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I live in central Florida (by Orlando) and I have well water. The sediment filter is before the softener and after the pressure tank. I've lived in this house for a year and replaced the filter about once every 2-3 months. A couple days ago, I replaced it, but today I noticed a significant drop in pressure. I realized that if two faucets were open (i.e. try to wash hands while toilet is refilling) then there would be very little pressure/flow. I checked the filter and saw it was completely clogged, as if we hadn't changed it in like 9 months. It was an orange/beige and clay-ish. I know we have a problem with iron, but this almost looked more like sand. There's been construction in the area (the county built a new sidewalk and new driveway), recent heavy rains, and also a drought. We've also had the famous "rotten-egg" smell for a while that seems to have gone away, not sure if this is related. What is the cause of this problem, and what should we do to fix it? We use this filter by GE, so replacing it every two days would be expensive.

Update: I called the company who installed the pump and pressure tank. The only information they had was that it's a submersible pump and was installed in like 2006.

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Drilled or dug well? First thought is that if construction/rain is affecting your water so noticeably and quickly, it is under direct influence from surface water, which is bad. Aside from causing problems like this, you're much more likely to have bacteria problems. –  gregmac Jun 4 '11 at 19:42
    
I have no idea, only lived there for about a year now, but I'm assuming drilled. We had heavy rains before and no problems. I also live not too far from a large lake, if that makes any difference. –  Jerr Jun 4 '11 at 21:19
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If you have a metal casing sticking up, then it's probably drilled. If it's a big concrete casing with a hatch in the top, it's either dug or an older drilled well. Here's some good background on wells: cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/buho_003.cfm. If it's dug, I can help with some suggestions, if it's drilled it's more complicated. Figure that out, and take a look inside (if you can), and pictures may help. Eg: Specifically, if it's a drilled well inside a well pit (which will have the hatch), and there is water in the pit, you are getting surface water in the well (which is bad). –  gregmac Jun 6 '11 at 4:17
    
@gregmac Didn't figure out what type of well it is. I found a couple candidates, but they were essentially large PVC tubes with a cover, and the inside was filled with sand. I may try digging a bit to see if there's a second cover under the sand, but essentially there's just like a faucet under there (can't turn it). –  Jerr Jun 7 '11 at 13:53
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According to the company that installed my well pump and pressure tank, they say that this thing happens. Apparently some bacteria and iron are producing stuff that is getting caught in the filter, and occasionally there is a large amount of this. Some people may have to replace their filter every week normally. As long as there's nothing that looks like sand and shells in the filter, everything should be ok.

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