Sequestrant vs. CYA Bound Chlorine

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
Granular activated carbon (GAC) removes both FC and CC. My whole house softener is a dual tank system where the water first flows through a GAC tank to remove lots of impurities and chlorine and then through the exchange resin to remove Ca/Mg hardness. By using the GAC prefilter, the reduced chlorine load saves the life of the resin. I periodically check FC/CC/CH/TH out of my softener tap to ensure that the resin beds are functioning.

An iron removal system is a lot more expensive as you have found out. It can become very cost-prohibitive when iron levels are as high as yours....now you know why municipal suppliers and the EPA don’t classify iron as a contaminant!! If the EPA did, then suppliers would have to treat for it and the cost of water would soar. Iron...it’s a nutrient every human needs to live...therefore it can’t be a contaminant.....(too bad most dissolved iron in drinking water is nearly impossible for the human body to absorb ;) )
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
For the fill I just used city water garden hose.

For the rescue / recirculating I knocked down one of my submersible pumps to filter manifold size.

I did not bother with flow rates. I ran pump for about 2 days.

On the deck I also had a 100sqft auxiliary cartridge, that was just to keep my customers filter clean after I changed blood red sand.

As far as cartridge material, I did not investigate.

Timely & high quality results are my objective, empirical data is secondary. Though I will likely hyperfocus in the Why when the snow falls.
Thanks for more good information, PoolguyinCT! Was the FC or CC very high when you did the "rescue." I suspect that the carbon element is in the FastFill filter to protect the resin in the 2nd stage metal filter. I should have asked Zach about recommended FC levels when used in a recirc application. I'm worried that FC will reduce the life or capacity of the metal filter.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
You can always drop your FC level temporarily using ascorbic acid. Upside is that the AA will dissolve any metal stains on your plaster. Downside is, no ideas what effect it will have on the CuLator resin....oh, and with no FC in the water, you are exponentially more likely to get algae....
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
Granular activated carbon (GAC) removes both FC and CC.
That's what I thought.

My whole house softener is a dual tank system where the water first flows through a GAC tank to remove lots of impurities and chlorine and then through the exchange resin to remove Ca/Mg hardness. By using the GAC prefilter, the reduced chlorine load saves the life of the resin.
<snip>
I bet the carbon is in the Periodic Products/Culator Fillfast filter for the same reason!
An iron removal system is a lot more expensive as you have found out. It can become very cost-prohibitive when iron levels are as high as yours....now you know why municipal suppliers and the EPA don’t classify iron as a contaminant!! If the EPA did, then suppliers would have to treat for it and the cost of water would soar. Iron...it’s a nutrient every human needs to live...therefore it can’t be a contaminant.....(too bad most dissolved iron in drinking water is nearly impossible for the human body to absorb ;) )
Yeah--the costs become a tradeoff. I ordered some Metal Magic sequestrant for $16 per quart. How much and how long before a drain/partial drain and water tanker truck delivery costs become the major expense vs. buying an expensive iron and softener system? (We don't have a heater or SWG and I don't think the increasing phosphates will become an issue when I replace the solar panels that are currently leaking and disconnected.) I think it's hard to do a cost comparison, but I also think I'll inquire around about water delivery costs. This time of year might be even more expensive. Fire fighting tankers and trucks are all over the place!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
We had a member in Georgia with a liner pool that had an SWG and an infloor return system. He was never able to track down the source of his iron contamination but he had huge staining problems that would occur every season and would require high volume weekly doses of sequestrant. He was using gallons of sequestrant every season and it was running him into the hundreds of dollars per season range. So yes, sequestrants can become an ongoing expense (almost as much as one would pay for chlorine in a season) and you would need to carefully consider if filtration is worth it.

At some point you might consider a drain and refill of the pool with tanker water (although you have to be careful there too as some tankers will simply drive their trucks up to the nearest hydrant to your home and fill up with local water....make sure you get a guarantee of purity if you going to lay out money for water). If you do, then spending the money on a hose-end filtration system (CuLator system and maybe an RV softener) might be worth it for doing top-offs.
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
At some point you might consider a drain and refill of the pool with tanker water (although you have to be careful there too as some tankers will simply drive their trucks up to the nearest hydrant to your home and fill up with local water....make sure you get a guarantee of purity if you going to lay out money for water).
For sure! A city water hydrant is only 2 miles down a very narrow and steep serpentine grade, so it could be much worse. I'll have to check on the availability and quality. The (rather incomplete) pool logs say the pool was last drained and filled in 1999 and it took 11 truck loads of water! The twisty grade and our 1/4 mile driveway may limit the size of the truck. There's also a big used firetruck parked "for sale" down there, which certainly has merit for its intended purpose around these parts! Maybe I should check into buying it too and ask the "city" :lol: of Peck, Idaho about their water quality and prices!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
GVW (gross vehicle weight) restrictions are what limit water delivery. 9,000 gallons of water weighs about 75,000 lbs or about 37 tons. That’s about as close to the limit of most roadways as a single vehicle can get and if your local access road is as winding as you describe, then the limit is a lot lower which means multiple trips. So yeah, delivery could get very, very expensive....
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
GVW (gross vehicle weight) restrictions are what limit water delivery. 9,000 gallons of water weighs about 75,000 lbs or about 37 tons. That’s about as close to the limit of most roadways as a single vehicle can get and if your local access road is as winding as you describe, then the limit is a lot lower which means multiple trips. So yeah, delivery could get very, very expensive....
:( I bet our old gravel grade is far weaker than 75,000 lbs--especially during the "winter breakup" months!

