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Water Quality/muddy well water only in extreme cold weather


QUESTION: I just built a new home in western Pennsylvania and had a well drilled May 2013. It is 140ft and has PVC casing 40ft. Everything was great until January 5th when the Polar Vortex hit and the temperature dropped below zero. When this happened our water turned muddy for about two days. It would clear up for about four day and then turn muddy again. This went on for just about the whole month of January when the temperature was below zero. In February we were able to go 16 day without the water turning muddy and the temperature was between 25 - 35 degrees. as soon as the temperature dropped below zero on February 28th our water was cloudy again. I read on here about another person in NY having the same problem. I was wondering if and how to resolve this problem.


This one has me completely puzzled, as did the last one.  I have discussed this with several of my associates and we're stumped!  There should be no relationship between outside temperature and well water, since the well water is considerably lower than the freeze line.  If this happens again I would suggest that you filter a sample of the muddy water and get the precipitate analyzed.  You could  use a regular coffee filter to do it with.  If you do please send me the results and maybe that will be helpful.  
I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help Dan.  Our other experts will look at this and maybe they will have something that I missed.  Good luck.


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Thank you for getting back to me about this. The well is capped and we had a company come in and put a camera down the well and they found nothing abnormal with it. Also, the silt that is coming in is so fine that it is going through a 1 micron filter. I have filter the water through a paper towel before to capture the slit. I am going to attach a picture of this. Thanks again and I will keep in touch with my findings.

HI Dan,

I have to admit your water situation is one of the strangest that I have come across in the 25+ years i have worked in water treatment.  Please keep me up to date if you find out anything.  I will also continue to ask around and should I find out anything I will get hold of  you.  Good luck.


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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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