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Thread: Well Water

  1. #11
    winger's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, Suzanne! Been there, done that. And this is usually how I discover it's time to replace/repack the filter stuff in the iron tank as well. When our water comes out of the ground, I swear it's almost sludge.

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    Well, this is very interesting for me as well. I find our iron filter and water softener do not really remove the iron very well. Our water is also high in sulfur and iron. It's not a problem for my printing as I currently print at a community darkroom, but it's hell in the bathtub! Do you guys find your softener removes enough iron to avoid the rust and black water occasionally and enough sulfur to remove the rotten egg smell? I find I have to drain the water heater pretty often. We had decided to get a 2500 gal. storage tank right at the well as we were told the iron/sulfur will precipitate out in that tank before the water goes to the house.

    Geez, maybe we need a new softener?
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    I feel your pain, Suzanne! Been there, done that. And this is usually how I discover it's time to replace/repack the filter stuff in the iron tank as well. When our water comes out of the ground, I swear it's almost sludge.
    I know where you live Winger, it is sludge from all the iron mills in the area.
    Rick A
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jglass View Post
    Well, this is very interesting for me as well. I find our iron filter and water softener do not really remove the iron very well. Our water is also high in sulfur and iron. It's not a problem for my printing as I currently print at a community darkroom, but it's hell in the bathtub! Do you guys find your softener removes enough iron to avoid the rust and black water occasionally and enough sulfur to remove the rotten egg smell? I find I have to drain the water heater pretty often. We had decided to get a 2500 gal. storage tank right at the well as we were told the iron/sulfur will precipitate out in that tank before the water goes to the house.

    Geez, maybe we need a new softener?
    When we bought this place a few years ago, the softener system was not working, and we had that rotten egg smell, so we negotiated some money off the purchase price, and put in this softener and bubbler system, which has largely solved the problems, but the water is still pretty hard, and we have times (like now) when it runs brown and foggy... especially when I've overlooked the salt!! So it can be a little unpredictable when the water isn't quite what it should be. Naturally, a week (like now) when I have the time, the water isn't up to snuff... grrr... but mostly the system works, and I think if you have well water with a lot of heavy minerals, they are well worth it, but they can be pricy. Certainly good for darkroom work to have your water properly filtered and softened, but the tests to fine what's in there are pretty straightforward, and not expensive. You may not need a system as complex or as expensive as ours.

  5. #15
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    I know where you live Winger, it is sludge from all the iron mills in the area.
    And from all the stuff that they didn't extract from the earth.

  6. #16
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    I don't know in your surroundings, but here in Italy oligomineral water in sealed plastic bottles costs around 0,40€/L. For instance, 6 1.5 L. bottles (9 litres total) for €3,70, there certainly are some who are much cheaper.

    Maybe they can be a good alternative to filtered-reconditioned well water for darkroom work. And possibly also for drinking.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by jglass View Post
    Well, this is very interesting for me as well. I find our iron filter and water softener do not really remove the iron very well. Our water is also high in sulfur and iron. It's not a problem for my printing as I currently print at a community darkroom, but it's hell in the bathtub! Do you guys find your softener removes enough iron to avoid the rust and black water occasionally and enough sulfur to remove the rotten egg smell? I find I have to drain the water heater pretty often. We had decided to get a 2500 gal. storage tank right at the well as we were told the iron/sulfur will precipitate out in that tank before the water goes to the house.

    Geez, maybe we need a new softener?
    While almost any water softener will remove a bit of iron, if your iron level is very high you probably need a special iron filter that that works in tandem with your water softener. If slightly high, you can choose a water softener resin (fine mesh resin) that is more effective with iron. I avoid the "all purpose" resin that softeners from many sources come with; few things in life are really "all purpose".

    If your current softener is OK mechanically, you can replace the resin that's inside. Many factors effect useful life of the resin, but generally is 10-20 years. Same issue with iron filters.

    If you are getting that sulfur smell, you may have iron bacteria in your system and you need to "shock chlorinate" your well.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    I don't know in your surroundings, but here in Italy oligomineral water in sealed plastic bottles costs around 0,40€/L. For instance, 6 1.5 L. bottles (9 litres total) for €3,70, there certainly are some who are much cheaper.

    Maybe they can be a good alternative to filtered-reconditioned well water for darkroom work. And possibly also for drinking.
    Until a few years ago we bought five gallon bottled spring water. Great idea until my back started complaining. I am 72. My understanding is water is 8 pounds a gallon or 40+ pounds a bottle. Salt for the water softener is also in 40 pound bags, but we need it less often than the water bottles.

    The canister filter mentioned above takes care of the darkroom. Brita makes a nice pitcher filter that takes care of the kitchen, drinking water, tea and coffee.

    John Powers
    "If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichý

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