Monday, May 9, 2016

Water Woes

While Himself and I were enjoying The Heavy Water Wars, we were waging our own battles with plain, old water. One of the joys of living in a rural area, is having our own well to provide water to the house. We have the water tested periodically and know what's in it. The downside is we know what's in it.

Our well water doesn't have chlorine or fluoride and tastes very fresh and clean. However, the water is high in iron and manganese and while these metals don't effect the taste of the water, they can effect the appearance notably mineral deposits in bathroom fixtures. Sometimes after heavy rain or prolonged rain like this past week, the well gets churned up and sediment comes through the taps. The water will be muddy, or cloudy. Not a big deal. After a short time, the sediments settle back to the bottom of the well and tap water is fresh and clean again.

One of the projects we had completed some years ago, was to have an in house water filtration system installed. It worked by aerating the water which precipitated the iron out. The iron stuck to a sand berm in a tank. The tank was backwashed every night and the sand berm rebedded every 5 years. The system worked well and then reached the end of it's life. The tank began leaking while it was backwashing. We took the system offline and since money was needed for other things, the project was back burnered.

This week, we were reminded about this we'll get around to it one of these days project. The week long rains churned the well, sediment came through, but instead of clearing, fixtures became clogged with thick, black manganese. Cold water wouldn't come through the taps. Thankfully, the hot water did. Cold water not flowing freely meant the toilet tank wouldn't fill with water after a flush. Yeah, not a Little Princess thing to happen.

It took two days for the plumber to be able to come out to take a look see.  In the mean time, we were living like Mary on The Prairie by filling buckets with water from the outside spigot to pour into the toilet tank so the toilet can be flushed. On the plus side, no cooking except pre-packaged foods that could be heated in the microwave. Disposable paper plates and plastic utensils were used, too.

The plumber said he had never seen a problem as bad as ours. He went to clear out the toilet innards and the plastic parts collapsed. He replaced them, and the toilet worked just fine until he got a mile or two down the road. Of course.

The only solution would be to install another filtration system.

The kitchen faucet posed another problem. Washers and screens from the portable dishwasher adapter got jammed inside the faucet and wouldn't budge. Faucets nowadays don't come apart. His recommendation was to purchase the cheapest faucest we could. No sense investing in a nice faucet if it was going to jam with gunk.

Himself was able to install the new kitchen faucet. The plumber returned to collect a water sample to be tested. He also can install the dishwasher though I will lose cabinet space and the double sink. He has the name of a cabinet maker who can reface cabinets and take care installing a new counter top.

Me: Seems the Lucky Cat is working for the plumber.

Himself: You didn't think "Luck of the Irish" meant good luck, did you?


  1. Oh dear. What a pain. I'll be glad when you're on the other side of it. Sounds like your kitchen will have a whole new look, which will be fun. Please show us pics when it's done.

  2. Oh my........ :-/ Looking for the silver lining, I think Sandra found it.