As a result of a well being the source of your home’s water, it is common to find sand or sediment in the water if your residence has a well.
It is important to note, however, that this may not necessarily be harmful to your health, but it may have a negative impact on the taste of the water, as well as wear the appliances and plumbing in your home.
There are a few things you need to know about dealing with sand in well water in this guide. We’ll cover everything you need to know about it.
What Are the Reasons for Sand in Well Water?
The presence of sand in your well water may be due to a variety of reasons. I would recommend seeking professional advice in order to find out who is responsible for the problem.
Having said that, here are a few of the most common reasons why well water contains sand.
Well Construction Issues
A well that has been drilled may have been constructed with poor construction practices, which is not uncommon. It is possible that the well’s sides collapse, and as a result, sand and sediment can enter the water system as a result of the well collapsing, causing water contamination.
A well development process that is not done properly could sometimes be the cause of the problem. The well development phase is the stage of the installation of a well in which sediments and foreign materials are removed after the well is drilled.
Well Screen Degradation
A well screen is a part of a well that serves to keep water free of debris and sediment, so that the water cannot be contaminated. In spite of that, these screens can begin to wear or degrade with age, allowing sand to enter the water as a result.
Well Pump Issues
Various issues can arise regarding well pumps, including the wrong size of the pump or incorrect installation of the pump. When these problems are not handled properly, sand and sediment can be introduced into the supply of drinking water.
Pump Too Low
A submersible pump is often used in wells, or a pump placed at the bottom of a well, depending on the type of well. An ideal height for an installation of a submersible pump is about 10 or 20 feet above the base of the well, which is usually the recommendation. There is a risk of sand being drawn into the pump if it is too low.
Pump Too Large
It is possible for water to flow too quickly into the well if a well pump is too large for the well. Consequently, the aquifer under the area is drained of sand as a result of this action.
What to Do About Sand in Well Water
It is very important to know how the sand seeped into your well in order to be able to prevent it from pumping sand into your house. A well contractor or water treatment professional should be consulted if you do not understand wells very well or you do not have extensive knowledge about them in order to identify the root of your problem.
As a result of the cause of the issue, a professional may recommend any number of solutions that are based on the reasons for the issue.
Have Your Well Fixed
The well needs to be repaired by professionals if its depth is too shallow or it was not properly cased and cemented during the drilling process. A second opinion can be sought from another company or you can speak with your original well driller to get their opinion.
Get a New Well Casing
There are various kinds of well casings, which are hollow shafts that are used to reach the water table deep in the ground. Afterwards, cement is used to seal the casing in order to keep contaminants out of the system. It can crack or develop holes over time, allowing sand to seep in. The well casing could need to be replaced if a problem is detected with the casing by your well contractor.
Move or Replace Well Water Pump
Depending on where your water pump is located, you may need to place it a bit higher if it is located too close to the bottom.
It may be necessary to replace the pump with one whose size is proportional to the size of the well though, if the problem is the pump’s large size.
How to Remove Sand from Well Water
In order to remove sand from your well water supply, there are a few things that you can do. The best thing to do is to test your water before attempting anything else, so that you can make sure it is safe.
A water test will assist you in determining how to filter your water in the most effective manner. You will also be able to determine if your water contains harmful contaminants and how much sand is in it by checking the water quality.
In order to remove sand from your water supply, you will need to identify the type of sand you have. You can do this by using one of the following methods:
Get a Well Water Filter
As a rule of thumb, installing a filtration system with a sediment filter is one of the most common and efficient methods of removing sand from well water. In order to achieve their results, these filters trap sand and sediment in the water as it passes through them, resulting in cleaner water.
Centrifugal Sand Separators
When it comes to removing sand from your well water, a centrifugal sand separator is an effective and efficient solution. By spinning the water at high speeds and applying centrifugal force to separate the sand from the water, these devices separate sand from water using a centrifugal force. Their efficiency rate is reported to be 98%, which is a very high rate.
You only need to install the separator between the well and the pressure tank for this to work, and let it do the job for you. This is all it takes for it to work.
Spin Down Sand Filters
An alternative to centrifugal sand separators is the use of spin down sand filters. It is similar to centrifugal sand separators in that gravity instead of centrifugal force is used to remove sand from the devices.
There are, however, a few caveats to take into consideration when using spin down filters. You will have to keep an eye on them more frequently if you are handling a large amount of sand, so you have to make sure they are maintained regularly.
The spin down filters may also contribute to a decrease in water pressure because they take up space after the pressure tank, which is how they are installed.
Sediment Filter Cartridges
It is also possible to clean water using sediment filter cartridges, which are another type of filter that can be used to remove sand from the water supply. In order to utilize these filters, water is passed through a cartridge that traps sediments as it passes through it. Your home is then filled with filtered water that flows out of the cartridge and back into your plumbing system.
Backwashing Sand/Sediment Filters
The use of tank-based filters is also an option. In order to ensure a longer filter life, they backwash their filters regularly in order to ensure all accumulated sand and sediment is flushed out.
You need to turn off the power to a spin down sand filter in order to backwash it by opening the drain valve and turning off the power to the unit. After that, set the pump to run at full power and let it run until the water coming out of the unit is clear. Last but not least, you need to turn on the power again and close the drain valve.
Using a garden hose, you can clean the sediment cartridge filter by removing it from the housing, rinsing it off, and replacing it. The cartridge should then be put back into the housing, and the pump should be turned on at this point. For any remaining sediment to be flushed out, let it run for a few minutes after you turn it on.
Is Sand in Well Water Harmful?
