Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mountain Living - Water Part II

Here we go with the next installment of the well water saga...

The well pro arrived today to acid treat the well. What's that, I hear you ask?

You may recall from an earlier post that there was a lot of iron and sulphur bacteria in the well. One way to kill that off - as well as to remove some kinds of mineral buildup inside the well and thus possibly increase water production - is to pour a lot of acid into the well. In this case he used 10 gallons of a solution that was labelled as containing two different kinds of acid. In addition, he put something like 40 pounds of dry ice down there too. That froths up the acid and water, moving things around, killing off more buggies, and removing more mineral gunk.

That acid micture sits down in the well for 24 hours doing it's job. Then the well pro comes back tomorrow, reinstalls the pump, and pumps out all (roughly) 200 gallons of water, acid and muck from the well. That stuff just gets dumped out on the ground. Then things are hooked back up as usual and the fresh water flowing into the well is pumped into my holding tanks.

The news from the well pro was pretty good. The old well pump tested out reasonably well. It's a bit less efficient than a new pump, but that's from a couple of years of use pumping water and slime up a pipe 380 feet long. So we don't need a new pump. What we have can be reinstalled, and a great cost savings.

Some things will change, though. First, the well pro tells me that it is possible the check valve built into the pump trapped an air bubble inside it. If that happened, the pump might have run and heated up without moving any water. That would not be good, since the moving water is the coolant for the pump. To get around that possibility, he's going to disable the check valve. If any bubbles get in there, they'll be able to rise up the pipe and thus get away from the pump to a place they can do no harm.

In addition, he's going to replace the bottom 40 feet of 1" PVC with 1.25" PVC. He will install a check valve between those two sections - to replace the disabled one in the pump - and a bell reducer above them to adapt back to the 1" PVC coming the rest of the way up the well. That should make for better flow out of the pump, and heavier (sturdier) pipe down at the bottom of the well.

With luck, all of that happens tomorrow while we're away. The well pro will call when he's done, and I'll update you on that later.

Assuming all of that happens as planned, it will get water flowing back into our holding tanks. But we still have to deal with all the filtration equipment issues, and they won't get worked again until mid to late August.

So look for Mountain Living - Water Part III in a few weeks. In the meantime, remember that we're travelling and I won't have much internet access, so take care and look for updates at longer intervals until we get back.