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Question DetailsAsked on 9/2/2013

How to best prevent rust stains from well water irrigation systems in SC?

We are moving to Mount Pleasant SC and want to install a well for our irrigation system to save some money, but we do not want the unsightly rust/iron stains on our driveway, sidewalks and house. Not sure if there is a good filter for this. Also wondering if we need to buy a water softner in general. Any advice is appreciated.

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4 Answers


First, check you have water rights - many properties have had the warter rights "stripped" and sold by a prior owner, and in some states the water rights stayed with the county originally. Check with your local water board or planning board, and read your title. The rights are probably also limited by state law and local waer conservation districts to certain extraction amounts, and may require a permit and a meter to report consumption.

On the iron issue (or manganese or potassium or magnesium or lime etc) - check again with your local water district about groundwater quaslity, or see if a neighbor has test results (this is best way). The driller you choose may also have typical test data before you decide to drill. Theres should be a state geologist report on the groundwater in your area, that should have smaple test data and information about which aquifers are "good" and which have proboems, if there are multiple aquifers. This may have a lot of effect on your well depth, because the first aquifer you hit may well not be the best water.

As for iron treatment - there are a LOT of issues here - you really need to get data from the local government agencies (they commonly have treatment recommendations too), THEN talk to a water purification contractor.

Here is a pretty good article on the hard water issue and the multiple of ways to treat is - oxidation, chlorination, sand precipitation, resin exchange, flocculation and filtration, etc -

You are really going to need specific water quality test data from your well before you can decide on the treatment needed and of course full water treatment is pretty expensive to use for irrigation water, so you may want to set up a primary treatment like sand bed and chlorination or oxidation for everything, then pull the irrigation water off before treating household water with more traditional water "softening" means, otherwise you are going to spend a lot of money on resin, sand changes, and filters.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Simple answer: People in Florida have this same problem with their irrigation systems. Most contractors will just drill down to about 75 feet which is just the top of the aquifer and contains most of the water with iron and deposits in it. To get around this problem you have to request the contractor to redrill or drill deeper, in Florida we have to get down to about 150 feet to get into the cleaner water. But you would want to ask your contractors where the cleaner water is and how far they would need to drill to reach it. Hope this helps.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9136566


On the Guest response about drilling deeper - bear in mind if you have them do that, you need to drill past the bottom of the bad water zone, grout in solid steel casing so that zone is blocked off, then drill ahead to final depth and install your bottom casing section (unless in sound bedrock), screen and pump and such. Failure to block off this upper zone by leaving the casing ungrouted will result in your well becoming a mixing zone of the bad and good water. This isolation casing process can increase your well cost from 25-50% typically, though if you are passing through two separate aquifers then is generally required by law anyway, to avoid mixing the two water sources at depth.

Also - get advice from several well drillers in the area as to whether there is better water, and if deeper is actually better - in some areas the deeper you go the worse it gets, or you hit salt water or leached petroleum products in the water. You might contact your local state geological survey about whether they have a water quality survey in the area - your local health department might also have access to well test data showing if deeper or shallower ones near your property show better or poorer water quality. And of course, talk to your close neighbors about what they have, if they use wells.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


We manufacture and sell the most effective and economical iron control treatment available. Our Sequest-All I3B treatment is injected into the irrigation system each time the system runs and it will tie up the iron molecule to prevent precipitation and therefore stain from forming. Call us at 727-535-9033 - or email You can also visit our website at:
I will gladly work with you to design a system.


Answered 5 months ago by sperchemical

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