Well water print washing
So I am setting up a darkroom at my farmhouse, and it is well water that is high in iron and sulfur. Any thoughts on how it might affect washing fb prints, and film. I will be using distilled for chem though.
Thanks for any help
Why not just filter through a cheap drinking water de-ioniser and a 10 micron particle filter that should remove sufficient iron & sulphur to make the water useable, you can always give final rinses in distilled water.
Well Water Worries
Check your PH first. If it runs 7-8, use distilled water for mixing chemicals. Iron and can be reduced by using a water softener by exchanging salt for iron. It is Not wize nor recomended to use a carbon filter, (which can reduce sulphur smell) with city water but not with well water. It will promote the groth of nasty bacteria in the filter itself making the sulphur small even worse. Carbon needs chlorine to sanitize itself. The good news is that the disolved sulphur is reasonably inert and does'nt seem to bother anything. I use 2, 5 micron string filters in series to help catch even the finest particles. It still leaves the radium and uranium in my water, but I've found an inexpensive system that uses lime and zeolite to absorb the radioactivity.
I'm on well water, too, with plenty of stinky sulfur from harmless bacteria, not much iron, but a lot of very fine sediment. I have a 5 micron sediment filter under the house, but sediment is all it filters. Given that, I mix all my chemicals with bottled water and use running well water for rinsing, with a final, manual, vigorous wash with Ilfosol wetting agent and bottled water in the Patterson tank. I've never had a problem developing B&W.
Although I am not on well water, I am amazed at the crud which my whole house string filter catches coming in. I have a very small micron (don't remember the size) on the cold water line going up to the kitchen. When I am the least bit concerned about water purity coming from the public water supply for mixing up my F24 fixer, I draw water from the cold-water kitchen faucet rather than from the faucet feeding my basement darkroom sink.
In ye oldene days it was often advised to use tap water boiled in a stainless steel container, then filtered and stored for use in mixing chemistry. In the past I have done that; but not here in this house and with this set up.
Of course, I break all the rules as explained to me by the experts because for many years I have been collecting and storing the AC run-off water during the hot, humid summers here abouts in the National Capital Area.
I am told that this water, despite my filtering it before use, contains alien spores, detritus, neuritus, and neuralgia and will grow untoward life forms in my basement and especially in the alkaline environment of my D23. The D23 (and DK-25R replenisher) have always seemed to last forever, so I guess they just do not know.
That being said, I have now taken to boiling said AC water in a stainless steel pot for about five minutes, rather than just heating it in the microwave, when mixing developer and replenisher as I have done hitherto receiving the expert advices.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
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I use a 1 micron filter just for this and developing chemistry (film and paper). You might give some thought to where the fixer chemistry will go. None of the other is likely to bother your well. The local University takes my fixer in its darkroom silver reclaiming. I would rather not drink it. There has been much written here on this subject. Just search the files through APUG Search in the upper right hand side of the page..
I believe it more important the FIRST rinse be in very clean
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
or pure water. Insoluble combinations may form in and/or on
the emulsion and paper when fixer laden and then encounter
The use of very dilute one-shot fixer and room temperature
least water wash techniques should be a big help where
contaminated water is a problem. Dan