Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trying to Reduce Iron in our Well Water With Aeration


Whelp, another day, another scheme to try to reduce the amount of iron in our well water.  This time through aeration.

I've read a bit of information that says that iron (and manganese) can be oxidized and I suppose form larger particles that can actually be removed by a physical filtration system.  That sounds a bit positive.  I was contemplating setting up a pump similar to the one I installed at the pond earlier this summer to see if falling water within the well would be sufficient to oxidize some of the iron content.

Then about a month ago, I came across a small, USB powered aquarium pump and had my Gru moment.  I ordered one up, along with a solar panel that advertised as having a USB connector.  What could go wrong?

The pump arrived but there is no sign of the solar panel just yet.  Oh well, I'll try not to get too impatient.

Yesterday my assistant Kenny and I decided that the weather was too nice to be indoors.  We split and piled the last of some birch that I had cut up over the weekend, and then I decided to try setting up the pump.
Preparing our tools.
First I drilled out a spot on the side of the plastic top of the well casing to pass the USB connector through.
The pump, pre-placement.
Perfectly placed punchout for my purposes!
Then I screwed the pump to the inside of the well.  I was careful to attach the screws to an extrusion on the plastic where there was no danger I would drill right through to the outside.  One hole was enough for me to be concerned about contamination.
Hard to see, but the wires are VERY fine - I'm surprised it works at all!
Note the loose knot in the USB cable - taking no chances that the pump may have fallen in before I could fasten it to the side.
Kenny lowered the hose down into the water (there was an aerating "rock" on the end of it, I guess to create more bubbles?)

I used some silicone to seal the hole, and then Kenny ran an extension cord from the cabin down to the well - without the solar panel, I would have to power the pump from the house.
And all sealed up!
He ran back to the house for a USB power block - this took some describing, but he got the right thing on his second try.

We plugged it all in and...  Nothing!

I checked the connections on the extension cord all the way back to the cabin, and was getting very annoyed.  This seemed to be an ongoing puzzler - I've had the outdoor power seem to go on and off at random from day to day for no discernible reason in the past.

This time, I had a notion - I flicked the power to the sauna, and low and behold, Kenny reported it was bubbling!  I guess I had wired the outdoor outlet up to the sauna power - which isn't a bad thought.  Now I can remotely control that outdoor power from inside the cabin.

I hope I remember this trick for future.

I trotted to the well and was surprised at just how many bubbles were coming up.
Looks like a giant can of club soda!

video


My worry at the moment is that we are only aerating the top 25-30% of the water.  I guess I have to hope that when we pump to the house, that helps to mix everything up.  If I don't notice any improvement, I can always try to purchase a longer hose and see if we can get bubbles right to the bottom of the well.
I'm so pleased with the performance so far though, I've ordered another bubbler to try installing in the pond to keep the fish happy.

In fact, I wonder if this system would be a cheap way of keeping the water in my well thawed throughout the winter?  I believe it would be cheaper than any sort of heat-based solution!

2 comments:

  1. Very common to use "bubblers" around cottage docks in the winter to prevent damaging ice and I don't see why it wouldn't be just as effective in your pond!

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I haven't hooked up the new solar panel to see if it has enough juice for the bubbler yet, but I have already ordered a second pump and panel in positive anticipation.

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