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Posted: 11/3/2009 1:57:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 3:02:16 PM EST by JackalAR]
We have a 100' deep well that was drilled in the mid 50's and the casing has obviously seen better days. There are tree roots in it. Our well guy said he doesnt' know how the hell they drilled the one we have, and to do it again would require drilling MUCH further down the hill and pumping it all the way up to the cabin. We lucked out and he was able to replace all the wiring, pipe, pump, and holding tank for relatively cheap. However after having the water tested, we have multiple colonies of coliform. The guy that tests the water said we have several options.

-Replace the well / casing to keep ground water / septic contamination out.
-Constantly shock the well.
-Install some contraption that drops chlorine tabs down the well everytime the pump kicks on.
-Install a chlorine injector that injects liquid chlorine into the line before it hits the holding tank.
-Install a UV light filter.

He said all have their pros / cons and run about $600-700. Does anyone have any experience with the continious treatment options?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:00:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 2:00:57 PM EST by Circle_Cutter]
Fuck it. Bottled water by the gallon at Walmart and run a hose from your neighbors house





















































Tell your neighbor to test his well first so your not drinking crap
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:05:58 PM EST
Is it coliform, or fecal coliform? Because there's a big difference, both in terms of threat to health and status of your well.

Coliforms are just certain types of bacteria that are found everywhere in the environment. They tend to form "biofilms" on surfaces in water pipes and wells and are not necessarily harmful. They just indicate that you have bacteria in your well. Something to keep an eye on, but not a cause for concern.

Fecal coliforms are coliforms that are found only in the guts of warm-blooded animals. The presence of fecal coliforms means that you have a source of fecal contamination; to put it bluntly, you have shit in your water. Which means there are all sorts of potentially nasty diseases in it and you should treat it before you drink it.

I would find out 1) the actual test results and if fecal coliforms were found and 2) what are the standards in Missouri, if any, for private water systems. If it's just coliform and not fecal coliform, then a simple in-line filter that is capable of removing bacteria should suffice.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:49:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 2:50:45 PM EST by JackalAR]
Hmmm...he didn't specify other than multiple colonies. I'll ask him tomorrow. Is this "biofilm" visible? We have noticed what appears to be a very light film on the surface like you'd expect to see if there was a light oil present.

Is there no other specific name for it than fecal coliform?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:51:05 PM EST
I don't shill for these folks, but Miox makes some very good applications.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:53:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By Circle_Cutter:
Fuck it. Bottled water by the gallon at Walmart and run a hose from your neighbors house






Tell your neighbor to test his well first so your not drinking crap


Well, I thought about it, but after getting busted for running an extension cord over there after they said I could, I decided I had better not. The one brother is a helluva nice guy, but the other one can be a real ass.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 2:59:32 PM EST
Sink a new hole.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:03:00 PM EST
The well we have at work has a chlorine injection pump on it. They work fine. The injector pump is wired into the pump circuit, so every time the pump comes on, it injects a certain volume of chlorine in the water. From what I read, they didn't tell you the well will have to be tested periodically, and you are going to have to pay for it.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:30:29 PM EST
Fecal Coliforms are "indicator organisms". Rather than test for pathogens, which can be difficult and expensive, to grow under lab conditions,
species of bacteria that are commonly found in the gut of warm blooded animals and are easily grown in the lab are tested. Their presence "indicates"
that pathogenic bacteria may be present. Fecal Coliform species include E. coli, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, and Enterobacter. It is useful to know that these organisms
are common in nature too. So their presence could be attributed to any number of scenarios which include an evaluation of the terrain, are you located in
a valley, are you on a hill, near a pasture or dairy or other concentrations of animals, etc. Other environmental conditions such as the direction of flow of
surface water during storm events, forested areas, surrounding wetlands, also factor into your situation.

For me, the ick factor would trump all others and I would spend whatever it took to get a clean source of water. But that's just my advice and worth
what you paid for it.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:49:17 PM EST
The Lake of the Ozarks (e.coli infested) is at the bottom of the hill, we are up about 50' in elevation from the water, and the top of the hill is yet another 50' in elevation above that. We are heavily surrounded by trees.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:50:38 PM EST
A well like you have described will never be deemed safe to drink out of.

Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:52:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 3:53:01 PM EST by EXPcustom]
I got a date and was wondering if I can bring her by your place?

ETA oh wait I thought you had Chloriform in your well.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:53:26 PM EST
Chlorine injection. + UV if it is real bad.

+ carbon filter for taste

You can use common household bleach w/ the chlorine injection.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 3:57:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 3:59:30 PM EST by Dragracer_Art]
I'm watching this thread... as we've just gone through a few grand worth of well (mechanical) problems here too.

Everything is working good "mechanically", but I now notice debris in the filtration system that appears to be bacteria or something coming off the inside of the pipes... The white filter turns brown in 2-3 days... and needs changed about every other week when water pressure starts to taper-off. The filter also has a slimy feel to it when it comes out. The water coming from the faucets looks and tastes normal... but I can't help but wonder WTF is getting caught in the filters.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:02:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 4:04:01 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:12:52 PM EST
Leach fields?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:16:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 4:16:50 PM EST by JackalAR]
Originally Posted By Dragracer_Art:
I'm watching this thread... as we've just gone through a few grand worth of well (mechanical) problems here too.

