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Dozer

Sludge in water pipe

17 posts in this topic

Latley we have been getting crud in our water. Every once in a while you will get a glass full of rusty looking water out of the sink or a bath full of rusty water. If you let the water run for awile it will clear up. I installed a water filter in the water line today just behind the pressure tank. I cut the 3/4" copper line and found it was full of sludge. Its probably 1/8" thick all the way around the pipe. Its like a thick rusty sludge. Any idea what would cause this? Is there anyway to clean this out?

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I presume you have a well. You probably need to bleach the well and kill off the bacteria that feed on the rust. You can probably get good directions at the U of M extension HSOforum. But what you need to do is to pour a gallon of household bleach down the well casing. You then pour 50-100 gallons of water down to wash the bleach off the wires etc. Run the taps in the in the house until you smell bleach, flush the toilet etc to get some up into the pipes. Then let it sit over night. In the morning run an outside hose for an hour or so. Likely for the first 10 minutes or so it is going to come out looking like ketsup. Keep it going until you don't smell bleach any more.

When you turn stull on in the house it is going to also run red and probably even some black stuff for a while so you want to make sure that you take the aerator's off so they don't get plugged. The shower will also make a mess for a minute or two. DO NOT RUN THE WASH MACHINE, WATER SOFTENER, DISHWASHER OR ICE MAKER UNTIL YOU'VE PUMPED OUT THE PIPES.

You may have to do this a couple of times to clean things out. It's messy, but not all that complicated. I had to do it every 6-9 months when we were on well water.

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That is the answer I was looking for. Yes we do have a well. The 50-100 gallons of water you pour down the well after the bleach, can that come out of a hose which would be pumping out of the well or does that need to come out of a tank the would be filled prior to the bleach being dumped down the well?

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Tom, can you "turn off" the water softener? I don't think we installed the bypass going past the softener when it was put in. I think we have to do this too at the cabin, never had well before. Thanks.

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A well guy told me to draw the water and store it and not run the pump once you put the bleach in. Don't know how/where you're supposed to store 100 gallons of water so I just used the hose. Besides getting it up into the pipes and cleaning them out was part of the desired goal for me. I suspect that if you over did it you could damage some seals and stuff if they got too much bleach.

Box, my place has a built in bypass and so it wasn't an issue for me. I got some sand size particles of stuff when I did mine and so I think you have to do something to isolate the softener out of the system - at least I wouldn't recommend it. Bit surprised that the only advice given so far is mine - there has to be someone out there that knows more about it than me.

As I said, go the Ag Extension web site and do a search for 'chlorinating wells' here's the link but I don't know if this will survive the auto censor jobberdo:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/DD5941.html

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Dumping a gallon of bleach down the well isn't a good idea. Before you dump any bleach down there, take a look at the HSOforum and decide how much you need by the diameter and depth of your well. Too much bleach will cause problenms with some of your plumbing fixtures. Typically, you need to get the bleach in the well, run water out of each fixture until you smell bleach, let it sit overnight if possible, then run water until you no longer smell bleach.

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Box, take a peek at your softener head itself. Many of them have bypass's built right into the head.

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Please go to the Extension HSOforum. I was wrong about the amount of bleach that is required and they have a table that takes into account the size of the well casing and the depth. Do not simply do what I said.

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Dumping a gallon of bleach down the well isn't a good idea. Before you dump any bleach down there, take a look at the HSOforum and decide how much you need by the diameter and depth of your well. Too much bleach will cause problenms with some of your plumbing fixtures. Typically, you need to get the bleach in the well, run water out of each fixture until you smell bleach, let it sit overnight if possible, then run water until you no longer smell bleach.

Eric is correct and I was wrong - again, go to the Extension HSOforum for the straight dope on how to do it. Sorry for the misinformation. Tom

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Something that you will want to watch out for is the possibility of the bleach melting so much sludge that it will clog the screen on your pump. It happen to me when I was shocking the well and it took a couple of hours of blowing air with the compressor back down to the pump from the inside of the house to release enough of the crud so that I could get some of my water pressure back. I had the well guy come out and show me what to do and he always kept the water running out the garden hose and back down the well and mixed in the bleach a little bit at a time until it was all poured down the well and kept it circulating for about 30 minutes and then ran the water in the bushes so that it did not go into the septic. We were able to clean up the sludge and get the water pressure back up were it was suppose to be but it did give me a little scare that I might have to sink a new well for awhile.

