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Water Quality/High Sediment Well Water Filtration


Our well water leaves a heavy white sediment in our appliances, shower heads and faucets, cooking pots, and pet water bowls. We had it thoroughly tested a few years ago for about 300 different parameters. The samples we sent were before any kind of filtration. My husband has lost the written report, but we both remember that the lab called to confirm the samples were pre-filtration because the results, except for suspended/dissolved solids, were so clean.
I have reached the point where I need to get rid of the white build-up! We have already had to replace our dishwasher and are now facing replacing a water heater.
My husband has added two in-line paper cartridge filters and an Eddy de-scaler. He also added and removed an in-line smaller micron filter because the water pressure was drastically reduced.

I am at my wits end. Can you recommend some kind of whole house filter to solve our problem?



ANSWER: Hello Margaret,

Can you call that lab and see if you can get a copy of the report?  That would be very helpful.  Their comments make no sense to me.  If it was clean except for dissolved solids that means it could be anything! Also the vague answer about suspended solids means the same thing.  I need more information to be of any help to you.  Please see if  you can get a copy of the results.  If you can't have another analysis done - this time get a before and after all filtration.  Also, you don't need 300 parameters.  Just check for:
Ca, Mg, Total Hardness, Na, Fe, SO4, Cl, TDS, TSS, Conductivity (mMho), pH, Silica (as SiO2), Manganese (as Mn), Zinc and Potassium.

Also, how deep is your well?

I will wait to hear back from you,

Steve Young
Environmental Engineer

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


The "lab" comments are my husband's words as I remember his relating their conversation to me. I sent an email requesting a copy of the report yesterday (Saturday) and it was in my email today.

Ca Hardness  80 mg/L
Mg Hardness  120 mg/L
Total Hardness 200 mg/L

Na   (if this is Chloride) 25 mg/L
Fe   <0.5 mg/L
SO4  <1.0 mg/L
Cl   0.13 mg/L
TDS   276 mg/L
TSS   (if this is Turbidity?)  0.17
Conductivity (mMho)  510
pH   6.70
Silica (SiO2)Not tested
Mn  <0.5 mg/L
Zinc  <2.0 mg/L
Potassium  not tested

Could the parameters I show as not found be called something else? I would be happy to send the report if you need it.

The well is about 125' deep. We are just west of Lexington, VA in the heart of the Appalachians at 1800' elevation.

I hope this gives you enough to suggest a solution to our problem.


ANSWER: Hello Margaret,

I've been analyzing your water and it appears to me, if those tests were done correctly that you shouldn't be having much of a problem.  Looking at the Langelier and Ryzner indexes, your water is basically neutral with a slight corrosive tendency. This is as opposed to a scaling tendency, which is what appears to be happening in your system.

My recommendation is to install a water softener.  You should call the Culligan dealer in your area as well as any other water softening companies - enough to get 2 or 3 quotes.  Make sure it is water SOFTENING not water conditioning.  There is a huge difference. Basically I think you are getting a calcium/magnesium buildup in your systems and you need to remove the Calcium and Magnesium from the water.  I don't know anything about the Eddy descaler.  I would put it in the category of "Black Boxes" that probably don't do much of anything.  In my 30+ years in water treatment I have seen many of these magic cures come and go - purporting everything from magnetism to electronic descaling to scale seeding and I have yet to find one that works.  In cases where no problems develop in the systems the water would not need treatment in the first place.  The water softening system I am recommending is based on science and has been used successfully for over 50 years.  So, I would have these companies come out to your  house, do water testing, analyze your needs and make recommendations.  I suggest Culligan as one of the companies because I have used Culligan in projects for many years. I have no affiliation with Culligan or any other water treatment company.  I am an independent consultant.

Good luck and if you have any questions please let me know.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


You have been very helpful, but I have another question raised by my water softener research on-line. We are on a septic system. My husband is on blood pressure reducing medication. Would either of these additional facts suggest we look at potassium-based rather than sodium-based systems?

(In my personal opinion the Eddy Electronic Descaling Device, which we have been using for 4 months, is totally ineffective.)

Thanks again,


Hello Margaret,

I am not surprised by your comment about the Eddy System - I hear that all the time!

With regards to your concerns please look at these 2 sites:

Basically the answer to your question is that neither issue would be negatively impacted by a softening system.  Having said that I would recommend that you consider installing an under-sink Reverse Osmosis (RO) system for your drinking water.  That is what I have done in my home. I also take medication for high blood pressure and control my sodium. You can get a small, under-sink RO system for around $200 and they are relatively easy to install.  Here is an example:

One other option is to install a softener on the hot water system only.  Since most of the problems are on hot water uses this is frequently done.

I would like to mention that I do take donations.  All of the donations I collect go directly to the American Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals.  (ASPCA).  This site has a button for making a donation.  I hope you will consider this since I have volunteered my time and expertise.  Thank you and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to contact me.


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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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