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Water Quality/slime in water


QUESTION: I have been in the house for 9 years now. never a problem before. recently we had to replace the submersible pump in our well. after it was replaced when water was restored I noticed large amounts of clear jelly like slime. similar to a jelly fish. the slime was on the filter at the well. the house water is filtered at the well prior to entry into the house. it is a inline filter on the PVC pipe. the slime is colorless and odor less. no slime in the house only in the filter. we have a 50 gallon storage tank as well. the water was out for about 4 days while waiting on parts and the pump replacement. is this normal after a pump replacement or is there a problem.
well specs: pump sits at approximate. 115 feet, it is 1hp submersible pump with 1 1/4 inch PVC. the well is 4 inch diameter. storage tank is a pre charged 50 gallon steel tank

This is unusual and not normal in my experiences.  The first thing I would do is ask the company that installed the new sub pump.  Did anyone replace the filter at the well while this was going on and use any vaseline on the filter hub where it screws in?  Gelatinous slime in a well system in itself is not unusual, however, it is almost always colored and has a strong odor.  These deposits are caused by bacteria - like a sulfur bacteria or iron bacteria.  I've never seen them clear.
Talk with the pump people and let me know what they say.

Environmental Engineer
General Contractor

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QUESTION: Thanks Steve.
I wanted to add some new information. I collected some of the "slime" samples from the filter and Upon closer inspection it looks like some sort of membrane. what appeared to be globs or chunks of slime is actually a thin layer of something. I put it in a bucket of water and noticed in the water it "opens up" and appears to be of a uniform thickness and flat. I am not sure how to describe it. it would be like having a piece of plastic wrap all balled up so it looks like a big piece and then you put it in water and it "unwraps or unfolds" to reveal its true appearance. it is in strips and some pieces are larger approximately 3 x 4 inches. but very thin and uniform in thickness. kind of looks and feels like a sausage casing. could this be from the tank or part of the new pump or does bacteria and algae grow in uniform flat sheets and pieces? also it is not water soluable. been in the bucket all day and night and no change still in flat pieces. However there is no longer any pieces or chunks collecting on the filter. it was only the first day following the pump replacement. the filter now continues to be clear with only minimal sediment / sand on it.

Hi Joe,
Sounds like the monster from the Blue Lagoon!!  You are scaring me Joe. :-)  That is really bizarre, although I think it is probably something that was packed into the submersible pump  to keep it from rusting or something like that.  If you get any more of this "slime" let me know and I'll do some more research.  Good luck,
Environmental Engineer
General Contractor

PS:  By the way - that was an incredibly good description of the slime.  I wish everyone could be as good as you - it would make figuring out  deposit problems so much easier!  You must be a writer.

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Steve Young


I will answer questions on residential water treatment, i.e. use of softeners, filters, reverse osmosis systems, disinfection, iron and/or sediment removal and other issues facing the homeowner. I have worked extensively with well water systems.


I have worked in the water treatment area for many years as a consultant and as a professional environmental engineer in the private industry sector. I have designed reverse osmosis, deionization, and water softening systems. I have also done work in water quality and stream and river remediation as it relates to the Clean Water Act.

I am currently serving as an Expert for Home Improvement, Travel (New Mexico) and Travel (North Carolina);

BS Environmental Eng.

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