No, sand in well water will not harm your health in any way – the short answer is that it does not harm your health. There are, however, other implications that can be inferred from the presence of sand. As an example, there is a possibility that bacterial contamination is entering your well as well as other more harmful contaminants.
Sand can also build up in your home’s water fixtures and appliances as a result of large amounts of sand. There may be both short-term and long-term consequences of this, as well as a reduction in their efficiency.
It is always a good idea to consult with a professional when you are unsure.
Why Should I Seek a Professional?
While it may be tempting to attempt to fix well water problems yourself, it may be much wiser to seek the advice of a professional if you have any problems with your well water. There is often a greater challenge to solve issues related to well water than issues related to city water.
The construction of your well can be examined by a well contractor to determine if it needs to be repaired or if it is in need of replacement. In the meantime, your water can be tested for contaminants by a professional water treatment company who will develop a plan to remove them from your water.
Why Does Well Water Contain Sand?
Sand can be present in your well water for several reasons, including the following:
Your Well Casing or Well Screen Has Degraded
You are most likely to pump sand out of your well if the casing or screen of your well has degraded over time.
There are three types of lining used when a well is installed, namely iron, steel, and plastic. As the casing for the well shaft is installed in the well shaft and covered by a well screen, the water being able to enter the well pump while grit and sand being prevented from entering the well pump, is protected from entering the well shaft.
It is actually the casing that seals the well, which prevents contamination from entering the well, and the well screen that filters out large items such as sand or sediment, over the lifetime of the well. The casing of your well may be cracked, or the screen may have developed a hole, so sediment and sand may be able to get into your well through the cracks.
Improper Well Pump Placement
In long-depth wells, the most common type of well pump is a submersible pump, which means that the pump is submerged under the water in the well aquifer.
If a well pump is to be installed in an ideal situation, it should be installed between ten and twenty feet above the base of the well system. As a result of having the well pump installed too close to the bottom of the well, you may end up with water that is contaminated with sand.
There is a possibility in some old well water systems for the shaft of the well to become full of sand and silt, causing the well to pump sand from the buildup inside the shaft.
Oversized Well Pump
If you want to avoid the accumulation of sand in the well system, you need to correctly size your well pump to avoid the buildup of sand.
If the pump power is too high for the well size, it may have a strong enough force to draw both water and sand out of the surrounding aquifer, causing sand and sediment to build up in your well’s water lines as a result.
Poor Well Treatment
In order to remove sediment that may have entered the pump during the installation process, your well will undergo treatment once it has been drilled to remove any sediment that may have entered the pump. Unless you properly treat your well before putting it to use, you may end up with a large amount of sediment remaining in your water, which can lead to health problems.
A local contractor can help you identify the cause of the sand in the water of your well if you are unable to figure out what is causing the problem. Your water should be able to be tested by a professional and they should be able to figure out why your well water is sand and if a design fault has been made in your system that can be corrected.
Is Sand in Well Water Dangerous?
No, there is no danger in having sand in your well water. Although it is unlikely that sand or sediment from your water supply will cause you to become sick, there are still several reasons why you should still attempt to remove all debris from your water supply.
I would like to point out that if the water in your well supply suddenly contains a lot of sand, it is probably a sign that there is an issue with your well system. There are many other, more dangerous contaminants that could be entering your well if sand is letting its way in, such as bacteria, as well.
The second reason for the abrasive nature of well water is the presence of sand. As a result of fast-flowing sand affecting your home’s pipes and appliances, your home could suffer from expensive repairs and replacements as a result of a fast-flowing sandy stream.
What to Do If You Discover Sand In Well Water
You might want to consult with your well driller or pump contractor if you’ve noticed that there’s a significant amount of sand in your well water recently. He or she can diagnose and explain why this is happening to you.
Depending on the cause of the sand and sediment in your well, a professional well contractor will advise you to take the appropriate action.
Depending on the nature of the problem, your well contractor may insert a camera into your well to help diagnose your problem, allowing them to examine the well screen to see if it needs to be replaced or if it can be repaired. If the pump is being raised several feet higher above the base of the well at the time of installation, the contractor will prevent sand from pumping up from the well’s base.
It is possible that your well contractor may recommend replacing the casing in some situations.
In the case that you have a cracked casing or faulty casing in your private well that allows sand to enter the well, you may not be able to filter out the sand as easily as you would like.
A very old casing may be the only option you have due to the fact that it may be unable to be repaired. It is possible that your well contractor can install special screens for keeping sand out of your well if your well’s casing is not too badly damaged, so that you can save money on well repair.
How to Remove Sand in Well Water
It may be necessary to protect your plumbing system by taking steps to remove sand from your water before it gets to your plumbing system in the event that repairing your well isn’t possible or won’t solve the issue.
Sand can be removed from well water in two ways that are both popular.
Spin-Down Filter Screens
As the water flows into the well pump and is filtered, a spin-down filter screen captures sand and coarse sediment using a mesh screen of about 60 or 100 microns, allowing the water to become more pure as it passes through.
There is a small valve on the bottom of spin-down filter screens that can be opened to flush the sediment and sand out of the filter. This small valve is located on the bottom of the filter screen. The sand trap needs to be kept clean and the filter needs to be kept flushed automatically if your water usage is high. Consider installing an automatic ball valve to do this for you. Because the filter can be flushed, its lifespan is prolonged, so you wouldn’t need to change the filter as often as you would with a cartridge filter since it can be flushed.
In order to keep debris and sand from getting into the plumbing system of your home, a spin-down filter screen is installed after the pressure tank for your well.
A spin-down filter can be combined with other sediment filters with a smaller micron size for a more efficient method of dealing with various sizes of sediments while minimizing maintenance as well as increasing performance.