Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Can I Use a No-Salt Water Softener On Well Water?

Hello Sir,

We use well water on our farm and our water is hard.   No rust or much sediment, just clean hard well water.  Will a no salt water softener remove this hardness?  I am sick of cleaning our shower glass doors but my husband doesn’t want a water softener that uses salt.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Can I Remove Odor from my Well Water Without Using Chemicals?

Hello Gerry,

Like reading your blog, learned a few things, thanks!   Our problem is we have iron, and a low level but very obnoxious odor.  We have a water softener, but I think it can’t keep up with the iron, and it doesn’t help with the odor at all.

I sent in my test results to you, what do you recommend for our somewhat stinky well water?  Aeration?

Phil in Maine

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Can I Use a Water Softener After a Calcite Neutralizer?

Dear sir,

We recently moved to the country and are new to well water.   We discovered that the toilet flush tank is stained blue, and if water drips from the faucet, we get blue stains.    I realize that this is from our copper pipes and our water is acid.  See attached lab test.

Our question is, can we fix the acidity and still use a water softener?  My wife likes soft water and we had that at our last house.  If we use a softener after the crushed marble tank, will that make the water acid again?

Bill Z

Friday, November 17, 2017

Clean Water Made Easy Podcast!

The Clean Water Made Easy podcast is now live!  

Check it out at:

Here are some links and summaries of recent podcast episodes:

1: How Water Wells Work

Topics Covered Include:

Groundwater explained
Drilled wells explained
Possible well contaminants
Considerations for areas near hydro-fracking
Dealing with cracks and loose fittings
The first step of proper well management
Sanitizing your well

In this episode, we’re going to cover the basics of how water wells work. It also goes over how to disinfect and sanitize your well.

Also, I have a free gift for you, a well water cheat sheet and resource guide that I can send you. I created this guide as a companion to today’s podcast to make it easy to follow along with and has a well water treatment cheat sheet as well as an exploded view of how a typical well works.

Has a nice diagram as well as a flow rate calculator guide so you can easily estimate what your well water flow rate is. And a step-by-step guide on how to sanitize your well. If you’d like to get your free copy, just text the word “wellwater” all one word, wellwater, to 44222 or go to cleanwaterstore.com/podcast and you get it there, we’ll get it going to you.

2: How To Test Your Well Water Flow Rate


Why knowing your flow rate is important
Figuring out how many gallons flow from your pump in one minute
Important numbers to know
The process of checking your flow rate

In this episode we will cover the simple steps you’re going to take to find out the flow rate of your well pump. What’s the importance of this? You might wonder. Why should I find out what my well water flow rate is? Well, the flow rate is how many gallons per minute your well pump can put out. It’s important and nice to know what your well pump flow rate is and how many gallons per minute it can put out and then check it again a year from now. It just takes minutes to do so it’s easy to find out. It’s good to know if there’s any changes.

3: Well Water Testing DIY To Advanced Lab Testing

Well Water Testing Topics Covered:

Well water testing do it yourself
When to get lab water tests done
Reasons why one should test their well water
The advantage of do-it-yourself test kits
Figuring out what your potential contamination sources are
Different types of contaminants for which to test
How to self-test for water hardness

In this podcast series I give easy-to-follow tips and information all about well systems, well water quality, well water treatment systems, and how to improve quality of your well water. In this podcast, we’re going over well water testing, well water testing. Basically, reasons why you should test your well water periodically, What to test for, How often should I test my well water, When to use a certified lab versus doing it yourself, and a test you can do yourself today at home without any test kit and get the basic idea of one of the parameters of your water.

So you might ask, “Why should I test my water?” well, if you think about it municipal city water systems test their water routinely, regularly. They’re on top of it, making sure the water is safe and that means they’re required too anyway. But there’s no requirement to test a private well, except when you first have it drilled or maybe you’re refining in your home and they know you’re on a private well and they might want to a basic test for bacteria, perhaps nitrate, and few other things.

4: How To Identify Well Water Problems By a Physical Inspection

Well Water Problems Topics Discussed:

Secrets of your toilet flush tanks
Visual inspection of your water and pipes
Signs that you have problems with your well water system
Checking your water heater
Remembering to check your dishwasher

In today’s podcast we’ll cover how to do a physical inspection of your home well water system. This is a great way to identify and find out clues about what’s going on with your well water quality. There are some very simple things you can do. It is very enlightening. We’ll talk about how to do a physical inspection of your pipes and fixtures, how to do a toilet tank check, very interesting, and all about your water heater, how to inspect your water heater, what to look for in your dishwasher.

