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Kat and Kevin Yares

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Iron Removal - Our Water System

For years our system has been plagued with a heavy Iron content. In fact I am sure that when it was first drilled, about 20 years ago, this problem was there from day one. We did test the water for any pathogens and contamination. Most state health departments will do this for a small fee. The results came back clear on any "bad nastys" in the water but it did have a heavy Iron content.

I spent a lot of time on the NET looking for systems that could remove the iron. I found them but the price tag was way too high for our pocketbooks. Kat had a method for showing people how much iron was in the water. She would fill a drinking glass and then dumping a little bleach into the glass.

There it would appear, the infamous red of iron in the water. This got me to thinking, hmmmmm, about treating the well with bleach. After searching the NET I found a few folks who have done this and decided to give it a try.

The first dump of bleach was a shock, literally a shock of bleach. A quantity of a 1/2-gallon of store bought bleach was dumped into the well. Man did things turn red quickly. I flushed the water for about a half hour before the heavy color started to run clear and the bleach smell slowly dissipated.

Next was the addition of a three-stage water filter system. I found, at salvage, three full sized cartridge containers and plumbed them into the existing water piping. I placed two ball valves on each end of the filters to shut the water off when they need replacing.

The filter cartridges are as follows from well to faucets.

1)        20-micron paper filter about $2.50 apiece. This removes the heaviest particles of iron after chlorination and will last about 2 to 3 weeks.

2)        10-micron string filter to take down the particle size. This runs about $3.00 and can be soaked, washed and reused. This lasts about 4 to 5 weeks before I have to replace the filter.

3)        5 to 10 micron carbon filter about $4.00 to $5.00 a throw. This filter helps with taste and the final cleaning of the remaining fine particles. This carbon filter will last about the same time as the string filter, 4 to 5 weeks.

The schedule we use is to add ½ pint of store bought bleach every week. I make this on a Tuesday. Why Tuesday? I don't know. It's easy to remember. The filter changing only occurs when there is a noticeable low flow of water from the submersible water pump system. I usually work on the premise to change the cheaper paper filter twice before changing the other two filters. In other words, twice a month I change the first in line paper filter. Once a month I change the #2 string filter and the #3 carbon filter.

So for a yearly total I use 24 of the paper filters, 12 string and carbon. Of course I clean and reuse the string filters. My total, high-end rough cost, is $60 for the paper, $60 for the carbon, spent $30 on the string filters and about $15 for bleach. Total is $165 a year and we use about 3000 gallons a month for household, laundry, baths, animals and etc.

This works out to a yearly cost for us, approximate of course, to a total of $4.58 per 1000 gallons less the well electrical costs. So I will round this total 1000-gallon cost to us at a HIGH of $9 per 1000 gallons.

Rural water costs from the county are $12 per 1000 after the minimal charge of $20 for 2000 gallons and their monthly meter charge is about $10. So 3000 gallons from our local water association costs about $42. Plus, not having to deal with, all of their silly rules and tacked on fees. Water from them I have noticed, only gets more expensive.

We have been using this system since March of 2008 and the improvement is vast. With the addition of the chlorine bleach to the well, it not only suspends the iron in the water. It also helps to purify or clean the water. Yes, I will admit that the water will have a slight bleach smell on each Tuesday, for a few gallons, but it soon dissipates.

Nothing is always Free -- and Water just ain't one of them.


Three Filter Housings
The one on the left is #1- paper filter.
Note the dark red color.
Ball valve at each end of filter assembly.
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