Stuck with well water, need some guidence

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evu80

hey guys

i have never used well water before and I hope for some guidance on how to properly set up a filtration system to help purify the water.

here's what I know so far. The water comes out at 1200 ppm and has a rotten egg odor to it. I'm using a steath RO 200 and it was able to knock down the PPM to 140ish, yet my plants are yellowing out from the top. Looks like an iron or mg deficiency. Most definitely a micro nutrient issue as only the new growth are affected.

I brought over my mothers since Im moving into this new location and it started yellowing out also. Would it be wise to use the GH hardwater formulation instead?

so with the PPM being that high, I still added about 3 mils of cal mag per gallon and was wondering should I get my water tested to see what exactly is in it. I'm just unsure at this moment and Im afraid i might be causing some kind of lockout without knowing it.

what other filters should I use to help get down the PPM to closer to the 30ppm mark? Any advice would help. thanks
 
leadplant

leadplant

Your well water is bad as mine LOL.
If you are gonna use RO, you need to soften that water first.
Usually softeners use salt which can leave sodium ions behind.
Potassium based salt is my suggestion for that - but maybe not totally necessary if the final water gets down to 30ppm anyway.

Get it tested. Usually well water is loaded with calcium and magnesium carbonates and is very alkaline - usually. These compounds are not all that bad in moderate amounts as it takes the place of calmag. The hardwater nutes are formulated without ca/mg for that reason.

I have used straight hardwater in past hydro runs and it turned out suprisingly great. The plants actually liked the stuff. However, i topped off res evaporation with pure water as I didnt want the hardness to increase. I often used dehumidifier condensate for that purpose. Some will say not to use dehumidifier or AC condensate because of the possibility of metal ions leaching into the water from the coils.

Nowadays, I use collected rainwater only. I'll maybe add just a bit of hard water to it supply ca and mg. I'll also use hardwater when I need to up the ph.
 
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evu80

hey lead

I would prefer to have my water as close to 0 ppm as possible to eliminate the guess work of whats actually in that 140ish ppm.

at first I didnt think 140ish was all to bad considering it started out in the 1200ppm range and its below most city tap water,, but after several weeks of deficiencies and slow growth, it has been a frustrating experience as I have no idea whats causing the issue. I have tried not using any calmag and using cal mag and the result has been the same.

I believe this place uses a water softener ( a black barrel with salts pellets ) and a magnesium remover ( a cylinder with a timer set to flush during a set time of day ) the owner says its suppose to help with the smell in the well water.

If this is the case, I wouldnt know exactly how much its removing and if theres any left of mg in that 140 ppm of water which could be the main cause of the deficiency. However,my plants are displaying more of a iron deficiency.

well only thing left to do is run a sample over to a lab and have it tested and buy a better filtration system.
 
Seamaiden

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
Our well water is far superior to yours, but we still use a whole house filtration unit (carbon+particulate/mechanical) before it goes into the house plumbing, or my RO/DI unit.

Consider a whole house filter, they're not that expensive but do need regular replacement (we use a Whirlpool we got at Lowe's), and add a deionization stage to your RO. In fact, the more stages the better, mine's a 6-stage RO/DI unit.

I have always been raised with the "NEVER USE SOFTENED WATER ON PLANTS!" paradigm, so I would never do that, especially if it's the type that uses salts.
 
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evu80

im a bit confused about the softener so I did a little research on it. I guess softened water effects the balance of osmosis between the roots and the media which inhibits the plants ability to uptake nutes and water correctly.

Apparently softened water is also bad for human consumptions, and if this is the case why would "water stores " be open for business? I know for a fact that all their systems are hooked up to a softener and I have been watering my plants with great success from city water that's been purified through the R/O and it has a softener too..

am I missing something here? now I'm thinking I couldv'e had better success had I not used a softener with my R/O unit.

one more thing Lead, you mention we should use a softener if using a R/O unit, whats the idea behind that?
 
leadplant

leadplant

If using RO, you must soften the water first. Running straight hard water thru the RO unit will clog it up in no time. What softeners do is exchange the hardwater ions with sodium ions. It doesnt lower the ppm even though the water appears to be alot cleaner. Plants dont like sodium in their roots for the most part - there are exceptions though, some plants are OK with it like tomatoes - so I've heard. I wouldnt water anything with salt softened water. Thats where potassium chloride KCL salt come to play.- it replaces with potassium instead of sodium.
As we all know, plants need K so this type of softned water is good for the plants. Problem with KCL is the higher cost. Then again, because K is OK, you may be able to skip any further treatment with RO.

Softened water isnt good to drink due to the sodium. You'd wonder how all the water stores stay in business. Turns out there is no other way to cost effectively clean water.. Whoever can up with a new way to do it would be an instant multimillionaire. There are some other gizmos out there that can partially work but partial means very little. Most people I know dont drink softened water anyway, only for washing.etc.

Charcoal filters do not lower the ppm, all they can do is remove particulates and odors.
RO and distillers are the only way to lower ppm for the most part. One more consideration if using RO is the well pressure. Many home wells have lower pressure than city water. RO units require a certain amount of pressure to squeeze the water thru the molecular filter.
 
