The occurrence of sand in your well water is the ugliest thing to happen. Just imagine opening your tap and getting water filled with sand. Using water with sand is unimaginable. Sand in well water is one of the most common problems for private well owners across the US. If you are disturbed by sand in your well water and want to know how to get rid of it, we will explain all the ways you can use to clear sand from well water and make sure that it won’t happen again anytime soon. This article will also discuss the reasons behind it and what problems it can cause.
Reasons behind Sand and Sediment in Well Water
Position of Well Pump – Sediment and dirt can enter well water due to the position of the well pump. If the well is below the water level and the suction part is immersed in the sediment layer, it will suck sediment and sand and supply to your home. Typically a submersible pump is set 10-20 feet above the base of the well. If the pump gets near to the base of the well due to a construction fault or a rise in the sediment level, sand will enter your plumbing system.
Extra Large Well Pump – An extra-large pump can be the reason behind sand and sediment in the well water. If the pump puts in so much suction force, sediment can be drawn from your well. This situation can impact the well’s working and increase the quantity of sand underneath your well.
Damaged Well Screen – The well screen is placed below the well casing, and its main purpose is to stop sediment, sand, dirt, and small stones from entering your well. If the well screen is damaged, it becomes a pathway for sand to enter your well. The common height of a well screen in a 100-feet well is around 3-4 feet.
Damaged Well Cap, Casing, or Water Pipes – If the well cap, casing, or water pipes are damaged, sand and sediment can easily enter your plumbing system. A damaged well cap is also a risk for surface contamination from rainwater, tree debris, and other contaminants. It can also be an entry point for insects and small animals. Damaged well casing can increase the concentration of heavy metals, sand, and debris.
Improper Well Construction – If your well driller has not been careful while constructing and finishing the well pump, the amount of sediment can be very high in well water. A wrong design, poor casing material, faulty pump, and damaged well screen can lead to improper well construction.
Tannins – Tannin is a yellowish-brown organic substance present in tree galls, tissues, and barks. Tannins can get into your water if the well cap is damaged or the area around your well is not raked regularly.
Faulty Sediment Filter – A sudden increase in the amount of sediment in the well water indicates a faulty sediment filter. Your sediment filter is responsible for removing sand, dirt, and other suspended particles from well water. If it needs a filter replacement or there are issues in the backwashing cycle, you may experience sand in well water.
Do I Need to Get Water Tested for Sand?
You may not need to test your water for only sand as it is visible. However, it is recommended to get your water tested as there may be some other contaminants in your water, such as iron, manganese, tannins, or sulfur. Hence it is better to get your water tested and check the quality of water.
Problems Caused by Sand in Well Water
Sand and sediment in well water can cause the following problems.
- Reduced water pressure
- Clogged plumbing system
- Damage to plumbing fixtures and water tanks
- Damage to water appliances, filters, and softeners
- Unsightly water
How to Get Rid of Sand in Well Water?
Once you have diagnosed the exact problem with your well, you need to work out its solution. Before implementing one of the solutions mentioned below, you must check your state laws. You may need to hire the services of a licensed well professional.
Well Inspection – The first step for getting rid of the sediment in well water is a general well inspection. While you can inspect the well cap and area around the well, you will need the services of a professional for a well casing, well pump, and screen inspection. If the fault is with these things, get them repaired or replaced urgently as delay can cause more problems.
Centrifugal Sand Separators – Centrifugal sand separators are a great way to remove sediment from well water. It is installed on the top of a pressure tank to remove sediment and sand from the water before entering the plumbing system. This machine separates the sand and gathers it, which can then be removed manually or automatically from the machine. The clean water rises at the top of the machine and is then supplied to your house. A centrifugal system only requires sand removal and has no other maintenance needs. Once installed, it will ensure that 98% of sediments are removed. The exact working capacity of the machine depends upon its specifications. Centrifugal sand separators are used for domestic wells, and large scale uses as well. It can handle water pressures up to 300 gallons per minute.
Sediment Filters – Another inexpensive and effective way is to install a backwash sediment filter. It comes with a sediment screen to capture sand and other suspended particles from the water. The filter needs backwashing, which can be manual or automatic. The working capacity, capability, and effectiveness of the filter depending upon the specifications of the filter you are buying. If you already have a sediment filter installed at your home, check for the backwash setting and filtration media before replacing it with a new one.
Water Softeners/Water Filters –For some people with fairly less sand in well water, a water softener or a water filter with a pre-sediment filter will do the trick. Such types of filters not only act as a pre-filter for the particular device but also remove sediment from your well water. You can kill two birds with one stone.