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3 Frequent Causes of Sediment in Well Water

Faucet

Residences that lie outside of municipal water systems commonly rely on wells to supply their home with fresh water. Not only do wells provide a measure of self-sufficiency, but many people even prefer the taste of well water to that of heavily-processed city water. Yet private wells can also be subject to a range of annoying problems.

One of the most frustrating issues affecting wells involves high levels of sediment in the water. Such sediment can negatively impact both the taste and the feel of your water. The first step in resolving the issue involves narrowing down the particular cause. This article takes a closer look at three ways sediment can get into your well water.

1. New Well Installation

Installing a new well requires contractors to drill deep down through layers of soil and rock and clay in order to reach the naturally-occurring aquifer. This drilling process naturally releases a lot of particles into the water source. There, those particles settle to the bedrock floor — only to be stirred up and sucked into your home once your well goes operational.

If you have recently had a new well installed on your property, don't be too alarmed to find some sediment in the water. In order to minimize sediment content, many contractors perform a flush after installing a new well. Yet the flushing process doesn't always manage to evacuate every last bit of sediment.

If you have noticed that your water remains cloudy, gritty, or otherwise sediment-laden, contact a professional as soon as possible. An experienced technician can often resolve the issue through more intensive well surging. Well surging involves repeatedly injecting and flushing water from the well, in order to stir up and wash out any lingering debris.

2. Mineral Precipitates

Most natural water sources contain a certain amount of dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. While these substances pose no serious threat to human health, at high enough concentrations they may precipitate into solid form. Such precipitation often lends the water a discolored appearance and/or gritty feel.

Many people attempt to eliminate mineral precipitates using a water softener. Unfortunately, while water softeners yield highly effective results when it comes to removing dissolved minerals, they often struggle to remove minerals in their precipitate form. Installing some form of physical filtration system along with the water softener tends to yield better results.

3. Poor Bedrock or Damaged Well

Both of the problems above occur more frequently in newly installed wells. If you have been using your well for many years and sediment has only recently become a problem, the problem likely stems from damage to either the well components or the bedrock at the bottom of the aquifer.

In many cases of sudden sediment appearance, the culprit involves a well screen that has become excessively damaged or degraded. Such a screen can no longer prevent particulate matter from being sucked up through your well pipe. Fortunately, most contractors can replace a well screen with relatively little difficulty.

In other cases, the sediment may stem from natural changes taking place in the well's bedrock. Newly-opened fractures may allow soil or sand particles to begin entering the water supply. Unfortunately, no simple solution exists to this problem. However, by ensuring that your well screen remains in good working condition, you should be able to limit the amount of sediment entering your home.

If sediment still poses a problem, consider investing in the secondary appliance known as a centrifugal sand separator. Installed above ground, yet before the water has reached your home's pressure tank, these separators use centrifugal force to separate sediment particles. For more information, please contact the well and plumbing experts at AAA Acme Plumbing & Drain Service.