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Country Discussion Topics
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Rust in well
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Nathan(GA)    Posted 05-30-2002 at 19:49:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We've got an old well that sat unused for about 3 years. It's a 4" steel casing well about 66 ft. The old foot valve and ejector was rusted to the casing. It took me about 2 weeks on and off to get it loose.

Anyway, everything is replaced now. From new foot valve up to tank. 1/2hp jet pump. I've got a hose hooked directly to the pump and not going to the tank yet. It works fine, but is pumping the rust from the casing. At first it was terrible. I've been trying to run it about 20 minutes every day or so. It's getting better.

Is there anything I can do to help the situation other than a filter? I'm afraid it might have rusted through the casing, or be close to it.

On hindsight, I probably should have spent more and gone with a submersible to keep the rust undisturbed as possible.


Jim-Attica,Michigan    Posted 06-04-2002 at 19:34:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Bacterial iron is one issue and usually comes with an odor which is hard to miss. It will also stain enamel tolet bowls and tubs (including fiberglass).
You can get rid of it with chlorine(Some prefer chlorox but most well drillers scoff at this).
Bacterial iron will not cause illness - just messy.
Bacterial iron is a condition created when air gets in the well system and creates conditions for oxidation.
I doubt the casing has gone bad from sitting but once you flush it, do have it tested.


ann    Posted 08-08-2003 at 17:04:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The water we get from a well has rust in it. Is this safe to drink? Also my tolet bowls are so rust stained. what can i do to keep the tolets from being so rust stained? I clean them and the rust just comes back. They look awful. thanks for any suggestions...


TB    Posted 05-31-2002 at 15:11:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Keep running the water every day and sometimes twice a day 20 to 40 minutes. I have seen old wells take a mounth to clean up. The farther down you can draw well each time the better. Meny guarden plants love iron rich water. after the well clears up good put a gallon of bleach down it let set 24 Hr then flush till smell is gone. after a weak or two of running water off and on have it tested before you think about drinking it Just to be safe.


Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-30-2002 at 20:16:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you have a well log on it it will tell you the level the water is coming in at. Most likely you well pipe is solid all the way down to the water and not sloted to let water in. You could line the pipe with schedal 40 pvc pipe. 3 1/2 inch should go inside the 4 in casing if not use 3 inch. That way you won't get rust off the sides of the casing. You might have a rust bateria forming bubles of rust on the casing. I forgot what it is called (been a while, I think Red Iron Bateria) cloreen will help kill it but it will come back. The PVC will stop most of this problem and stop your well from caving in if the casing get real thin and comes apart underground. Use plactic pipe in the well and a stainless or brass foot valve on the end. You can get 20 ft lenghts and glue them together to make it one peice. Do this as you lower it in the pipe. make sure you know how deep the well is so it comes to the top as it makes it easier to put the water pipe in with out hanging up on the edge of it. They case wells with PVC when drilled through rock when they can't drive the steel casing in. If you find that your well is slotted at another spot other then the bottom you can use a power saw to cut slots in the pipe to let the water into it. If you can over pump the well dry you will beable to see the water coming in the slots. Normaly they don't slot them unless the water level is only real high and they need some reserve in the pipe for pumping. Hope this helps. Mark H.


Nathan(GA)    Posted 05-30-2002 at 20:44:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Mark. I already thought about the liner, but if I use that, I'd have to go to a submersible. The foot valve/ejector barely fits inside the 4". I don't know for sure on the screen/slots. I think it was set on a rock. From what I've heard over the years, if that's the case, no screen/slots. It's my Grandpas old place and unfortunately he's gone now.

I know the well is 66-67ft and the water level is only at 57ft. But they never had a problem with a jet pump. I'm guessing 4-5 gmp. It has the 2 pipe setup.

Just out of curiousity, can a steel casing be pulled and replaced with pvc? I got my doubts.

I want this well mainly for washing vehicles. It doesn't spot from hard water like the one here. And the wells are only 500 yards apart.



Mark Hendershot    Posted 05-30-2002 at 20:58:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Might be harder to do but you could put the ejector in first and slide the casing down around the the pipe at least that way you would cover 99% of the steel casing. They can pull a steel casing but boy that costs alot. Just make sure you leave some of the pipe above the top of the well to pull it up later if you want. Mark H.


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