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Well cover / UV water filtering

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mpcm, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. mpcm

    mpcm Member

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    Loc:
    Sandown, NH
    First time I've lived in a house with a well. We've had re-occuring bateria issues, our well is a shallow well with a large 42" dia. concrete top, with a smaller 24" concrete style plug. It's hardly water tight from rain/anything on the cap...

    [​IMG]

    1st.... any suggestions on a wood structure to put/build over it and also materials to keep out rain/debris, something ruber/plastic to wrap over the top, under the structure? I've joked about building a wishing well, but a basic short shed box is probably what will get installed. Thoughts on this, or the situation in general? anyone else got a well cap like this?

    2nd... I've been looking at Rhino's whole house well system, including UV (EQ-300-85). It seems to be a lower cost system, but have more cost every 3 years instead of a more expensive upfront system (1.4k vs 5k+). Anyone use this system, what do you think?

    (Having a hard time getting advice I can reason with, even if I don't like the suggested price)

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  2. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I have a similar spring box 3' dia.x 9' deep. it encloses an arteasian ( water bubbles up from the bottom not seeping in from the sides). I cleaned around the base, placed some gravel for drainage and poured a 6' square slab collar around it. I have some left over ICF blocks to lay up a 4' or 5' knee wall. Seal and backfill, build a gable or shed roof. A strong lockable door, and I'll have a dandy spring house. Fiberglass sand barrel barricade lids work great once you have it enclosed and locked. Use your imagination if you're of a survivalist bent.

    Ehouse
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Any idea what the bacteria source might be. How far away is your septic field? Are there any animals living nearby? Do your dogs use the yard for a bathroom. I think it be best to try and figure out the source before building a cover. I doubt falling rain is the problem, at least not directlly. Its more likely its overland or subsurface flow that's carrying the stuff in.
  4. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I had the same situation, my concrete cover was flush with the ground. If you check the seal around where the pipes and wires go down, you might find that the gasket has degraded, so some seepage might be going on, ground water contaminating your well. When I had my pump replaced, I had to get a sealed well head, also known as a pitless adapter, which was the only recommended way to seal the well. It was bloody expensive, and I have had to chlorinate the well twice since, but at least it makes it easier to access it to do that.
    Covering over the top with a well house will not help. It is from ground water seepage that contaminates it. Of course, some wells develop cracks or other problems, so this might not fix the problem permanently. Good luck, I feel for you, been there, done that, still keeping an eye on mine.:confused:
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    What does your test show the bacteria to be and what have you done in the past?

    There needs to be some form of seal where the plug fits into the top cover and where the top cover meets the well casing. Water and small particles it picks up (either in rainwater or in the air or on the well cover and plug) which already carry bacteria can then enter your well from there until it is sealed.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a link to the rhino system? On a shallow system like that, basicly surface water, I would put in filtration AND UV or chlorination. UV is nice but you need to keep up on the bulbs.

    Honestly, I have worked on systems that use creek water so I am not at all concerned that the well is leaky unless the well is too near an obvious source of pollution. What has to happen is to take that "raw" water and treat it to make it potable. Filtration and then sanitation.
  7. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Highbeam, what do you consider surface water? My shallow well is 72 ft. I still pull up a lot of silty iron, but between the string filter (which I have to change once a month!) and the softener media, my water is pretty good. Like the OP, I have gotten bac in the water, but after two sanitations, I think I have it under control. I am going to do another screening next month, so I don't know what will happen.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The water industry has a particular definition of surface water vs. groundwater. It has to do with nitorgen levels in the water and is not really a concern for residential folks. It does mean it must be treated and tested differently (more vigorously) than groundwater. In the utility setting, surface water must be chlorinated where groundwater does not always have to be.

    At 72 feet, your water could be receiving some or all of its recharge from surface sources. Not a bad thing really but you need to be more concerend with things happening around the well such as livestock, and failing septics.

    We get lots of iron in our surface water here. Ditches, and culverts are usually stained orange. It is also common to find iron and manganese in deep wells. I have a 500 foot deep well that I am trying to remove iron/manganese from rightnow. Iron is not an indicator of surface vs. ground source.

    Superchlorinate the well, flush, retest.
  9. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Thanks!
    I try to test the well at least once a year, sometimes two if I think something is amiss.
    When you say 'remove iron/manganese' do you mean just filtering, or is there a method to rid the well of it? I figured that if it is in the aquifer, the only way to not have it is to re-drill in another area and keep your fingers crossed. Not in my budget.;hm
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Oh no, it is very common to remove both manganese and iron from a water supply in residential or public systems. Each of these has a MCL (Maimum contaminant Level) put out by the regulators. My current project will use a filter with fancy media to remove the particles. Prior to filtration I inject chlorine to help get it out of solution.

    The trick with filtering iron is that it is often dissolved into the water until the water is aerated such as when it comes out of the aerator on your faucet. That's why you get so much staining in your dishwasher, shower, and toilets. You can get iron to precipitate with chlorine as well.

    Most residential iron removal systems start with a coarse filter, then a finer filter, and then a water softener. Sometimes the iron is so bad that a regular softener won't do the job so then you need to use a greensand filter. The greensand filters cost more and the chemicals are a bit nastier to handle.

    There is almost nothing that can come out of the well that can't be removed to make good and clean water.
  11. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    Your well in Ontario would be defined as "Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water" or GUDI, based upon the well type (ie. dug well) and your laboratory results for microbiological analysis. In essence, it is the same as surface water. Rainwater, snow melt etc. has less travel time through the soil to get to your well and is bringing contaminants with it.

    Also, as you have stated, the removable lid seam will allow rainwater to infiltrate into the well. Therefore, any surface contaminants on the well cover (eg, bird droppings, dirt, dust, etc.) can wash into your well. In addition, the seam between the cover and the crock casing does not look well sealed. Any cracks/openings will allow for insects, etc. to access the well and contaminate the well water. These cracks/openings can be sealed using a NSF approved food grade caulking.

    As for treatment, you would require "chemically-assisted filtration" in order to get proper disinfection. This would normally involve the use of filters and chlorine. As such, treatment would have to provide a minimum 2-log (99%) removal or inactivation of Cryptosporidium oocysts, a 3-log removal (99.9%) removal or inactivation of Giardia cysts and a 4-log (99.99%) removal or inactivation of viruses. Current UV systems cannot provide this level of treatment. What microbiological parameters (eg. E. Coli, Total coliforms, background, HPC) were greater than 0 on your lab results?

    Over the long term, it might be more feasible to properly install a drilled well vs using this dug well with a treatment system.
    firebroad likes this.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Great post SISU!
  13. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    This post has been a great ready. Very informative.

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