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Something that you will want to watch out for is the possibility of the bleach melting so much sludge that it will clog the screen on your pump. It happen to me when I was shocking the well and it took a couple of hours of blowing air with the compressor back down to the pump from the inside of the house to release enough of the crud so that I could get some of my water pressure back. I had the well guy come out and show me what to do and he always kept the water running out the garden hose and back down the well and mixed in the bleach a little bit at a time until it was all poured down the well and kept it circulating for about 30 minutes and then ran the water in the bushes so that it did not go into the septic. We were able to clean up the sludge and get the water pressure back up were it was suppose to be but it did give me a little scare that I might have to sink a new well for awhile.

Looks like mine has done the same thing. I can hear the pump running but I dont get any water at all. Gonna have to get a well guy out tomorrow.

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You might want to try the air compressor shooting air from inside the house down to the pump.Short burst with lots of pressure works best. If not I hope you get a well guy the is willing to try and not give you the "Its shot" so he can put in a new well for you. I have been going on 3 years since mine clogged up and my water pressure is still very good.

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Do you have a submersible pump or is it a shallow well pump?

Did you disinfect the well yet? Its possible you ran the well dry when running the bleach out. That'll get air into the lines. More then likely that loosened up some of the rust and now it plugged something. Did you look at the filter? Also there is a foot valve inside the well for a shallow well pump. If rust got in to that it can't hold the water and will drain back to the well. If you have a shallow well pump then you'll need to prime the pump. You will need to remove the screens and aerators on all your fixtures, check that filter. Also the pressure tank and pressure control switch. For sure if you have loose rust that small line to the switch will get plugged so will any gauges.

Worse case is rust bridged the line from the well to house. Until that water can get to the pressure switch next to the tank it'll keep on pumping and lock that bridge in. Trip the breaker off for the pump and let it be for a while. Repeat the on and off.

Next you can try what Jim suggested with compressed air.

I'd then cut the power to pump, pull the well cap and lift the pump from the pitless adapter. That bend and fitting is a good spot for a plug from rust, if rust is your problem. Don't know if your comfortable doing that but if you have a well guy coming he will if that is what it comes down to. Run compressed air from a line inside the house. If that checks out I'd start troubleshoot the submersible.

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This is not just a well-specific problem for others reading this. I realize this question involves a well, but it is very possible to get dirty water and having sludge and minerals built up in your lines on a domestic water system. First thing I thought to ask was if you had galvanized pipes, but then you mentioned copper.

If you have domestic water and you're experiencing dirty water problems, run the cold water until it clears up. If it happens frequently or doesn't clear up contact your public works office. Someone like me will come check it out. It may be someone is repairing the water main or flushing of hydrants or many other causes for loosening the sediment.

Great info from the well guys!

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What powerstroke said only comes into play if you have city water then if they are out flushing hydrants or fixing a main you will more then likely get some very dirty water for awhile, but if you have a well it is your problem.

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Ok Dozer, what was it and how was it fixed? You can't just drop it and leave us in the dark waterless.

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Ok Dozer, what was it and how was it fixed? You can't just drop it and leave us in the dark waterless.

Sorry its been one of those weeks! Wound up being a bad pump. It was unreal how much rust was on and in it! He told me its was due to my well being long overdue for a chlorination. Everything was so built up with rust. He recomended I chlorinate my well at least every 6 months from now on.

Wound up being a $980 bill I could have done without! If I would have had time to deal with it myself I would have just gone to Fleet and bought $450 pump and put it in myself.

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    • Minnesota DNR News
      For Immediate Release:
      July 21, 2017
      In This Issue

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017

      Conserving Mille Lacs walleye population requires regulation changes

      Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will remain closed until Aug. 11 to protect the walleye fishery, and ensure its long-term health and sustainability into the future

      To extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest on Mille Lacs 

      New solutions are being sought to rebuild and sustain a healthy Mille Lacs walleye fishery

      New fisheries data collected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources show the total safe harvest allocation for walleyes on Mille Lacs Lake (44,800 pounds) has already been exceeded this season. To protect the fishery and ensure the long-term sustainability of Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye population, the DNR announced today that walleye fishing will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 11.