I'm sure I can call the county and find out.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,837
Grand Rapids, MI
Good morning.
Water in my city using a very large tanker for 25,000 gallons costs $1,000. Your folks likely did 3 - 6,000 gal trucks...the smaller trucks.

Sequestrant Over 5 month’s with a big startup dose at my much lower levels would run around $300 a season for Metal Magic, more if using Jacks Magic, plus any AA treatment costs and rebalancing costs after a treatment. In my case, I also spent on better iron, then po4 test kits, and tried different prefilter setups, etc. So after 2-3 seasons, my trucked water is a breakeven...faster in my case because I operate yearround in a winter dome.

In your case I fear you’d be like Carlos, the user joyful referred to, and unable to control with a reasonable volume of Sequestrant.

Matt alluded to an Alum floc treatment, popular in Europe to drop metals that are then vacuumed to waste. It’s not as popular here; it’s tricky to perform reliably and can create a mess if it gets in your filter. For this reason, TFP is generally against recommending it. I did a treatment last year to remove built up po4 from continued sequestrant treatment and the small build up of iron in the year-old water that came from fills. It was effective for me, and I haven’t used sequestrant since. But ymmv.

Whether is a circulating filtration using the curator commercial filter, an alum treatment, or new water, you will still want to prefilter your top up water and in your case, may still need low level sequestrant additions.

Be wary of fire hydrant fills, though. Lots of folks seem to get iron that way, which would defeat your purpose!
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
Good morning.
Thanks, Swampwoman! Good afternoon to you.
Sequestrant Over 5 month’s with a big startup dose at my much lower levels would run around $300 a season for Metal Magic, more if using Jacks Magic, plus any AA treatment costs and rebalancing costs after a treatment. In my case, I also spent on better iron, then po4 test kits, and tried different prefilter setups, etc. So after 2-3 seasons, my trucked water is a breakeven...faster in my case because I operate yearround in a winter dome.
Yikes ($$$). I read the sponge test thread and ordered 8 quarts of MM. I'm planning to try to remove the stains with it. AA will be a fallback, if it doesn't work (and even given that your stains kept coming back after using AA). Even if the sponge test doesn't prescribe so much MM, I'm sure I'll use it eventually. I'm not sure that all my stains are metal, however, but the vit-C tablet test seems to indicate that at least a lot of them are metal.
In your case I fear you’d be like Carlos, the user joyful referred to, and unable to control with a reasonable volume of Sequestrant.

Matt alluded to an Alum floc treatment, popular in Europe to drop metals that are then vacuumed to waste. It’s not as popular here; it’s tricky to perform reliably and can create a mess if it gets in your filter. For this reason, TFP is generally against recommending it. I did a treatment last year to remove built up po4 from continued sequestrant treatment and the small build up of iron in the year-old water that came from fills. It was effective for me, and I haven’t used sequestrant since. But ymmv.

Whether is a circulating filtration using the curator commercial filter, an alum treatment, or new water, you will still want to prefilter your top up water and in your case, may still need low level sequestrant additions.

Be wary of fire hydrant fills, though. Lots of folks seem to get iron that way, which would defeat your purpose!
I've read these Iron horror stories (seems like "trouble free" and pool is an oxymoron, if you have much Iron and I'm surprised that I've not seen my stains grow worse. I estimate that I've put 5000 to maybe as much as 10,000 gal. of fill water into this pool since rescue, with all the sand filter back flushing and subsequent top-offs. The pool is 17,500 and my spring fill water tested at 4.4 ppm iron. I'm beginning to wonder if it's really as bad as 4.4! I've not added any seqeustrant, though the previous owner left a partial bottle of HEDP in the pool room and the pool has stains so I know I've got a iron problem. Accordingly, I just ordered this test to see how my spring fill water reads now:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/122650720903

It claims to be able to detect both ferric and ferrous states of iron. I'm not sure there's much point in even trying to read the iron in my pool water too, but the strips are cheap so I'll try it--just for kicks. Obviously I have stains. I'm adding boric acid today to prepare for <= 1ppm FC. I have no borates and borates should slow down the algae growth when I drop FC to try to use MM to lift the stains.

