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Question DetailsAsked on 12/17/2014

what kind of water treatment system can remove metallic smell, discolored water, and residue for well water system

Have a well system where pump and tank was replaced a year ago, seems worse since then. Water has a bad smell, not sulfer but more of a metallic smell. Tub water is discolored and after 1 bath leaves heavy brown/rust residue on resurfaced finish. Almost impossible to remove. Have a sears water softener and recently tried iron/rust formula, but no help. Looking for a whole house treatment system that is proven to work for this problem

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Every case is unique of course, and there is always the possibility you are not picking up comtamination from elsewhere that you did not have before - a wellwater test should tell WHAT is causing the taste/brown staining and give an idea if coming from external source or not.

Sounds like you may possibly have an iron algae bloom going on. A conventional ion exchange system (like you probably have) preceded by an ozone or chlorine contactor chamber and sand filter, and maybe a carbon filter finish scrubbing unit may solve the problem - but I would say first find out WHERE this is coming from. Also, if significant like this, you are better off fixing the source if you can rather than running a system to remove it from the water, which is high-maintenance.

If water is bad enough that you can see the color in a bucket, check out the water (with white 5 gallon bucket) at the closest point you can to the well - if well is not large enough to drop a bucket on a rope down, there is usually a drain valve right at the pump you could tap some water off of - do right after the pump has been sitting off for some time but right after it has kicked on so you get the first shot of water out of the well. Then check at the drain from the pressure tank (usually in wellhouse), looks like an uninsulated water heater commonly. Then check water right before and after the Sears softener.

If water from the well is rusty, then you could have a screen rusting out, an algae bloom in the well (usually cured with acid or heavy chlorine dosing), or your water level in the well has dropped so low or inflow is so low you have a large wet air-exposed area in the well walls (especially if perforated casing or uncased) that are forming algae.

If well water is clear and tasteless, but water from pressure tank is bad, then you likely have a rust situation or algal bloom in the tank - sometimes treatable with acid and chlorine in sequence if algal, sometimes requires replacing tank.

If well and pressure tank are good, check water treatment system - may be the bloom is in the pipes (possibly galvanized) between well and the water softener, or if goodthere buy rusty after the softener the problem could actually in the treatment tank(s), which may need cleaning out and chlorination to kill it off - or the filter media (if yours has a sand or mica or glass bead filter media) may be old and dirty enough it is supporting an iron algae bloom and needs changing. It is also possible the backflush function has failed and the contamination is not being flushed out of the softener periodically like it should be, but is building up to the point of saturating the system.

If well and tank and softener water are clean, then your problem is probably galvanized (or more rarely copper) pipes in the house that have corroded to the point they are releasing significant metal into the water and/or building up iron deposits in the pipes. Water treatment and carbon filter will eliminate most of that for awhile, but pipe replacement would be in line shortly before you start getting pinhole failures or blowouts.

IF not a DIY'er with respect to plumbing, then a plumber could do the water checks at various points and probably determine if the flushing system on the water softener is working. For well conditions you will need a Well installation/repair contractor, and usually means pulling the pump unless it is installed in an old large-diameter manual well.

For a professiopnal evaluation of your water quality and what type of treatment system is needed to handle it without clogging up, a local civil engineering firm that does well wster treatment system "design" (really more selection of components to put together a system) is probably your best bet - but leave that till after you determine if you can solve it by getting rid of the source of the contamination first, if feasible.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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