sediment filter clogging frequently

zver11December 7, 2012

I originally intended to have an aerator followed by an iron filter but decided to make the iron filter first. I installed a spinout particle filter as the water enters the house, originally to protect the aerator nozzles. It is now before the iron filter.

The well produces a surprisingly large amount of fine sediment and some larger particles which clog up the sediment filter. The finer material tends to stick to the screening and be tough to dislodge.

Two questions:
1) Is this level of sediment a problem of itself and if so, what can be done about it?

2) Can I get rid of the sediment filter and allow the backwashable iron filter to take all the sediment?

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Perhaps something like this should be considered. It would be installed in the flow stream before any other filters. I have no experience with these and this is not the only maker of these. I do know that the cyclone principle works for dust collectors and fully trust that it works for this application.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cyclone

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:07PM
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That choice suffers from the same problem as the spinout filter. While it is larger capacity it operates under the principal that the sediment is heavier than the water. I suspect significant components are too light and do not spin out enough. If I add an additional device, it should be a backwashable sediment media filter. I would rather avoid another tank, particularly if the problem is temporary. I do not know if it is a permanent issue.

One thing I am considering is adding sediment filter media to the iron filter tank, replacing some of the filox. Being much lighter, the new media would stay as layer above the filox. Not sure if there are any other implications of this move.

Also, are there any tests, including from outside services that can be performed on the well at reasonable costs to determine if the sediment is permanent or can be remediated with a one time procedure?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:05AM
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I understand you have a sediment issue, but placing the iron filter before the aerator is backwards. Well water does not typically have adequate dissolve oxygen without the aeration and iron removal will not work as well without it.

With fine particles, a spinout or cyclonic filter will not generally work. You will need a dedicated sediment filter.

You may also have a problem with your well.
How old is the well?
How deep?
Is there any nearby new construction?
In an agricultural area?
Do you know what the composition is near your pump? Can you ask the company that punched the well?

Often digging deeper will help with sediment issues. If that is not possible, then you will just have to install sediment removal. You could start relatively inexpensively with a cartridge filter like a big blue filter. I would install 2 in parallel with bypass valves so you can isolate each individual filter for cleaning without disrupting water flow into your home. If you can find the large ones with clear housings, it will make it easier for you to monitor the amount and type of sediment.

Something like this:

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:26AM
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My area had online access to county records including the well drilling permit. Fortunately, I copied it before politics took down citizen's access to their own information. (A democrat candidate criticized a republican for allowing access without annual paid subscription)

6" diameter Well drilled 7/90 is 452 ft, through 45 ft of soil then granite rest of way with 60 feet of casing. grouted with type 1 cement. Record shows yield of 4 gpm, but my measurement shows just under 8gpm (time to fill pressure tank vs volume of water in full tank). Output test rather unimpressive with water level falling from 50' to 452' in the half hour well test! Since poor quality scan or permit can not read well finish but looks like "???atl hole" circled.

Reason for iron tank before aerator twofold.
1) Aerator tank is huge and needed to go in wider part of basement so plumbing more linear
2) Easier to keep aerator tank clean. Manufacturer recommends after other treatment for this reason.

Since I saw red rust color in the spin filter and water test showed corrosive water(-.57 corrosivity index), I concluded the water was likely to have dissolved oxygen. I hope the low levels of iron/manganese combined with daily backwash would be sufficient. Otherwise I will either reverse order or insert a chlorine injector tank for oxidation.

I have a spare tank & control valve lying around that I use to make a backwashable sediment filter cheaply (just buy media) but am reluctant to do so with the lack of space in the area. I have already had to move a propane hot water heater to recover about a foot of space to fit everything.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:52PM
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You cannot, given the information you have provided, conclude dissolved oxygen. You hope for nice weather. You test your water and make informed decisions on treatment.

I thought I recognized your name so I went back and searched. You have started several threads about your water problems. Each one provides different and incomplete information. In each one you demonstrate:

1) A lack of knowledge about how water chemistry works,
2) Lack of ability or willingness to listen to those who do know,
3) A propensity to do things incorrectly regardless of the advice you are given.

Therefore, as I have never enjoyed beating my head against a wall, I find myself unwilling to waste more time on this silliness. Do whatever you want, for whatever reason you want. Do it backwards if it looks prettier. Then go gripe about your poor water quality and the mean lady who wouldn't help you after nearly a year of this nonsense.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:15PM
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You are free to not answer. I happen to know a lot more about water chemistry than most people including probably yourself. To the best o my knowledge Total dissolved oxygen is difficult to measure directly without onsite expensive instruments. The fact that I have red iron is indirect evidence that there is oxygen in the water. Iron levels are low so oxygen requirements are low. Installing the aerator after the iron filter is as per the aerator manufacturer's directions to prevent the 200 gallon aerator tank and sprayer heads from fouling. There are pros and cons of that approach. It has no impact on the issue in this thread.

I started this thread simply for answers to my sediment issue--whether the iron filter could take it. That was not answered. A cartidge filter is a bad idea given the level of sediment here. It will clog in less than a week. I am producing well over a cup dry volume of sediment a week. The only filter option that makes sense if a separate sediment filter is used is a backwashable filter. Even if filters were free, the labor of replacing cartridge filters weekly in unacceptable.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:06PM
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Backwash with what? Water with sediment?
I do agree that you have reflexively rejected every suggestion offered.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:26PM
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Now this is getting ridiculous! Of course you backwash with water with sediment! The quality of backwash water is not important. You backwash an iron filter with water with iron. You backwash hard water with salted hard water. The important thing is that you are removing an accumulation over time with water that has a much lower concentration of contaminant. A backwashable sediment filter is a common filter with a medium designed for this purpose (light weight with less water restriction than sand but the ability to block small particle sizes). Anybody with a pool is familiar with backwashable particle filters--pool filters are sediment filter meant to process a large volume of water with a large range of contaminant particle sizes.

I bring up issues with treatment options not to attack posters that reply (I learn from constructive replies and appreciate them) but to try to obtain information that can help shape a decision. It is partly my fault as I do not explain all issues in complete detail at the start.

As this thread is no longer productive, I am removing this from emailed reply status. I am sorry if any contributor was offended by my posts.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:39AM
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