Indiana Is well cleaning beneficial?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by mldncx, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    My daughter has an open-loop system serving her home. This past summer the discharge well backed up dumping water on the ground surrounding the well head. I contacted a local well contractor who suggested well cleaning. Has anyone on here found this to be helpful?
  2. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We really need more info to be helpful. The data from the wells construction, where is it located, what was it's born on date? The benefits of well rehab, re-development, and or cleaning CAN be beneficial.
  3. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    I should have been more clear. What I'm asking is if anyone has found that well cleaning would be a solution to a discharge well that is no longer taking the discharge water from a geothermal system. The well was born in 1967 when the home was built. When the geo was installed, a new well was dug to supply the system and the original well was used for discharge. It was set up for a siphon pump. Here's a pic of the pitless adapter.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  4. pfer10

    pfer10 Member

    I would like to know what type of pitless adapter that is. I have a similar but that one looks as if it is dual supply. Did you replace the o-rings as they are missing? Does the well have iron bacteria?
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I would definitely defer to the local talent here. What does that mean? Find the driller in your area that does geo in the open loop configuration and get their advice. It has been my experience that turning a well that was designed for discharge, not recharge, into a recharge for geo, can be problematic. If the well was born on 1967, how long did the well work correctly as the discharge?

    Well rehab does work, as well as cleaning. The trick is to get the guy/or gal involved that will give their honest opinion of your situation and how to best move forward, regardless of money flow. I always advise service customers of the costs involved, and the likely hood of good results one way or another with prices attached and let them decide what to do. As professionals we need to present options with costs and a estimate on success.
  6. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    I did replace the o-rings. I'm not sure how to tell if the well has iron bacteria.
  7. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    Thanks, Eric. I believe I am using a trustworthy driller. He's been in the business in this area for decades. I'll trust his advice.
  8. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    Update on this thread: The well was cleaned and the discharge water began backing up six months later. In other words, the cleaning was not a solution.
  9. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I am sorry to hear that. What was the cost of the cleaning? Is it something you are willing to pay twice a year to maintain the geo? The cost of a new discharge well could be weighed against this maintenance cost as a tool for deciding how to move forward. Does your local regulation allow for any other discharge besides back into the ground? A well that was born in 1967, then converted to geo discharge was a risk from the get go. Looking at the years you got out of that product prior to its death is another way to think about it. Wells do not last forever. Wells drilled in 1967 that may have steel components or screens certainly may be at their end in 2016.
    Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to move forward.
    Palace GeoThermal likes this.
  10. mldncx

    mldncx Member

    The well cleaning cost $700, definitely too much to pay twice a year for maintenance.
    I've considered pricing a new discharge well, but wondered if there was any guarantee that this well would not also plug up in time.
    This home has no other option than to dump the water back into the ground. Sanitary sewer is forbidden.
    And, I could not agree more that the idea of using a well born in 1967 was a poor idea.
    Thank you for your response.
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'm also curious to learn what exactly the "cleaning" process entails...a really really long bore bristle brush?

    I wonder what makes cleaning a temporary fix...any problem with corroded or encrusted screens would seem fairly permanent.

    I wonder if by "cleaning" they are redeveloping the well merely by pulling water from it very quickly for a short time in hopes of entraining and removing fine particles?

    Thinking way way out of the box...possibly convert to a standing column and then have to reinject only the bleed water, which might only run 5-20% of total flow? I'll cheerfully admit I'm out over my skis on this one.
  12. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Curt, you are correct in wondering what a well cleaning really involves. In my OA a cleaning is very different from a redevelopment, and the choice is made based on the root of the problem. Is it a formation problem or a well problem. Sometimes it can be both, or neither. With out data prior to the fix, we are shooting in the dark. In this case I will speculate that the well screen is of metal origin and may be encrusted with minerals or fouled beyond repair, given the age of construction. PVC has eliminated a lot of the guess work, but not all of it.

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