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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Got a major problem here. We have been doing some extensive landscaping the last few years. We finally got to our lawn and put in irrigation last fall.

The problem is we have a real high iron count in our well water. we previously softened our outside water spickets and never had a problem with discoloration. Now that we have the irrigation system, its pushing out alot more water than the normal hose and sprinkler.

Now everything is turning an orange tint. The irrigation system is coming right from the well. We figured that we would need to address it so we put in a Rid O Rust system. (injector system that suppose to take care of iron water) It does not work for us.

I have alot of money tied up in boulders and other landscaping, It is now turning into a bad site.

What can we do? I have a few companies coming out next week. one of them mentioned a product called the "Iron Curtain".

Surely, I cant be the only one who has had this problem, what do golf courses do?

Any help appreciated.

Mike
 

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My brother-inlaw manages several stores for VAMAC which is a large plumbing supply company. I have sent him a copy of your post and asked him about a solution to your problem. Might take a few days but I will get back to you with his suggestions. They sell and provide tech support on a large aray of well supplies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a bunch Chief,

I look forward to any answers I can get.

I will try to take some recent pictures when it stops raining. I have had people that have never heard of well water causing this, believe it or not.

We put down a concrete "paver" path. Within 2 weeks it was an orange tint. Although it doesnt look bad on the pavers, my beautiful boulder work, driveway, and areas of my house siding is not looking good.

Mike
 

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Does running water from the well at high volumes for a prolonged period reduce or improve the iron oxide residue staining any?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would have to say that running it for prolonged periond of time would improve the staining.

I dont mean that the longer I have the water running per session, the rustier it gets. I mean over time, it just builds up.

I will try to take some pics of not only my house, but some of the neighbors as well. It is a big problem

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello John,

I will get some specific pics to show side by side of the discoloration.

Since than, I have been working on putting some pics together over the last few years of our landscaping. Its been alot of work, but so far we are pleased.

Still have alot more to do, and I will post some updated pics with the grass coming in from when I seeded last fall.

Mike

http://www.letsrace.com/landscapeweb/index.htm
 

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Mike,
Probably the best solution for you is to put a chlorinator on your well to remove the iron before it goes into your outdoor piping. I am considering the same thing since I have 5 ppm iron in my well water that is removed for indoor water but bypasses my filtration system for outdoor use. I have enclosed a link to one of these systems that will give you an idea about cost. Do not, and I emphasize do not put in a system using Potassium Permaganate since this reducing agent causes pernicious anemia in animals and humans. I know first hand since it essentially killed one of my cats that drank the effluent that ran into a basement sink. Chlorine is also what muncipal water entities use to treat water for both iron and bacteria.

http://www.pwgazette.com/drypelletchlorinator.htm

Another thing that will help is to pour a bottle(s) of bleach down your well once or twice and year and let the water run to all your faucets until you just smell the chlorine. Let the water sit in your lines while you run an outside garden hose to flush the bleach from your system. This flushing takes 1-3 hours and is complete when you can't smell any chlorine from the hose. Then flush all your inside lines and you should be pretty good shape. If you don't get any iron build up at all on the inside of your toilet tanks then maybe this won't be necessary. If the build up on the inside of the tanks is slimy, then you most likely have bacterial iron in your water and chlorine is the only way to get rid of it.



http://www.pwgazette.com/drypelletchlorinator.htm
 

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I have no idea where to take it, but have you had your water tested?

We have a Department of Environmental Quality here in Oklahoma and that is where I would start. Just an idea. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Deerebob,

looking at the chlorinator, it doesnt look like it would be able to handle 20-30 gallons per minute that my irrigation system is putting out. Thanks for the waring on potassium permaganate.

I do have a system for inside the house consisting of a softer, bacteria sanitizer and phseudo iron. I also have a whole filter iron filter on their. It does a good job with the iron inside the house. prior to putting that in, I would see my toilets/sinks turning orange in a week.

Stewart, I have tested my water thats how I know. one of the biggest things is "tandens" not sure on the spelling. They also cause staining.

I think and I am willing to pay for something along the lines of a commercial system to solve this problem. I have way too much invested in landscaping to have it goto sh*t from a season of watering.

As I mentioned in earlier, I will take some pics of my yard and my neighbors so you get an idea.

I have 3 companies coming out in the next 3 days, but wanted to know what was out there.

Thanks and keep the suggestions coming,

Mike
 

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Mike,
Are you sure your irrigation system is 20-30 gpm? Mine is at best 5-7 gpm with a 1.5 HP well pump and 1" piping. If you were irrigating a golf course, I would believe those numbers but with a multi-zone irrigation system like mine I am a bit skeptical. The chlorination system requires a settling tank which is where the gpm of your system is the critical issue. At 20-30 gpm you would need a huge settling tank but at 5-7 gpm, it would not have to be that large. Another consideration is the type of heads you have on your irrigation system. If they are rotaries versus sprayers, the iron particulates might not clog the nozzles so you could get by with just contact chlorination and a settling tank for only the inside water. Just some food for thought.

