts comment? (@JoyfulNoise, @JamesW or anybody else). I really need to get this solved before I go too far with the pool.

Chris
 

JoyfulNoise

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Sulfur reduction is a pain. I’m not sure adding another air injection system will do much. You may need to go to a stronger oxidizer like chlorine injection or, yes, peroxide. 1ppm sulfide is pretty tough. Another radically expensive option is to use a storage tank to hold a large volume of water and you off gas by blowing air into it. Major down side is you need a re-pressurization pump.

Tannins are a nuisance not a threat but they make water look terrible (like someone pee’d in your water glass) and some people swear they can detect and earthy/peaty taste from them. There are ion exchange resins that can remove tannins, especially after the water is softened, but it’s going to regenerate a lot which means lots of salt costs (tannins are exchanged with chloride).

Question - could you live with tannins in your shower and laundry?

If so, then an RO tap at the kitchen sink will remove tannins from drinking water and, if you run the water line for the fridge over to the RO, you’ll get clean and clear ice cubes as well.

There are filter systems that attempt to remove tannins by physical membrane filtration but I have no idea of the cost and I would imagine you’ll be changing the filters quite regularly.
 

setsailsoon

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Sulfur reduction is a pain. I’m not sure adding another air injection system will do much. You may need to go to a stronger oxidizer like chlorine injection or, yes, peroxide. 1ppm sulfide is pretty tough. Another radically expensive option is to use a storage tank to hold a large volume of water and you off gas by blowing air into it. Major down side is you need a re-pressurization pump.

Tannins are a nuisance not a threat but they make water look terrible (like someone pee’d in your water glass) and some people swear they can detect and earthy/peaty taste from them. There are ion exchange resins that can remove tannins, especially after the water is softened, but it’s going to regenerate a lot which means lots of salt costs (tannins are exchanged with chloride).

Question - could you live with tannins in your shower and laundry?

If so, then an RO tap at the kitchen sink will remove tannins from drinking water and, if you run the water line for the fridge over to the RO, you’ll get clean and clear ice cubes as well.

There are filter systems that attempt to remove tannins by physical membrane filtration but I have no idea of the cost and I would imagine you’ll be changing the filters quite regularly.
Matt,

Thanks so much for the quick reply. So out of the options you mention I think peroxide injection is the easiest to add and it looks like there's a pretty popular system out there that could end up using less than a gallon of 7% per month at my levels. The tannin situation is a no-go with my wife. She can't stand that it looks like somebody forgot to flush in every toilet. Not real bad but definitely not clear... makes it even worse when I forget to put the seat back down!

What do you think about this approach:
  1. Add peroxide to see if that solves sulfur and perhaps drops tannin level down to acceptable.
  2. If that doesn't work add anionic exchange bed after the softener. These seem to be the most popular way to get rid of tannin.
Chris
 

JoyfulNoise

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Matt,

Thanks so much for the quick reply. So out of the options you mention I think peroxide injection is the easiest to add and it looks like there's a pretty popular system out there that could end up using less than a gallon of 7% per month at my levels. The tannin situation is a no-go with my wife. She can't stand that it looks like somebody forgot to flush in every toilet. Not real bad but definitely not clear... makes it even worse when I forget to put the seat back down!

What do you think about this approach:
  1. Add peroxide to see if that solves sulfur and perhaps drops tannin level down to acceptable.
  2. If that doesn't work add anionic exchange bed after the softener. These seem to be the most popular way to get rid of tannin.
Chris

Good approach. Peroxide might help with tannins. They’re not easily oxidized depending on the specific chemistry (“tannin” is a catch all phrase for a bunch of different organic substances) but you might luck out since the level is so low.

Do you have a sediment pre filter on the input line to softener?