Thanks again to you and everyone here who's help me with their replies. This saga is far from over (in fact, probably just beginning, I fear.) If I can get rid of the stains and keep them from coming back, I don't care how much iron is in the pool now, but I'm planning to get just the patented Culator commercial fill filter element and put it in my own housing to process fill water. I'll see how my test strips react to the filter output. Based on my test water report, I don't need the charcoal part of their filter for our spring so I'll put a 1 micron mechanical filter before the patented Culator filter. We have clay particles and 5 micron won't get them. 1 micron gets it all though, as does the occasional use of DE in my sand filter.
IMG_20180821_173937416.jpgIMG_20180821_173833132.jpgIMG_20180821_194021125.jpgIMG_20180821_173842709.jpgIMG_20180821_174733083.jpg
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,837
Grand Rapids, MI
Let us know how the MM works...I’m optimistic ;)
The 1 micron pre filter is to my mind a good idea...
I too would have expected your staining to be worse at 4.4 ppm...wondering if test was inaccurate, you had lots of rain to dilute, or if former owner had floccd or otherwise done something to reduce.
Fingers crossed this works for you!
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
Let us know how the MM works...I’m optimistic ;)
The 1 micron pre filter is to my mind a good idea...
I too would have expected your staining to be worse at 4.4 ppm...wondering if test was inaccurate, you had lots of rain to dilute, or if former owner had floccd or otherwise done something to reduce.
Fingers crossed this works for you!
Thanks, Swampwoman! I'm becoming suspicious of the 4.4 ppm iron lab result too.

Rain wouldn't be a factor because the the 4.4 ppm water was taken from a tap in the house, as recommended by the lab. It's the same water as the pool top-up water though. The water arrives via 800' of 3/4" galvanized pipe from the spring that's 100' higher up the hill. We'd been using the water for a couple of months before testing it so the pipe should have been flushed out about as good as a 40 year-old galvanized pipe's gonna get! I've not yet attempted to get an iron reading on pool water. The iron test kit should be here Saturday. I'll test the spring/pool top-up water and might as well test the water in the pool too, FWIW.

I got my borates at 50 and pH up to 7.7, expecting to do a sponge test with the Metal Magic today and treat after letting the FC drop down to 1 ppm, but the UPS box that arrived from Sunplay contained an incomplete order (and a mis-shipped/incorrect item). Turns out the Metal Magic is on backorder but the Sunplay website had said it was in stock, so I've now placed a MM order with Pool Geeks and cancelled the MM with Sunplay.

I'll update the thread when I get some results.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
800ft of 40 year old galvanized pipe could be an issue...it typically corrodes from the inside surface outwards. It’s especially problematic if the pipe is connected to any fittings that are not themselves galvanized. I had to have several outdoor spigots and plumbing redone because a plumbing contractor decided to take the easy approach and connected galvanized fittings to brass. After a few years, red water would come out of the spigot for the first few seconds.
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Just to offer a thought from the other side of the fence. I decided to embrace the stains. In my case the stains were not uniform, they were in an ever changing pattern that moved. I could get rid of them with AA and I even tried AA and then drain. Refilled and within a few weeks the stains were back.
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
800ft of 40 year old galvanized pipe could be an issue...it typically corrodes from the inside surface outwards. It’s especially problematic if the pipe is connected to any fittings that are not themselves galvanized. I had to have several outdoor spigots and plumbing redone because a plumbing contractor decided to take the easy approach and connected galvanized fittings to brass. After a few years, red water would come out of the spigot for the first few seconds.
Thanks, JoyfulNoise and yeah. :( I'll take my new iron test kit right to the spring head when it arrives tomorrow and compare the result to a test at the house. I'd like to replace the pipe with heavy poly. That's what most people use around here for new work. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately in the winter), it's 800' of pipe buried under 4' of earth on a hill (also great, compared to a well, when the power goes out). I don't know if a contractor will be able to get a Ditch Witch up the steep and wooded section that's about 1/3 of the pipe length. The remaining 2/3 can almost surely be trenched with a Ditch Witch or other equipment (backhoe). I'll be buying a tractor next year so I'll have the backhoe. Interestingly, there's an even older pipe coming down the hill at this old 1908 homestead and it still works. I turned it off at the cistern when I was searching for a water leak and just left it off (luckily the leak was at the elbow at the bottom of a frost free hydrant) but the old 1/2" has to be well over 40 years old. The ancestral owner (two owners back who also put in the pool) upgraded to the "new" 3/4" galvanized 40 years ago. I don't know when he put in the pool, but I might get a chance to ask his son someday. The son said he dug the new pipe trench when he was a teenager and the concrete cistern and old 1/2" pipe predates his family's residence here. The old 1/2" line is only connected to two hose bibs at the house so his dad must have decided to just leave it in place for the two hose bibs as a backup. At well over 40 years old (perhaps even as much as 110 years old), it's amazing that it doesn't leek like a sieve!