      In order to extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest. Catch-and-release walleye fishing will run from Friday, Aug. 11, through Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day weekend. Walleye fishing will then be closed from Tuesday, Sept. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 30.

      As these regulation changes were announced, Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr reiterated the state’s commitment to rebuilding and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery in Mille Lacs Lake.

      “Improving the walleye population in Mille Lacs is a top priority for the DNR,” Landwehr said. “We deeply regret the hardships these new regulations will cause for anglers and business owners. But they are essential to protect and enhance the future of walleye fishing in the lake for future generations. We will continue doing everything we can to understand the challenges facing the walleye fishery, and take whatever actions we can to resolve this very difficult situation.”

      Landwehr and DNR fisheries chief Don Pereira noted that allowing for additional catch-and-release fishing in August is essential for area anglers, businesses, and Mille Lacs area communities. The decision to allow for this additional harvest was made with input from the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.

      “We want to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible,” Pereira said. “So even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR will dip into the allowed conservation overage to reopen the season on Aug. 11.”

      Through the closure, anglers on Mille Lacs Lake may fish for all other species in the lake including bass, muskellunge and northern pike. When fishing for other species, only artificial baits and lures will be allowed in possession, except for anglers targeting northern pike or muskie, who may fish with sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      A prohibition on night fishing will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30. However, anglers may fish for muskie and northern pike at night, but may only use artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Bowfishing for rough fish also is allowed at night but possession of angling equipment is not allowed and only rough fish may be in possession.

      Understanding walleye fishing quotas on Mille Lacs this year, and why that quota was reached earlier than predicted
      The DNR and the Chippewa bands that cooperatively manage Mille Lacs Lake agreed this year to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017.

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the 75,000 pounds conservation cap and the 64,000 pounds combined harvest quotas – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure. Bi-weekly creel surveys show that state anglers already have reached their quota.

      “The DNR is using its full allotment to maximize opportunities to fish for walleye on Mille Lacs without violating our agreement,” Pereira said. “The DNR, just like area businesses, would greatly prefer to not have fishing restrictions in place. But sustaining and stabilizing Mille Lacs’ walleye population is our primary obligation and public responsibility.”

      Continuing the walleye fishing closure will reduce the number of fish that die after being caught and released, a condition known as hooking mortality. The likelihood of fish suffering hooking mortality increases as water temperatures warm.

      High walleye catch rates on Mille Lacs have increased DNR fishing projections. A hot walleye bite attracted more anglers to the lake, resulting in angler effort that is about double what it was in 2016.

      “Cooler than normal temperatures kept hooking mortality rates low, but more anglers fished Mille Lacs, particularly catching walleye longer than 20 inches,” Pereira said. “That increased the poundage of fish caught and put us over our walleye quota.”

      According to the DNR, bigger fish are biting, in part, because there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average.

      Mille Lacs’ hot bite also reflects the findings of studies done in many other fisheries that show catchability actually increases when fish population drops. In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there is more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, creating a situation where a larger percentage of the population is in position to be caught rather than gathering in a less preferred but less fished area.

      More information about Mille Lacs Lake, the regulation adjustments and management of the fishery is available on the DNR page at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

      New solutions are being sought to improve and sustain a healthy walleye fishery
      The DNR announced in June that a new external review team of scientists will take a fresh look at Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye fishery, using all of the best science available to gain a better understanding of the lake. This new review, led by walleye expert Dr. Chris Vandergoot of the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide additional recommendations to improve fisheries management of the lake, and contribute to a long-term solution to improving and sustaining a healthy walleye fishery for future generations. The group’s report is expected in time to help guide and inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      DNR encourages Minnesotans to fish for other abundant species on Mille Lacs Lake
      As today’s walleye fishing regulation changes were announced, the DNR encouraged all Minnesotans to visit Mille Lacs Lake to fish the other abundant species that the lake has to offer. Mille Lacs Lake’s other opportunities for top-notch fishing will not be affected by the regulation adjustment.

