New well is salt water, what should we do?

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Our old well is a dug well(about 35 feet deep) and went dry for 3 months this past summer. We just had a new well drilled. They got water at just under a 100 feet but after a day it started filling with salt water. The well guy said that our area is bad for that and that drilling another well would probably have the same problem. He suggested we use the old well for drinking water and hook up the new well for laundry, bathing, etc. Can do this without causing laundry, skin, etc. problems? Is there anything else we can do instead? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Kristi from Ontario, Canada

-- Kristi in Ontario, Canada (klteather@yahoo.ca), January 16, 2002

Answers

Don't know if it will work in your soil conditions but a drive point well might be inserted in your original 35 foot well and use the drive point to go down another 5 feet or so. The thing about drive point wells is that they are suppose to be easy to drive deeper if you need to, but depends on your soil conditions. Lehmanís has drive points.

-- BC (desertdweller44@yahoo.com), January 16, 2002.

You could drill on thru (deeper) and see if the "salt" continues or you could just run the water thru an ro filter.

-- matt johnson (wyo_cowboy_us@yahoo.com), January 16, 2002.

Hi, Kristi. Did you have the water tested for sodium in ppm? We had ours tested as water in this area is also famous for its salt content. The guy at the city water plant told us that humans are best able to tolerate 1000 ppm max of salt in their water. Ours runs @ 2000 ppm, it is not uncommon for wells in this area to have as much as 5000 ppm. A reverse osmosis system will make the water drinkable as far as sodium goes, but have it tested for ppm also if you use one. We use our well water for showering, clothes, and everything except drinking and cooking. Our water is high in other minerals including iron, which turns the toilets a rusty color if we don't keep on top of it. Adding washing soda to my laundry helps keep whites from looking dingy, as well as sun-drying.We could drill a new well down 300-400 feet for artesian water if we had $10,000 to drop, which we don't. We are in the process of planning a rain cachement system, but it will be a little while before we can inplement it, our average rainfall is only 5-8 inches a year. The soil and water conservation guy told us we could mix it half well water and half rain water, and it would be much better quality. So we are learning to live with it while searching for low cost alternatives. Good luck!!

-- Gina NM (inhock@pvtnetworks.net), January 16, 2002.

Gina: You're in the same precip accumulation as us and we do capture our rain run-off in cisterns. The largest one is 5000-gal which comes in handy during the summer, when we receive no rain.

I use "20 Mule Team Borax", which is far superior to baking soda to clean toilet and sinks. And, it works wonders in the washer.

-- matt johnson (wyo_cowboy_us@yahoo.com), January 16, 2002.


Here in the ne corner of wyo I have the same salt problem. Haven't tryed a reverse osmoises yet but will. My water began to clear up or loose some of its salt if it was used or run a great deal, rather than pumping just occassionally.

-- susan norfolk/wy (susannorfolk@yahoo.com), January 16, 2002.


Salt water will corrode your fixtures and washer within no time!

-- Karen (db0421@yahoo.com), January 17, 2002.

Thanks for your help. I think we're going to hook up both wells now and think about a reverse osmosis filter down the road. I don't think we have enough roof (yet) to capture water for a cistern and we can't dig the other wells deeper because we hit shale.

Thanks again, Kristi

-- Kristi in Ontario, Canada (klteather@yahoo.ca), January 17, 2002.


Don't use the salt water for washing or home use. It will rust out your washer and all. Depends of ppm. It will also kill you shrubs it you use it for watering. In south Texas we found some water from shallow wells ran more salt than sea water.

Do you have a local supplier that serves your area from a community project?

-- Milam Gerick (milamgerick@juno.com), January 17, 2002.


I am a newcomer to this site and I must say that all of my questions have been answered. I got my well water tested today and was told that the water contained too much salt and it is very hard. I live in the Bahamas on the eastern side of the island and in my neighbourhood shallow wells are dug 8-10 feet maximun. Usually if you have a high water table you will hit water around 4-5 feet. I dug too deep and hit salt water. I don't recommend using salty well water for anything because it ruins everything and it is particularly hard on the skin.I am going to drill another well in a different location and not go so deep. Many of my neighbours have had to drill up to three wells before they were able to use the well water.

-- GRANVILLE ADDERLEY (NGRANNY436@NETSCAPE.NET), April 22, 2002.

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