Everything is working good "mechanically", but I now notice debris in the filtration system that appears to be bacteria or something coming off the inside of the pipes... The white filter turns brown in 2-3 days... and needs changed about every other week when water pressure starts to taper-off. The filter also has a slimy feel to it when it comes out. The water coming from the faucets looks and tastes normal... but I can't help but wonder WTF is getting caught in the filters.


Sounds like you need to get that shit tested. The county / state where I actually live only charges $10 and takes weeks, but the private guy I use charges $25 and is done in 24 hours.

FYI, he tested it 2 weeks ago with a sample that I had in the car for 3 days without the special powder that comes in the official test bottle. (It was then poured into the appropriate test bottle.) He said it came back all clear. Then he called back a few days later and said that his incubator was off 3 degrees, so he wanted to re-test for free. That 3 deg. made all the difference.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:17:16 PM EST
My friend has UV and loves it! It has fancy lghts an sirens to warn you if it malfuntions
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:21:26 PM EST
In April '07, we had to have a new well drilled when our old well casing failed. It took three tries to get an approved test.

Each time between tests we followed the well driller's instructions. Pour 1 gallon of unscented bleach in the well casing & let set for 24hrs. Run the well for 12hrs straight then have it tested. The second test came back positive for coliform so I doubled down & used two gallons of bleach and let it work for 36hrs. I then ran the well for about 18hrs.

Clean test on the third try.



FWIW, you can use the well water for flushing toilets or washing the car. It isn't considered safe to drink until you get a negative test and approval by the county dept of health.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:22:14 PM EST
UV works well for me.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:24:18 PM EST
Slime in the well can be from bacteria that live off of iron in the well and well water.

As others point out there is a big difference between coliform and fecal coliform. In Maryland only one in 10 to 20 cases where coliform is found is fecal coliform also found.

Make sure your dog doesn't piss or crap anywhere near the well.

I'd definitely chlorinate the well and see what happens.

Beyond that install an in-house filter or treatment device.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 4:32:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By SouthHoof:
In April '07, we had to have a new well drilled when our old well casing failed. It took three tries to get an approved test.

Each time between tests we followed the well driller's instructions. Pour 1 gallon of unscented bleach in the well casing & let set for 24hrs. Run the well for 12hrs straight then have it tested. The second test came back positive for coliform so I doubled down & used two gallons of bleach and let it work for 36hrs. I then ran the well for about 18hrs.

Clean test on the third try.



FWIW, you can use the well water for flushing toilets or washing the car. It isn't considered safe to drink until you get a negative test and approval by the county dept of health.


No thanks.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:11:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By JackalAR:
Leach fields?


The drain field, for septic systems. Most people who aren't on public water won't be on public sewers either.

Here's a couple of my inspection ports, indicating my drain field.


BTW - Bullets will penetrate PVC. (I was the one who shot it).
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:20:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By GoGop:
Originally Posted By JackalAR:
Leach fields?


The drain field, for septic systems. Most people who aren't on public water won't be on public sewers either.

Here's a couple of my inspection ports, indicating my drain field.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v374/qwertyup/AR15/GiltWeasel.jpg

BTW - Bullets will penetrate PVC. (I was the one who shot it).
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v374/qwertyup/Back%20Yard%20Shooting/Insp_Port.jpg


You can stub your inspection ports alot lower than that.

To the OP. If you have the money, I would drill deeper and find a clean source of water. However the UV light will work fine and cost much, much less.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:41:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By JackalAR:
Hmmm...he didn't specify other than multiple colonies. I'll ask him tomorrow. Is this "biofilm" visible? We have noticed what appears to be a very light film on the surface like you'd expect to see if there was a light oil present.

Is there no other specific name for it than fecal coliform?

Biofilm is simply the slime that grows on the sides of pipes, fixtures etc; I guess some of it could float on the surface. Sometimes the bacteria shed off and give you a positive coliform count.

Having a positive coliform test doesn't automatically mean the water is bad; in Utah public water systems can have up to 5% of their tests per month be positive for coliform and be within the regulation. However, any positive fecal coliform test constitutes a violation.

Usually labs will specify total coliform and total fecal coliform counts when they give results; if he knows what he's doing he should be able to tell you the difference. If he's only testing for coliform and not distinguishing between the two then I'd get someone else to test (however, there might be specific requirements in Missouri that I am not aware of but he is).

Just one question, is the guy who is taking your samples also the guy who is trying to sell you expensive water treatment systems? Because if that's true then to me that's a huge conflict of interest and you should get another sample. The guy might be a good guy and be right about everything, but I'd feel more comfortable using someone who wasn't financially interested.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 5:47:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:50:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By jhark123:

You can stub your inspection ports alot lower than that.


They started out lower, but last year the creek flooded and the water dropped down the ports and backed up into my basement. I made them tall on purpose.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:40:01 AM EST
He's not trying to sell me the equipment, just gave me my options. I will call him today to see if he knows WTF he's talking about.