Just to offer a thought from the other side of the fence. I decided to embrace the stains. In my case the stains were not uniform, they were in an ever changing pattern that moved. I could get rid of them with AA and I even tried AA and then drain. Refilled and within a few weeks the stains were back.
Haha--it's nature's art! I may have to embrace it too. I've seen worse at art galleries!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,489
Tucson, AZ
Well, as long as those cast iron pipes aren’t laid down with good old lead solder joints :shock: you should be fine.....maybe. Just keep the deer away from your “natural” spring source or else you might get some extra natural “nutrients” from them :pukel: :pukel: :laughblue:

It is amazing how long old pipes, when done right, can last. Plastic will be more sanitary and cheaper but heck if you can find plastic pipe ever lasting 50 years, let alone 100....

Look forward to your test results....
 

calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
Well, as long as those cast iron pipes aren’t laid down with good old lead solder joints :shock: you should be fine.....maybe. Just keep the deer away from your “natural” spring source or else you might get some extra natural “nutrients” from them :pukel: :pukel: :laughblue:

It is amazing how long old pipes, when done right, can last. Plastic will be more sanitary and cheaper but heck if you can find plastic pipe ever lasting 50 years, let alone 100....

Look forward to your test results....
In partially re-developing the spring, I dug down deep for the installation of a new collection manifold. It's all underground. The ground source is covered with plastic and topsoil and resistant to runoff. I say it's partially re-developed, because there are more water veins still to be tapped within 25 feet of the original spring head and there's still too much wasted water flowing down the hill (the deer, turkeys, black bear, coyotes, cougar, robins, squirrels, and other critters probably disagree).

Unfortunately, the cistern needs work and keeping rodents out is the bigger problem. My plan is to install a new plastic tank next year. It's going to be a challenge getting an 8 foot tank up there!

My Water Works total iron (Fe+2/Fe+3) kit arrived from RavenWaterTesting (Ebay) a couple of days early. It has 50 tests so I used four of them--one from a faucet in the house (post whole house filter), one from the pool hydrant, one for the pool water, and one for a sample of water collected right at the spring head. They all read 0.2 ppm. That's all! Well actually the shade was between zero and the first color, which is 0.3 ppm and I'm extrapolating to 0.2.

We have minor stains in the house toilet bowls and the shower floor, but they are not nearly as bad as the last place we lived (on a well) so I'm not really surprised at the result. I don't know why Anatek Labs reported 4.4 ppm, except that maybe the long galvanized pipe from the spring cistern wasn't fully flushed out yet.

This pool has stains though and I'm looking forward to the Metal Magic sponge test next.
 
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calinb

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2018
77
N. Central, ID
.2-.3 is wholly manageable with mm in my experience! Let us know how it turns out ;)
That sounds great. At least I can keep my existing "pool art" from getting worse!

UPS says that MM will arrive on Thursday. Sponge test is next!

In the meantime, we are getting our first rain in Idaho about 2-1/2 months. It's cold and pouring here in the mountains. No thunderstorms either so hopefully it's helping with the fires--at least in the north (WA, ID, and MT). It's certainly flushed the smoke away.

Our solar panels are disconnected (they leak) and the weather pattern has definitely changed (over 15 degrees cooler highs and forecast to stick), so this is probably the end of swimming for the rest of my family. I plan to "polar bear" it for another month or more after this weather clears though, then wait for reliable 60 degree pool temps and keep studying how to close a pool here on the forums in the meantime.
 

Vickery

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
418
Perfection, NC
I recently purchased a Fleck (Pentair) Iron Pro Water Softener and Iron Filter on Amazon, $559.00 delivered. It replaced a Rainsoft unit that died. The well water has dissolved iron as well as calcium and magnesium. It's in Union County, NC for those that are familiar with that area. From my TF100 the hardness was extreme (I don't recall the exact numbers, but high) and stained fixtures were an eyesore. (Former tenants never mentioned that the softener didn't work, they just let things go.) Iron strips indicated substantial iron content, but they aren't easy for me to read and they are strips, after all. Water through the filter tastes great, doesn't smell, doesn't stain and actually helps to remove some of the existing stains. For top offs as well as the rest of the house, it certainly is worth looking into.