Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fixing Bad Well Water Problems with Reverse Osmosis

Mr Bulfin,

See attached water analysis.  Our water is high in iron, manganese, odors, and total dissolved solids.   Can you recommend a system to treat this type of well water?   Can my bad well water be fixed?

We had a water softener, but there was still a lot of staining. I don’t dare wash the cars in this water, as it eats away at the paint finish and leaves a white scale on it.    Our clothes get ruined over time, and now our copper piping has pinhole leaks.  My wife is threatening to move, without me.  Help!

Jason L
New Mexico


Not a problem, we have hundreds of customers with this same type of water. It is easy to treat with a whole house reverse osmosis “RO” system.

A good RO system can last for many years with minimal maintenance, provided the water is properly pre-treated prior to the RO.  Pre-treatment is critical.

We would recommend the following:
  • Install a chlorine injection system to address the high sulfur content
  • Install a backwashing iron filter to remove the iron
  • Install a pretreat aplus injection system to prevent scaling of the RO membranes
  • Install the reverse osmosis system sized to provide at least 1500 gallons daily.

 See the diagram below:

 After the RO and before the storage tank we recommend a calcite neutralizer to add some alkalinity and a small amount of hardness back into the purified water.

Check out the recommended water treatment components below:

Chlorinator Package Precision-24 + 15 Gal Solution TankPrecision-24 Chlorinator Package with Solution Tank:   

Can be either 110 volt or 220 volt plug; can be hardwired to a pressure switch to come on with a well pump.  Works with well water flow rates from 1 – 50 Gallons per Minute (GPM)

Output rating:  0.1 – 24 Gallons per Day (GPD).  Pressure rating:  Will inject into lines with up to 110 PSI. 

More details about this product here.

Additional features:  Degassing Valve is built in which makes this great for chlorination use.  System includes Chlorination Pump, 10 Gallon Solution Tank, Injection Check Valve, tubing and installation fittings.  25 & 35 Gallon tanks also available for additional cost. 

40 Gallon Contact Tank 
40 Gallon Contact Tank The CT-40 tank is a durable easy-to-install retention tank designed to provide optimum contact time during chemical treatment. These lightweight seamless totally non-corrosive retention tanks are ideal for new and replacement installation where durability is at a premium. 100% non-metallic polymer materials. Impervious to chemical attack.  Comes with  1-1/4 inch inlet. 

2 sizes to choose from, same price  Either 16”Diameter  x 58”Tall or 21” Diameter x 36” Tall

Excellent Warranty:  5 Years from date of installation.

For more product information, click here.

Vacuum Breaker, ½” mpt.   

Vacuum breaker relief valve Watts 1/2" male 200 PSI maximum.
Vacuum BreakerRequired for contact and retention tanks to prevent vacuum in system and avoid imploding vessel.

Check this out for more details.

Sediment Filter 5900e 1.5 CFPro-Ox Iron Filter 5900 Series, 1 cu. Ft, 115 Volt:                 

Pro-OX Iron Filter 5900 Series includes pipe connectors; by-pass valve; 1.0 cubic feet of Pro-OX Manganese Dioxide NSF Certified filter media; 10 x 44 inch filter tank; 5900 automatic backwash control valve. Uses the Enpress tank with Vortech distributor which allows the Pro-OX media to be backwashed at lower flow rates with less water, saving water and energy.   

Dimensions: 10” diameter x 50” height with valve; Chlorine side tank is 10.5” diameter x 16” high

Excellent Warranty: 5 years on the control valve & 10 years on the mineral tank.
Check out this link for more details.

Carbon Filter 5700-E 1.0 CF 
Carbon Filter 5700e 1.5 CF
Includes 1.0 cubic feet of carbon filter media; and Digital 5700-E control valve.

All the filter media you need for the system is included. Excellent for use in de-chlorinating water, taking out hydrogen peroxide and removing many tastes and odors.
Much longer life and higher flow rates than carbon filter cartridges.

Excellent Warranty:  5 Years on Control Valve & 10 years on the media tank.

Click here for more details.

Pretreatment of Calcium Hardness:

This is used instead of a softener and injected by way of a metering pump into the water before the EPRO to prevent scale build-up and premature fouling of your membranes due to your high hardness.

45MHP10 Stenner Pump 115 or 220 Volt, with 15 gallon tank

45MHP10 Stenner Pump 115 or 220 Volt, with 15 gallon tank:   
Dimensions for Solution tank:  14” Diameter x 24” Tall

RO Pretreat Solution Antiscalant PreTreat Plus 1100 5 Gallons:   

Enough to produce 100,000 to 200,000 gallons of purified RO water
Click here for more info.

EPRO-1500: 1500 Gallons Per Day 

Heavy-Duty Commercial Reverse Osmosis System
Produces high quality purified water by reverse osmosis thin-film (TFC) membrane using a high pressure pump (included).
·         An excellent control panel package includes a UL listed control box with On/Off Switch; low-inlet water protection; function LEDs; and contacts to set up float switches in a storage tank.
·         To make service and operation easier this unit includes many options not normally included in other base-unit reverse osmosis systems such as: 5-micron pre-filter; pure-water (permeate) flow meter; waste-water (concentrate) flow meter; PVC pressure vessels; and automatic feed-water shut-off valve.
Click here for more details.

Neutralizer Upflow Calcite 1.0 CFUpflow Calcite Neutralizer 1.0 CF

Includes Top Fill Plug, Vortech Tank and Bypass

Used, in this instance, to raise pH after RO treatment so it isn’t acidic and corrosive.
Check the details here.Diameter 10”
Tank Height 54”

Here is also a storage tank that you can use:
Storage Tank
Click here for more information.