If you have to go the ion exchange route, oversized the tank as much as you can. Tannin removal resins are NOT as efficient as mineral removal resins and they regenerate more frequently.
 

setsailsoon

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Good approach. Peroxide might help with tannins. They’re not easily oxidized depending on the specific chemistry (“tannin” is a catch all phrase for a bunch of different organic substances) but you might luck out since the level is so low.

Do you have a sediment pre filter on the input line to softener?

If you have to go the ion exchange route, oversized the tank as much as you can. Tannin removal resins are NOT as efficient as mineral removal resins and they regenerate more frequently.
Matt, thanks much again. I do have a whole house sized pre-filter with 30 micron filter element between the pump discharge and the sulfur bed. Mostly seems to trap some very fine sand that was kicked up when we cleaned up the well about a month ago. Not really even that much sand when I cleaned it the first time. It's 4.5"x10" and Pentek brand. I think I'll go this route and see what happens.

One more question. I've read that a lot about mixed bed approach where some add 4-6" of anionic resin or even mix it in with the the softener cationic resin. Seems to work for many but has the technical weakness that it is hit with hard water and anionic resin seems to hold up better after a cationic bed. I'm thinking I might try this if the peroxide doesn't quite get me to "wife's standard of perfection". If it works for a while I can at least prove the value of an additional $1500 separate bed with controller. All of my cylinders are pretty oversized for our normal load. We have 10"X54" and 1.5 cu ft of resin in the softener so I should have plenty of room for 6" more. Normal load is just the two of us but several times per year we have 4 more adults and a couple grand kids.

Chris
 

Mdragger88

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I don’t have any suggestions, just following along but This sounds terrible & complicated to deal with 😩
Will municipal water ever be an option for you? I know many who have to deal with various problems with wells/well water & I am so thankful that I have always had municipal water @ my rural homes. Rooting for you & your water 💧👍🏻
 
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JoyfulNoise

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Matt, thanks much again. I do have a whole house sized pre-filter with 30 micron filter element between the pump discharge and the sulfur bed. Mostly seems to trap some very fine sand that was kicked up when we cleaned up the well about a month ago. Not really even that much sand when I cleaned it the first time. It's 4.5"x10" and Pentek brand. I think I'll go this route and see what happens.

One more question. I've read that a lot about mixed bed approach where some add 4-6" of anionic resin or even mix it in with the the softener cationic resin. Seems to work for many but has the technical weakness that it is hit with hard water and anionic resin seems to hold up better after a cationic bed. I'm thinking I might try this if the peroxide doesn't quite get me to "wife's standard of perfection". If it works for a while I can at least prove the value of an additional $1500 separate bed with controller. All of my cylinders are pretty oversized for our normal load. We have 10"X54" and 1.5 cu ft of resin in the softener so I should have plenty of room for 6" more. Normal load is just the two of us but several times per year we have 4 more adults and a couple grand kids.

Chris

Mixed Bed = simplicity (somewhat) for sure

…. But ….

Your tannin resin is going to run out well before your mineral resin will. Therefore your regeneration schedule is going to be dominated by your tannin resin bed which means you’ll never see the full benefit of the mineral removal.

In general I’m not a super huge fan of mixed resin bed systems. I’d much rather have separate units that can be individually serviced and optimized in their use.

These wells were newly drilled if I remember correctly. Are your neighbors seeing the same issues by any chance? Perhaps this might be a situation where the well simply needs to run for a bit and the tannin levels will drop 🤷‍♂️ Or do you feel the well is steady state at this point?
 

wgipe

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If you end up going the peroxide route, I have a stenner and 15 gallon tank for sale that was used in a peroxide system for about a year. I ended up pulling it out and going g with an Ozone I jection system because I got tired of dealing with peroxide. Asking for 275 for the Stenner or 300 with the yank included plus shipping which should be around $35.
 

setsailsoon

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Mixed Bed = simplicity (somewhat) for sure

…. But ….

Your tannin resin is going to run out well before your mineral resin will. Therefore your regeneration schedule is going to be dominated by your tannin resin bed which means you’ll never see the full benefit of the mineral removal.