2

2DogWalker

I've ran my ro system on hard water for Years...keep it clean and filter changed you'll be fine...sure it might work better if softened first just never an animal I wanted to mess with personally... most wells operate on a 30/50 pressure switch which turns on when pressure drops to 30 and back off when it hits 50 psi...that's not enough pressure to properly squeeze water thru the ro so I run an ro pump ......do a search for pure water products I believe they sell great stuff for decent prices...

Wow 1200 is wicked..mine is like 450 and I can zero it out when my filters are clean.....make sure u get an ro kit w a filter flushing option as well....might need to check out a brackish water ro ($$$$$) for those ppms...

Good luck to ya
2dw
 
Mogrow

Mogrow

if your water smells like rotten eggs it's high in sulfur. adjust accordingly and buy some bottled water..
 
squiggly

squiggly

Charcoal filters do not lower the ppm, all they can do is remove particulates and odors.

This is not entirely true. Activated carbon has been charged (positively) and as such can remove negatively charged ions from solution.

As a matter of fact, activated carbon is classified according to its:

1. Porosity
2. Particle Size
and
3. Iodine number (amount of iodine the carbon removes from a solution under standard conditions).


It should also be noted that, as you correctly point out, it can remove odors--which when dissolved do contribute to ppm, and thus the removal of them will reduce ppms. The same is true for pigments (most of which are negatively charged).
 
kooter840

kooter840

Im very lucky here...........150 to 160, Right out of the tap. PH at 7 to 7.4, Lots of creeks, rivers, lakes, and lots of sand sure doesn't hurt.
 
leadplant

leadplant

Good stuff here farmers! Activated carbon does more than I gave it credit for.
However, carbon filters will not soften water or remove those pesky calcium and magnesium carbonates.

googled this:

Activated carbon filtration is effective against unpleasant tastes, odors (hydrogen sulfide), residual chlorine, some metals like mercury, many organic compounds (like VOCs), some pesticides, gasoline, trihalomethanes, benzene and radon gas. A special type of AC filter called a Solid Block Activated Carbon filter can remove Cryptosporidium and Giardia cysts as well. However, AC filters cannot remove bacteria, nitrate, fluoride, chloride, hardness (calcium and magnesium) and most metal ions.

You are indeed lucky Koot to have water like that. You could bottle that stuff. The best water comes from large sand deposits. Clay soils will make for hard water.
My well water really sucks. 1200 ppm of hardness and lots of iron - its often orangey in color.
I'm too lazy and cheap to fuss with softeners so I just put up with it.
 
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evu80

wow im greatly appreciative of all the info and insights given by you guys, some that I would never thought of such as the pressure pump of the system.

I'll check with the owner and see what he has to say about it.


i know he has spent lots of money to clean up the water as much as possible cause I saw quite a few sediment filters, a water softener and a magnesium filter.

One thing that just crossed my mind and wanted to throw out there is the kind of salt pellets 'Im using. They are Mortons brand in the 40lb yellow bag and I had an a blue bag which is the iron remover as well. Perhaps this is also contributing to the problems as well?

Is this the KLC potassium salt you're referring to Lead?

ok if all the water is ran through a bunch of sediment filters first before being discharged through the facet. Should I just unhook the softner and the magnesium filter as well?
 
Ever after

Ever after

get an ro and never look back and buy the stealth one with the infared micro organism killer so it starilizes your water so you can use it for aero and wont ever get any weird disease born from your water as the nice thing about aero is that you get all bud and not as sticky bud like coco or hydro mainly coco tho thats the sticky icky and because aero gets hydrogen peroxided washed and bleach washed all the time you will have really nice plants plus if your trying to sell your herb aero is the best way to go because you get the least leaf ratio and the biggest densest buds ever almost too dense only some people dont like it that dense missing out on the sticky part some people love and if your well water is super bad then use 2 RO machines so you filter the water twice then you will get clean water for sure if your unsing soil you can add the magnesium your self with nutrients keep all that water softener stuff they are great the cleaner the water the better flush you get and better final product and with water that is really soft you can use less nutrients to get the same effect some friends use tap water and they have to use half a fuckin bottle of nutrients 30 bucks! to get to 700ppm and i have to put in like 80 cents worth of the same nutrient so basicly nutrients last longer with cleaner water
 
Seamaiden

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
wow im greatly appreciative of all the info and insights given by you guys, some that I would never thought of such as the pressure pump of the system.

I'll check with the owner and see what he has to say about it.


i know he has spent lots of money to clean up the water as much as possible cause I saw quite a few sediment filters, a water softener and a magnesium filter.

One thing that just crossed my mind and wanted to throw out there is the kind of salt pellets 'Im using. They are Mortons brand in the 40lb yellow bag and I had an a blue bag which is the iron remover as well. Perhaps this is also contributing to the problems as well?

Is this the KLC potassium salt you're referring to Lead?

ok if all the water is ran through a bunch of sediment filters first before being discharged through the facet. Should I just unhook the softner and the magnesium filter as well?
The purpose of these systems is to keep plumbing in good shape, and allow potable water. Potable is not necessarily the same as what I personally would call good for living things to live in, and I'm basing that on my extensive experience in the aquatics ornamentals and exotics trade. E.G. Potable water can be considered safe to use even if you can smell chlorine in it. But, would you dump it into your fish tank?

Since you're renting, I wouldn't advise changing anything. It sounds like the landlord has spent a qualified metric shit-ton of money on the system.

I can't add more to the RO or RO/DI argument than others have already.
 
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