what to do when your well water is cloudy, (high turbidity)?

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When we first moved to the country, we noticed the water from our well, 300 feet below ground level (our house is another 300 feet up the hillside)--we noticed the water was a little cloudy...it cleared up marvelously. We thought it was due to being a new well. That was 3 months ago. Today, it's cloudy, with gravel in it, gray and non-drinkable. I'm wondering, is it that way because: we've been irrigating our lawn so much? the well is running dry? something else? Please, please help. It's sunday and the well people are not around...so we'll deal with it tomorrow. We had a professional company dig our well...thanks so much for any/all answers

-- Gloria Geary (mistymt@theofficenet.com), July 30, 2000


Gloria, It's probably something else. It is unlikely that high usage or low water in a deep well will cause cloudiness. Can you give some more information? How deep is the casing to the bed rock? How deep is the pump set? When you say gravel is in your water, do you mean sand? Deep well pumps have screens to filter out anything larger than about 1/8" (3mm). Two things come to mind. 1.The grout that seals this well has ruptured or was poorly applied. 2.You have had a cave-in above the pump. It is not unheard of in new wells up to a couple of years old. If this has just started, I'd give it a couple days and see what happens. If it doesn't clear up, you need professional help. If the problem turns out to be one of the things I mentioned, your well contractor should repair it free. Good Luck!

-- Jim (catchthesun@yahoo.com), July 30, 2000.

If you are pumping water for long periods of time, the pumping action of your well pump may be stirring up the dirt that occurs naturally in the bottom of the well. If you think this could be the cause, check the water after the pump has been used little or not at all for several hours. Be sure, though, that when you check the water you give the pump time to force any and all dirty water from the lines.

-- Green (ratdogs10@yahoo.com), July 30, 2000.

The pump may be too close to the bottom of the well. We had similar problems with our (low-flow -- VERY low-flow) 400' well -- no gravel, but sand was coming up and the water was cloudy. The pump wore out very quickly (no wonder with all the sand coming through it). When we replaced the pump, we also had the well hydrofractured to increase the flow (it worked) and put the pump higher in the well. Have had no problems since.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), July 31, 2000.

Ive been wondering about that myself. When a thunderstorm passes through and goes all night then the next morning my water is cloudy but lesser rains and sunny days I have clear water. Im starting to suspect that my well punctured an underground stream or something. I accidentally discovered that my well "never runs dry." Most of the folks around here only get a few hundred gallons at a time but the other day I was out doing some watering and had the hose going full blast. The Mrs called me and I put the hose down and wandered off. I remembered hours later that I had set it down and left it running. We still had clear water running out at our standard (relatively high) pressure.

-- William in WI (thetoebes@webtv.net), July 31, 2000.

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