In general I’m not a super huge fan of mixed resin bed systems. I’d much rather have separate units that can be individually serviced and optimized in their use.

These wells were newly drilled if I remember correctly. Are your neighbors seeing the same issues by any chance? Perhaps this might be a situation where the well simply needs to run for a bit and the tannin levels will drop 🤷‍♂️ Or do you feel the well is steady state at this point?
Yep, agree that's the problem with mixed bed. Was just looking to "try it before you buy it". The wells are less than a year old. The one hooked up to the house has been producing for a month and seems to have lined out at 1 ppm on sulfide. I think the tannin is dropping a little but still definitely there.
 

setsailsoon

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If you end up going the peroxide route, I have a stenner and 15 gallon tank for sale that was used in a peroxide system for about a year. I ended up pulling it out and going g with an Ozone I jection system because I got tired of dealing with peroxide. Asking for 275 for the Stenner or 300 with the yank included plus shipping which should be around $35.
w,
Thanks for the offer and great price... unfortunately I purchased a peroxide system last night. Can you provide details on your Ozone 1 system and sulfur levels?

Chris
 

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JoyfulNoise

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This may complicate matters a bit but you might want to look into installing a GAC filter between your oxidation process and your demineralization process. Ion exchange resins that remove minerals are typically 10% cross linked sulfonate polymers. Oxidizers like chlorine in municipal water supplies tend to damage the resins and reduce their useful lives. My water softener is actually a 2-stage “dual eliminator” system where the first stage is granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove chlorine/chloramine and then the resin stage to remove minerals. This leads to the resin having a much longer service life than typical softeners that are exposed to chlorine.

Both peroxide and ozone are powerful oxidizers that will damage the softener resin. The upside of ozone is that the residual levels in water tend to be quite small compared to chemical oxidizers like chlorine or peroxide. With peroxide you can adjust the dosing to minimize the residual as much as possible but that will take testing to figure out. GAC filtering prior to softener will likely reduce both to nominally insignificant levels. Also, in the case of incomplete oxidation, a properly sized GAC filter will help remove organic contaminants prior to the water going into the household plumbing.

Just a suggestion.
 

setsailsoon

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Matt, that makes a lot of sense. I was thinking to add a polishing carbon filter Downstream of the softener bed but no reason I couldn't put it Upstream of the softener.

Thank you.

Chris
 
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wgipe

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w,
Thanks for the offer and great price... unfortunately I purchased a peroxide system last night. Can you provide details on your Ozone 1 system and sulfur levels?

Chris
Sure thing. See post # 18 in this thread: Strange goo in filter for a full water test from when I installed the system, which should tell you everything you need to know and more.

I ended up doing an AIO ozone system from Nelson with a Katalox bed. It is sequenced before the water softener, and had worked quite well to control sulphur smell and staining. I had issues with the peroxide system clogging to the point I had to pull the head and manually clear it out every 6 months or so. I've not had that issue with this system. We still will get a little staining here and there but very minor.
 

setsailsoon

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Sure thing. See post # 18 in this thread: Strange goo in filter for a full water test from when I installed the system, which should tell you everything you need to know and more.

I ended up doing an AIO ozone system from Nelson with a Katalox bed. It is sequenced before the water softener, and had worked quite well to control sulfur smell and staining. I had issues with the peroxide system clogging to the point I had to pull the head and manually clear it out every 6 months or so. I've not had that issue with this system. We still will get a little staining here and there but very minor.
w,

Thanks much. I remember your thread and never imagined I'd be dealing with anything remotely related at the time. I don't seem to have the iron part of the problem, no goo just a faint yellow color and definitely has strong sulfur odor. Even though my situation is a little different I'm pretty sure I'll be going down the same path. Thanks for the replies.

