Sunday, January 13, 2013

Having an own Water well in Cebu

Having an own Water works  and Rusty water !

Many People in the Provinces in Cebu, including myself, have their own Water Well.
Thus most have it drilled for about 200 $  and then forget about it for many years. Only the regular cleaning of the Tank or Pump repairs remind them that they are not connected to the Public water supply.

But what was new to me, and never mentioned by anyone either, was that the Well location can harbour 'Iron bacteria", which are totally harmless, but not very nice.
They stain your laundry, tanks, and slowly fill the Pipes and bathroom fittings  with some brownish sludge.


As most people I blamed it all on the inferior Pipe material until I stumbled in the Internet across the topic  "Iron Bacteria".

It described the (my) condition exactly and also that it is a very common problem. (In the US)

So I followed the Instructions and "voila" the brownish, rusty water was gone.

Here are the steps:
Above all, make sure your Watertank is really full and that you can shut it off from the pump/well ! This is because you need the water.

1.) I opened the Well casing, it is (mostly in the Philippines) where the actual suction pipe is feed into from above. (Unlike in the West, where the suction is from the side some where lower)
To open it, one must often disconnect the pump and other stuff such as filters etc.
Basically it is the same as if one want to get his suction pipes out of the well, except, that one can leave them inside most of the time.
However, if one want  to do a major maintenance and scrubbing of the pipes also, its not such a  bad  idea.

2.) I just held the suction pipe "up"with the help of a pole/log. Thus I do not have to take out the entire piping, which is 40-80 ft or more  in deep wells. long .

3.) Now one can fill the chlorine solution between the Gap of the suction pipe and the well casing.
But how much ?
There are many articles in the WWW about this,in the end I got completely confused, also because it reffered mostly to the US.

Where materials are widely available,while in the Philippiens one can only buy
"Chloreen" at the market. (That's how my staff pronounce it)
Anyway, with the above exact pronounciation i found the (only!) supplier at the local dry goods market, who had a drum of that stuff. A kilo came about 70php, which is around 1.50US$.

3._The "mix". As said there are hundreds of articles about it in the Web,and i do not want to be an authority on that. I followed the mix of a Friend from the DED ( German Development Service) who gave me the entire Idea and also practical tips. ( The DED build wells all over the planet since decades in the third world. )
Anyhow, the recommendations of the man were completely different then the ones in the WWW, so I do not want to publish them. They were also designed for MY Well and MY situation. But with the WWW one can get pretty good results I think.
But its a rather STRONG mixture,we are talking super chlorinating of a Well here and not producing safe drinking water !

4.) With your chlorine bleach mix i did the following-since i cannot run the pump (it's disconnected) I fill a big drum or several large basins/buckets (I used 200ltr) and then stored them at a higher point(!).
I then filled a Gardenhose with regular water and held one end into the Drum/Bucket etc.(You don't want to suck the chlorine slotion to start the gravity feed, right ?)  and the other over the Well casing between the gap of the suction pipe.
Gravity did the rest. Important is,that there is a second person filling the "gravity feed"bucket always so the garden hose don't suck empty.

When the (my) 200liter are inside the casing, its full. Filling depends on the depth of the Water table, the casing diameter and of course the depth of the well.

5.) Reassemble the Well/pump etc.  Then run the pump for a few seconds, just enough to get the chlorine into the suction pump, but not into the Tank as you need the drinking water.

a.) If your house installation is also "clogged"up with Iron bacteria deposits, then run the entire system with super chlorinated water. Toilet tanks, faucets, showers, anything. For this you start with an EMPTY water tank and have all system emptied completely BEFORE. Then pump until you got water in the system.You may need additional chlorinated water for the well casing.

(If your watertank has a level switch, hold it at "full" position until the system is drained to trick the switch)

OR- Super chlorinate the Tank contents !

6.) Let that stand for 24 hours. In severe cases repeat the process a week later.
If you have no success after 4or 6 times, you need a new location as you may have hit an Iron Mine. But I doubt this.

After 24 hours run the pump until the well is chlorine free. Open a Garden Hose connected to the house System and empty this into a plant free area but NOT into the septic Tank, as the chlorine will destroy the "good" bacteria in it.
Therefore you also may not want to use any faucet or shower in this time ( about 2 hrs. maybe )

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