Indoors, I have a Culligan system that consists of a 20" 50 micron particulate filter, a Super S iron filter that is regenerated with bleach once a month, a water softener and a reverse osmosis unit for drinking water and icemaking. I lease the Super S filter since it is a high maintenance item and requires the carbon bed to be changed every 3-4 years. I own the other equipment and just replaced my water softener after 12 years of use.
 

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Beautiful house, Mike! I can see why you are concerned about the landscape as it is obvious that a LOT of hours and energy went into creating it. I hope you find an affordable solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Deerebob,

Hmmmm maybe your right. I thought they said that when they were designing it. They did do water pressure tests, maybe that was just to make sure they had enough pressure to water. I did have to put in a bigger pump and monster pressure tank. I currently have 12 zones with hunter pro heads. they are the rotaries and have the misters by the flower beds.

I will definately ask now about that. I have reverse osmosis for our drinking and ice also. I use the same 20" filters for iron. Its spendy, about $100 per filter and I need to change it about twice a year.

I am also worried about what the water will do to my sprinkler heads after a couple of seasons. I wonder if there is a type of conditioner I can use for my injection system (i will use for fertilizer now) that would help with it?

http://www.americanhydro.com/products/injection_feeders.asp

Thanks for the kind comments Bontai Joe,

Mike
 

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dittos to what joe said mike.. you have a real nice place, yard, landscaping,pond etc...

how many acres do you own it looks HUGE?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks SJ,

My total lot is shaped more like pie slice.

It runs to the corner of the street, across the pond and back.

its 3 acres total.

Mike
 

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really... great job real nice design.. its got much more character than the typical 'drop a tree or 2 and a few shrub' designs...


<img src=http://www.trailtamer.com/letsrace/landscape/after/IMG_0319.JPG>
 

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Mike,
The iron in the water will not hurt the sprinkler heads. My system has been in 7 or 8 years now with no problems. My comment about them was directed at the precipitate that you would get by not running the freshly chlorinated water through the a settling tank. With flower sprayers, you would clog the nozzles so this would not be an option. As far as an upstream particulate filter, my elements cost about $30 each for 50 micron polyfoam 4.5" diameter elements that are 20" long from Culligan. I am pretty sure that I can get a little better price online but have not checked.

By luck, most of our landscaping stone and pavers are rust or red in color so the only objectionable rust stain is on the sidewalk or parts of the brown house brick. However, with the gray colors of a lot of your landscaping material this would be a big problem. Culligan told me a full-blown chlorination system from them would cost around $7K-$8K. I know there are much cheaper systems out there which I recommend you check out. Another type of iron removal system is ozination but it also requires a settling tank but may be a better option for you than chlorination. A final option is a commercial Reverse Osmosis system if you would not have to run the rejection water through either a septic field or city sewer since the water volumes would be so great.

BTW, almost forgot to say how nice your landscaping looks. I know what it takes money and time wise to do what you have so nice job all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My finace' is big into gardening and such, gotta admit, before I met her, I never really did much.

The lower retaining wall you see I did myself. I had some quotes done and they wanted $14k to do it. I am in the wrong business.

I will say that it is very hard work. I did it myself with a wheelbarrow and 2 wheel dollie I bought for $19 at northern. Best investment to this day.

The boulders on the bottom cosisted of 28 tons, 4 dump trucks. I was on a mission and it took me 30 hours to do it. (I couldnt move for 2 days after but thats another story) I was pleased with the results though and saved a boat load of money.

The big boulders is another thing, some of them weigh 10 tons each, had a big crane come in to do it. That was very spendy but hopefully added to the value of my house.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
DeereBob,

Thanks for the info, I think I am getting ripped for my filters. I wonder if I am using the same as you, I will dig up the filter and site when I get home. It is a culligan filter I think rebranded of course from US filter. The price I pay is the online price.

I really need to check out these chlorination systems, I dont know much about them and this will be an educating process for me. $7-8k is out of my budget, but I do have 4-5x that into my landscaping thus far.

I do have septic, that will be a major issue since I dont want to think about having to fix that. Now thats big money around here.

Thanks again,

Mike
 

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Mike,
Some good news. I did a little checking since I have an interest in the same thing. It looks like the dry pellet chlorinator installed would be less than $1K if a carbon cleanup filter is not needed. If you are handy enough you could install it yourself on your wellhead. It operates when the pump runs and uses the same electrical line as the pump. The settling occurs in the wellhead so no retention tank is required. An activated carbon filter is needed to remove the residual chlorine for water going into the house. Since I already lease the Culligan Super S unit, I wouldn't need to buy another carbon filter. Your local wellpump contractor might carry these units and also be willing to install one on your well.
 
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