Chris
 

wgipe

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w,

Thanks much. I remember your thread and never imagined I'd be dealing with anything remotely related at the time. I don't seem to have the iron part of the problem, no goo just a faint yellow color and definitely has strong sulfur odor. Even though my situation is a little different I'm pretty sure I'll be going down the same path. Thanks for the replies.

Chris
Glad I could help, Chris. I learned way more than I ever cared to learn about it at the time, so glad to share anything that would help as you work through it.

Wes
 

Toxophilite

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Not sure how your water tables work, but here, they are stratified about every 100'. Sulfur wells are rare, but do happen, and when they do, it's considered a re-drill to deeper strata. The submitted driller's log database maintained with the State helps, and local drillers have good intuition from prior drills in a particular area.
 
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setsailsoon

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Not sure how your water tables work, but here, they are stratified about every 100'. Sulfur wells are rare, but do happen, and when they do, it's considered a re-drill to deeper strata. The submitted driller's log database maintained with the State helps, and local drillers have good intuition from prior drills in a particular area.
Thanks for the reply. Florida is a little different. Water table is 8-15'. Mine is 12. Here they mostly drive the well with 2" galvanized casing and produce out of 1.25" pvc with a screen at the bottom and a packer to lock in at producing depth. Anything less than about 75' has iron but no sulfur. Deep has less to zero iron and a little to a lot (1-5ppm) of sulfur.
 
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setsailsoon

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Thanks for the reply. Florida is a little different. Water table is 8-15'. Mine is 12. Here they mostly drive the well with 2" galvanized casing and produce out of 1.25" pvc with a screen at the bottom and a packer to lock in at producing depth. Anything less than about 75' has iron but no sulfur. Deep has less to zero iron and a little to a lot (1-5ppm) of sulfur.
In my region at least we seem to be well-compacted, consolidated sand with some fine clay all the way down. Around 50' down there is a very thin shale layer that they have to hammer on a few times to break through. We found that layer in 2 of the 3 wells I've had drilled all in the Martin and St Lucie county area. My soil borings and study for the site only went down about 15' but showed the same as the well tailings. We had 85%+ sand in all 5 borings down to 15'. Compacting was super easy. Wheel rolled to 99%+ density with no difficulty.
 

Toxophilite

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In my region at least we seem to be well-compacted, consolidated sand with some fine clay all the way down. Around 50' down there is a very thin shale layer that they have to hammer on a few times to break through. We found that layer in 2 of the 3 wells I've had drilled all in the Martin and St Lucie county area. My soil borings and study for the site only went down about 15' but showed the same as the well tailings. We had 85%+ sand in all 5 borings down to 15'. Compacting was super easy. Wheel rolled to 99%+ density with no difficulty.
Definitely some very different conditions. I pulled my driller's log. Mostly clay here down to bottom, where they usually want at least 10' for the screen section of pipe in water sand. Mine was found, as everyone in our close local, at 413'- 445'. All my prior wells were around 110'. Log:
Driller's Log Pic.jpg
 

setsailsoon

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Finally making some progress on at least the sulfur front. Tannins are next. I bought a Chemets sulfide test kit that is accurate in 2 ranges 1-30 ppm and 0-1 ppm. Well water has definitely stabilized at ~1ppm sulfide. Lots of discussions from the manufacturer of my catalytic carbon filter have me pretty convinced 90% removal is pretty decent with the likely other contaminants. So I went ahead and installed a JPRO-22 peroxide injection system and sulfur is gone! Totally gone. It is taking a very small dose so I think this is going to be a pretty cost effective way to treat the sulfide. If these ratios hold up it's going to cost about $10/Mo or less on consumables. Peroxide test strips are very easy to read and a cheap way to make sure I'm adding enough peroxide but not too much since any excess gets removed in the carbon filter.

Tannin appears to be reduced but not gone. So my next step is to add Purolite 850 strong base anionic resin to my standard softener bed. 6" should do it and there's room for that in my existing cylinder. Just waiting for delivery and I'll let you know how it works.

Chris
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