bathrub and twoney

My well suddenly is adding sand to the water supply. Very fine just barely grit, so on the border between sand and silt.

I’ve just stopped irrigating, so demand is only household.

I can see the following possibilities

  • bore is collapsing and bore has sand to just below pump.

  • screen is failing and letting silt through.

What are my next steps?

  • 2
    Those two possibilities seem reasonable but either way, you'll probably want to call in a well specialist especially if this is a submersible pump in a deep bore. In most cases the bore itself is significantly deeper than the pump, at least it should be. That lets any material that falls sink down to the bottom rather than get sucked up in the pump. Is it possible your well was not installed this way? – jwh20 Oct 11 '19 at 17:53
  • Are you sure that isn't softener resin? – isherwood Oct 11 '19 at 19:11
  • 1
    Given that I don't have a softener, yeah. Pretty sure. – Sherwood Botsford Oct 12 '19 at 14:09
  • This may be a developing problem. The bottom of the pump is only 2 feet off the bottom of the well as if 3 years ago. If the well has gotten more sand, since, it may be picking that up from the bottom. I hope so. If that's the case the whole problem may be an easy one of cleaning, and redeveloping the well. – Sherwood Botsford Oct 12 '19 at 14:11

I have seen this a bunch , heavy irrigation is part of the problem but don’t stop. My well guy a very old friend has always told me if it is dirty pump it hard, wait for a few hours and pump it hard again. When you pump hard yes you stress the well but if you never pump it hard it will silt up and be a bigger problem. A string filter is his preferred method to filter the sand. You may have to change these every month or so but the few dollars spent on filters will save your water heater and every valve in your house. Keep the sand out of the house and I put filters prior to the water tank in most cases, some require the filter after? A valve prior to the filter is all that is needed in most cases, a valve after can even be better, I can change my filter in less than 1 minute. I turn 2 valves 1 prior and after the filter then spin the housing off, dump the old filter and water then put a new filter in and spin it back on, open both valves and I am done from start to finish in 1 minute a month on a 12” string filter in a shallow well (less than 100’ total depth). In a river bed that has a lot of fine sand & silt. Note I have had a jet pump in the past but switched to a submersible a short while back and don’t notice much of a difference in needed filter changes but it has been less than a year since I made the change but I started using the new pump 3x the old one as submersible pumps are much cheaper to run than jets.

  • When I'm irrigating, the pump doesn't stop. I'm running 1 gpm short of the maximum pump rate. The sudden increase is what concerns me right now. Compared to end of summer watering (absolute peak use) most of the increase is silt. Currently I'm using the well as little as possible until I have a driller evaluate. – Sherwood Botsford Oct 12 '19 at 14:03
  • I have a 120 mesh screen filter I can install inline. If I valve it, and put it in front of the pressure tank, I can use the tank to back flush it. It has a drain valve. In use that may add a signficant pressure drop, which would be a problem for irrigation. – Sherwood Botsford Oct 12 '19 at 14:05
  • If I have to replace the well, it's getting one of the new variable speed drive pumps. They run a 1 gpm to capacity and attempt to keep constant pressure. Pump turns on/off less, water level in well doesn't fluctuate as much. Lower power. I pump about 6000 cubic meters/year. Pay for itself in 3yrs power savings. – Sherwood Botsford Oct 12 '19 at 14:07

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