5: Iron and Manganese Treatment for Well Water

Iron Manganese Treatment Topics:

● Reasons for Iron and Manganese in your water
● Signs your water is contaminated with Iron and/or Manganese
● Types of Iron found in well water
● Iron Manganese Treatment Options
● Aeration versus Chlorination versus Ozone

In this series of the podcast, I’m giving useful, easy to follow tips and information all about well water, well water treatment systems and how to improve the quality of your well water. Today’s episode, we’re going to cover the basics on how to remove iron and manganese from well water.

Friday, October 13, 2017

What Are The Top 5 Most Common Mistakes When Choosing a Water Well Filter?

water well filter

Water Well Filters

June from North Dakota emailed me, asking:

"We grew up in the city and have retired to our country home on well water.  I want to improve the water, are there any things we should look for or do (or NOT do!) when looking at filter systems?  Mostly we think we have an iron problem, I don't want a softener."

Thanks June, that is a great question.

I will send you a separate email about your water chemistry (thanks for emailing the water test).. but I thought I would share with you and my other readers problems related and common issues.

There are five common problems folks make when buying a water well filter for their domestic water well.  You may not be in this situation but here are the common ones to think about!

The five most typical mistakes in choosing a home water treatment device comes from the failure to correctly plan and understand the existing well water system. These are:

  1. Failing to correctly test the well water chemistry.
  2. Not understanding precisely how their well water system operates.
  3. Not understanding the flow rate.
  4. Not checking the water pressure that their well water pump system will produce,
  5. Not selecting a water well filter that will work for their water chemistry, flow rate, and water pressure (and ending up with a filter that won't work properly, and restricts the flow and pressure in the home).

Quality of Water

Did you grow up on well water?  Many folks (like me) grew up in the city (or suburbs in my case) with safe treated city water and later relocated to the countryside.  We never gave much thought to the water supply until we were on well water, and saw our fixtures turn white or orange. Drinking water was taken for granted and thought to be plentiful and safe.

After living on a home with well water, you may have noticed unpalatable or smelly drinking water for the very first time.  Your well water may be rusty, be full of sediment, have a bad odor, or perhaps have bacteria.

Happily there are a wide array of water well filters in the marketplace to resolve these issues.

Unfortunately numerous water treatment equipment suppliers, retail outlets and big box retail stores often have only one type which are supposed to fit every situation, which results in poor performance and frequent repairs and service.

Don't forget your pets.  They need
safe clean water as well!

Water Chemistry is the Key to Locating the Best System

Almost all water well filters have certain ranges as well as conditions that they operate within. For example many well waters are often acid in nature, and at the same time have iron present. Many iron filters will not remove iron when the water is acid, so first the water must be treated to counteract the level of acidity in the water.

Understanding what exactly to analyze for is very important. If the well is located near filling stations, industrial sites, or near a farming area the well water should be analyzed once a year for a number of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and organic compounds.

You might also consider a bacteria test at least once a year to make sure your well is free of coliform bacteria.

Get a general mineral analysis in order to test for common water quality situations such as undesirable tastes, smells, or stains.This typically includes manganese, iron, hardness, dissolved solids, pH, turbidity and alkalinity. Further analysis can include nitrate, sulfate, arsenic, chloride, and sodium, not to mention metals such as lead.

Well Pumps Vary in Type

Your well water is pumped from the ground automatically with a a pump inside the well (a submersible pump), or perhaps you have a pump which is located on top of ground level that pulls water out of the water table to create water pressure within the house (a jet pump).

Quite a few well water systems use a large holding tank to store the actual water before it is pumped again into the family home. Various other well water systems will be gravity fed, and use gravity to supply water pressure towards property.

Understanding the principals of the way the well water system performs is important when deciding on a water well filter. The type of treatment solution which is used can detrimentally impact the water pressure and flow rate in the house. For example should the well use a pressure tank, a water well filter should be set up after the pressure tank, never right before, to avoid causing damage to the well pump.

