Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Project: Getting Rid of Stinky Water

We've got water projects this summer.  First we installed a new water barrel and now we've Biker Boy installed a chemical pump for our well water.

I've talked about our water before here.  If you've ever visited us, you may have gotten a whiff of our water.  It's not pleasant.  Plus we probably have the hardest water known to mankind.  When you call up companies that deal with water and they say, "We don't do your neighborhood." Then you know you have bad water.  Apparently if you just mention our neighborhood at national water conventions, we're famous.  But not famous in a good way.  Famous for having some of the country's worst water.  Yep....I live in that neighborhood.  Some of the worst water in the country.  But hey, at least we have water.

Our previous set-up included a Terminox to get rid of the hydrogen sulfide stink (aka....rotten egg smell) in our water. It worked, but it wasted a lot of water.  It had to back flush every night and sometimes our super hard water would cause the valve to get stuck on.  So Biker Boy took the Terminox off line.

Then we had super stinky water in the house.  You'd have to hold your breath taking a shower.  That meant pretty quick showers.  It's like we had the hot springs, without the actual springs.  So in the mean time Biker Boy installed some huge carbon filters.  We went through one every 2 weeks and they were not cheap.

We think we have finally found a better and more permanent solution to the stinky water.  I mean, we don't want to prevent people from visiting us because we have super smelly water.  And we don't want you to have to pretend you're at a fancy hot springs place either, cause our house isn't fancy.  We put in a chemical injection pump, which Biker Boy says he wishes he would have done in the first place.  In simple terms...it injects chlorine (Clorox bleach) into our water and that reacts with the hydrogen sulfide to make it into a solid....and wah lah.....no stinky water.  I'm putting our Costco membership to good use getting the big box of Clorox!


We got a quote to have the whole system installed with parts and labor.  That was $1600.  So Biker Boy knew he could get the pump cheaper on his own and he could plumb it in (for just under $500).  He thought he would get quotes on the electrical work since we needed a 220 outlet put in.  The cheapest was $225 and the most expensive was $500.  So my DIY guy thought that was too expensive for a small job and set out to do it himself.  For about $25 in parts and less than 2 hours of time (it would have been an hour for an electrician), Biker Boy got the outlet in himself.  Word of caution....Biker Boy knew what he was doing. Don't do electrical work on your own if you don't have a clue. 


After getting the outlet in, Biker Boy got the pump all set-up.  He primed it.


Then he plumbed it in.  It only has power and turns on when our well pump is on.  Biker Boy has been fine-tuning the chlorine amount so we don't have stinky water and so we don't have extra chlorine in the water. 


I'm happy to report....it works fantastic!  We use to have stinky water outside with the Terminox since that was only hooked up to the house water.  Now with the chemical pump hooked up to the well....we have stinky free water everywhere!

Now...we have to have our well tested again, but we might actually be able to drink our water someday!  Oh...happy dance!  I never dreamed of that!  Biker Boy has been researching reverse osmosis systems and we actually went and bought one last night at Costco.  Yes....that wastes some water too....but not as much as our Terminox did.  But to actually be able to drink our water....priceless.  Especially since we're blessed to have water.  Many people with wells in our area have had their wells going dry during this drought.

I know, I know....it looks like I haven't been doing many projects this summer.  I keep the kids occupied while Biker Boy does the work.  But I'll showcase some of my DIY summer projects soon....at least one.  Then I've got more projects lined up when my little ones go to school.  (Side note: My youngest is now signed up for preschool!)

So tell me your water woes....I feel for ya.  What's hooked up to your water system?  Or count yourself lucky if you have lots of water and it's good water.  Any water filtering tricks?  Or kids signed up for preschool?

2 comments:

  1. Can you tell me what kind of pump and storage tank unit you got? We have a bad Iron and smell problem up here in Julian in southern California. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,
      We got our equipment from Budgetwater.com. I believe we have the Premium 100 chemical pump and 16 gallon tank. That runs about $400 to get both. You'll need a flow switch if you don't have a pressure tank or can't install near the pressure tank. We also looked into Triple O systems, as many neighbors have them around us. But our cost for that was over $10,000. We've had the chlorine injection system in for over 2 and a half years and it's still working great. We put in a reverse osmosis system and had our water tested repeatedly...and we can drink the water. Occasionally we have to adjust the amount of chlorine, but that's pretty easy to do. My neighbor a couple of houses down from us has Iron in her water and the stink from hydrogen sulfide. She just got rid of her GreenSands and an old chlorine injection unit and put in a new unit that uses only chlorine to get rid of everything in her water. I'll have to see what she has and if it works. We're been very happy with the unit we put in. We also don't go through a whole lot of chlorine, so that's nice.

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