We have a single 8" dia. inspection port dead center of the septic tank, then a lateral off of that down hill about 10'.

One thing that might change the method of continuous treatment we decide to go with is the fact that the cabin is only used 1-2 weekends per month spring - fall, then only sporadically in the winter. When not in use, the pump is shut off and tank pressure relieved. In the winter months all lines are drained and RV anti-freeze used in the traps.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 5:20:05 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 5:22:35 AM EST
We installed a Chlorinator on a well in 2005 for $300. I dropped a chlorine tablet down into the well as a predetermined rate. If I remember correctly, we replaced the bottle of chlorine tablets once every two months for $35.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:23:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 10:41:43 AM EST by JackalAR]
Turns out we're dealing with e.coli aka fecal coliform. (According to him.) He said if it tests negative for coliform then he stops right there. If it tests positive he checks to see if it wil floursce under UV. If so it's of the fecal variety.

Also more great news, I'm told you have to run a water softener in front of your UV setup to aviod deposit buildup.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:51:03 AM EST
Dayum...

Looks like I may be getting my water tested soon too....
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:55:15 AM EST
I've had to deal with this on a larger scale (remote location truck stop). Lotta posters above have the right info for you. Were this my project/property/problem, here's the order I'd do stuff in.

1) Retest. Tests are cheap, quick, and retesting lets you know if you are really seeing what you are seeing. Use a lab prepared sample container, which shouldn't need preservative if you aren't chlorinating. A Mason jar will serve as a sampling container if you sterilize it first (boiling water for the jar, lid, and ring). Sample directly from the well if you can, using a clean disposable bailer, a spigot off the well (sterilize it with bleach and then let it run for 10 minutes or so before sampling. Odds are real high that you ARE seeing what you are seeing, but this is quick and cheap.

2) Find your leach field and those around you.

3) Figure out groundwater gradient in your area. Depending on how close you are to the lake, the time of year, and the way your local hydrology works, gradient may change direction during the year. What you are trying to get out of this information is "does the water coming into my well pass through a leach field first?". Quick and dirty check for this, without knowing the real gradient, is this: draw a line from your well to the nearest part of the lake, and extend it back past your well on the same axis. Is there a leach field on that line, either between your well and the lake, or further up the hill from your well? If so, hope it is over 150' away.

4a) If your well is impacted, and there is a leach field upgradient and close, I'd start looking at relocating that well.
4b) If your well is impacted, and there IS NOT a leach field upgradient and close, I'd consider doing the shock method mentioned above. About 1/2 gallon of 5% bleach for every 10' of water in the well, and let it sit for 12-24 hours. You're shooting for 50 PPM chlorine, use a pool test kit. After that, run the water through the house until you get the chlorine to under 5 PPM in the house, then resample and see how it looks. If you're good, resample again the next day. Two clean tests in a row is GOOD. Another clean test a couple weeks later is GREAT. If you are less than 500' from the lake, I'd test quarterly for a year or so.

Take this all with a grain of salt, as my experience is based on providing water for a lot of people, not one cabin. ;)
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:31:10 AM EST
No uphill septic tanks from us...just a few off to the east side which are slightly down hill from us.

Only thing I did differently this time was I took the sample from the kitchen sink after letting it run for 5 min. straight. The first time I took it from the spigot off the holding tank.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:44:45 AM EST
Kitchen sink is one of the worst possible places to take a sample, especially if it has an in-line aerator. Spigot off the holding tank is way better.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 11:48:51 AM EST
Are you near the Lake of the Ozarks?
If so, the governor put the squelch on releasing
information on how contaminated the lake itself
is, supposedly, any wells near it
are most likely contaminated also.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 12:28:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By nvgeologist:
Kitchen sink is one of the worst possible places to take a sample, especially if it has an in-line aerator. Spigot off the holding tank is way better.


I concur. We've had to sample from them before but it's not the first choice. Best would be a spigot off the well head or right after the tank. If there isn't one there the closest outside spigot to where the water line enters the home. Purge for at least 10 minutes. Our setup was purge for 15, and take readings every 5 min after inital purge for 3 consecutive readings for stabilization. Most water wells came in quick since they are used often and are usually quick to pull formation water.

My lab analytical guide here states hold time for fecal is 6 hrs and total coliform is 24 hrs. Sample to be collected in 100ml whirlpaks (never sampled with those before) with Na2S2O3 for preservative and immediately be placed on ice.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 1:59:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 1:49:23 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 7:21:32 PM EST
Sorry to thread jack but my well has iron problems. I have an automatic water filter by Whirlpool, Softener with iron tablets, yet I still have to shock my water heater every month due to the sulfur dioxide. I've changed and removed the anode with no changes, still forms fur.

My well is 250' and I shock the well every 6 months as precautionary measures. My annual water inspections done by the health department all pass.

Any suggestions?
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 3:40:56 AM EST
No worries about a thread jack...

Nice, the guy never told me to store the sample on ice, and I can't even get the sample back to him in under 24 hrs. before he can start to incubate.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 1:43:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 1:43:52 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 1:47:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 1:50:30 PM EST
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