Flow Rate of Well Pump is Critical

Water wells and well pumps come in different sizes and can pump water at different rates. For example water that fills up a 1 gallon container in one minute, can be said to be pumping at 1 gallon per minute or 1 GPM.

It is easy for you to determine what the flow rate from the pump. Click Here for an easy to use flow rate calculator. This will enable you to size your water well filter so it works with your well's particular flow rate. Most water well filters are automatic back washing type and demand specific nominal flow rate.

A typical miscalculation is to install a water well filter that will require 10 gallons per minute, but have a well pump that only pumps 7 gallons each minute. In this situation, after a number of months, the water well filter will not work properly. If a home is large and the well can easily pump a higher flow rate, but a smaller treatment system is put in that does not work with the given flow rate, water pressure drop definitely will result.


Water Pressure Plays a Major Part

Water pressure also has a crucial role in selecting your water well filter. Almost all water well filters will reduce the water pressure slightly as the water flows through the equipment. It is critical to know what the water pressure from the well pump and pressure system, prior to buying your water well filter as a way to get decent water pressure inside the home.

In this manner, kitchen and other fixtures and home appliances will work correctly. Many well pump systems may be fine-tuned to function with a higher pressure, if the pressure is not high enough to start with.

Choosing the Proper Treatment System to Do the Job

Although some water well filters get rid of different pollutants, there isn't one treatment system that can work with each and every application or water contaminant.

It is essential to understand what the capacity of the treatment methods that are being considered, what contaminants they remove, precisely what selection of flow rates they're able to process, and what water pressures they will operate within.

Have a question about this?  Email me at gb@cleanwaterstore.com if you have questions or comments!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How To Remove Iron Bacteria From My Well Water?

Mr Bulfin,

Our problem is iron bacteria.  We live outside of town and use well water.  

We get reddish rusty water and per your suggestion, I looked in the toilet flush tanks, and they are covered with slime and what looks like orange hair growing out from the sides of the toilet flush tank.  We also get some bad sulfur odors, mostly if we leave the house for a few days to visit my parents or go out of town.

We have a filter on the main pipe after our pressure tank, and that gets covered with orange slimy sediment too.  I am pretty sure we have iron bacteria, but how do I get rid of it?  I am on a low budget, sorry to say!

Austin Texas

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How To Install a Chlorinator When On A Community Well Water System

Dear Sir,

I live in the country in a small neighborhood served by a well.  Our water has iron in it  and also the water smells bad.  See the attached water report. Can I install a chlorinator and filter for my home only? My neighbors are not interested in fixing the main well water.  How can I install a chlorinator for just my home?

New Mexico

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Which Well Water Filter System?

My question is:  which well water filter system is best for my well water?  I do not have iron or rust stains, but we do get a lot of grit and sediment.   Every 2 -3 weeks I need to change the filter on our main line coming.

The filter is a GE whole house filter and I have tried different cartridges. I think we are using a 5 micron one now and it works fine.  It fills with some sand, but mostly fine sediment of some kind.   While it might work OK, it does not last long.  Is there a different type that lasts longer?

John E.

How Do Water Well Chlorinators Work?

Hi Gerry,

My neighbor works at our local water treatment plant, and he told us he thinks we should put in a chlorinator.  We have tested off and on ever since we bought this farm for coliform bacteria in our well water. We added chlorine to the well but after a few months we tested positive again for bacteria. 

How do chlorinators work?  Does it use regular bleach?  We don't want chlorinated water to go out on the orchard, just for inside our house.

Joan S.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Do I Treat a Cistern That Has Two Wells Feeding Into It?


I have a cistern that is fed by two wells.  One is our own well, and one is a community well.  I have a ballcock type manual float in the cistern, that lets in water when the level in the cistern drops by 6 inches or so.  Both the wells have their own pressure tanks, but each well feeds the tank at different speeds. That is, our well has a low flow, and flows at about 4 gallons per minute.  When I  am able to get access to the community system, it flows in much faster.

I want to chlorinate the smelly, dark well water as it flows into the cistern (see attached pics), and I am wondering what type of flow switch or water meter I can get that controls the chlorinator pump, by flow.  I want to inject an even amount of chlorine as I don’t want too much or too little.   Also looking for a filter, after the cistern to take out the rust and sediment.   Any ideas?

Mick in Michigan