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Water Quality/Well Water Odor & sludge


QUESTION: Steve- I have a water well that is about 150' deep. Water is lifted out of the well via a submersible pump into a 5k gal tank which has a 2" transfer pipe to a second 5k gal tank. It then goes thru a booster pump via a back check to two 119gal bladder tanks, then thru a pool style tablet chlorination unit, then to a sand filter tank then a carbon filter with a back flush then thru a softener with a brine set up then to the house !! I have two small aeration pumps that run to diffusers in the main tank and a 2" blower that runs into both 5k tanks upon starting the filling cycle. It runs for 5 hrs to remove sulfur smell. The main tank has a white slimy substance that builds up .  The water comes out of the ground green. The system seemed to work ok for a few years depending on weather we used the shower right when the tank filled causing the smell water to get up to the house. I am so frustrated with the water. HELP!!!!!

ANSWER: Hi Lance,

Do you have a recent water analysis of the well? When you say the water comes out of the ground "green" does it have a slimy feel to it?  Let me know about these 2 issues, particularly the analysis.  I really need to know what's in the water.


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I do not have a recent analysis of the water. There are several tests available from the local lab, which ones should I request?
The water is a little slimly feeling, hard to tell. The sldge that builds up in the bottom of the tank is white with some black in it and is very slimy. If I take some sludge and set it out on the concrete to dry, it then feels like talc powder or chalk??

Hi Lance,
If you could get the following tests done it would be very helpful

1. Total dissolved solids (TDS) mMho
2. Calcium (as Ca)
3. Magnesium (as Mg)
4. Total hardness (as CaCO3)
5. Manganese (as Mn)
7. Iron (as Fe - note both Ferrous and Ferric would be helpful)
8. Nitrite (as NO3)
9. Sulfate (as SO3)
10. Hydrogen sulfide (as H2S)
11. Bacteria: Coliform

Also: Please provide more information:
1. Have you asked the well drilling company if there is better water at deeper levels?  Do your neighbors have the same problems.  If they don't what are their well depths?  It would be good to have the white slime analyzed.  It might be too expensive but if you have a university near you they are a good source of free or reduced cost testing.  Also the county sometimes will do analysis for residents.  Let me know what you come up with.

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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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