      Bassmaster Magazine named Mille Lacs the nation’s best bass lake in June and will send 50 of the country’s best anglers to the lake In September for its Angler of the Year tournament. Northern pike abound in Mille Lacs, along with muskellunge. In early July, a woman from southern Minnesota caught and released in Mille Lacs what may have been Minnesota’s largest-ever muskellunge.

      To learn more about Mille Lacs Lake and its many great fishing opportunities, visit the DNR page. To plan visit to the Mille Lacs area, visit the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council page.

      ###

      Mille Lacs Lake Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for summer 2017
      Q: What is happening with the walleye season this summer on Mille Lacs Lake?

      A: The closure that began July 8 and was set to end July 28 is being extended by two weeks. That means walleye fishing will reopen at 6:01 a.m. on Aug. 11 for catch-and-release only through Labor Day. A night fishing closure also will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30.

      Q: How does this affect fishing for other species?

      A: Fishing regulations for other species such as smallmouth bass, muskie and northern pike remain the same. During the night closure, there is an exception for muskie and northern pike anglers using artificial lures and sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.

      Q: Why did the DNR extend the closure?

      A: While the DNR wants to allow as much walleye fishing on Mille Lacs as possible, the state is also required to abide by cooperative agreements made with eight American Indian Chippewa bands. The two weeks of additional closure allows the state to abide by a harvest quota set earlier this year with the bands.

      The DNR and the bands agreed to harvest quotas of 44,800 pounds for state anglers and 19,200 pounds for tribal fishing. They also agreed that up to 75,000 pounds of walleye could be sustainably harvested from the lake from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017 in order to conserve the population

      That agreement allows the state to use a built-in buffer – the 11,000 pounds difference between the conservation cap of 75,000 pounds and the combined harvest quota of 64,000 pounds – in an attempt to allow catch-and-release walleye fishing through Labor Day, following the mid-summer closure.

      The latest creel survey data shows that state anglers reached their quota of 44,800 pounds of walleye caught from Mille Lacs in early July. Even though state anglers already have caught their quota of fish, the DNR is dipping into the allowed conservation reserve in order to reopen the season on Aug. 11.

      Q: Why has the walleye population in Mille Lacs declined? What is the DNR doing in the long-term to try to conserve the population?

      A: The vast majority of walleye that hatch do not survive to their third autumn in the lake. Walleye numbers have declined to the point that it has become important to protect spawning-sized walleye, particularly the class of walleye that hatched in 2013. It is important to protect the large 2013 year class to replenish aging spawning stock.  Most males from the 2013 class are now mature, but females will not start to contribute in large numbers until next spring. The state is committed to conserving the population of walleyes born in 2013 to improve and rebuild a sustainable population for the future.

      Q: Why do we count hooking mortality during a closed walleye season?

      A: The amount that state anglers can kill (as spelled out in state-bands agreements) also must include fish that die as a result of hooking mortality, the fish that die after being caught and then released back into the water. During the closure, some anglers still catch walleye incidentally and some of those fish die after being released. Under the state-band agreements, those dead fish must be calculated and counted against the state’s allocation.

      Q: How did this cooperative management between the state and the bands of Mille Lacs Lake come to be?   

      A: Recall that in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower-court decisions that allowed the Mille Lacs band and seven other Chippewa bands to exercise off-reservation fishing and hunting rights. The lower federal court also set up guidelines, known as stipulations and protocols, for both sides to follow. These stipulations and protocols provide a framework for how the bands and the state must work cooperatively to manage shared natural resources, including Mille Lacs fish.  In their agreements, the DNR and the bands are required to annually establish the number of walleye that can safely be harvested from Mille Lacs while ensuring sufficient remaining walleye in the lake for a healthy fishery.

      Q: If the walleye population is in decline, why are anglers catching so many?

      A: Fish are biting for two reasons. First, there is a shortage of food for larger walleye. Last fall’s assessment showed that larger walleye were thinner than average. Second, studies in many fisheries show that catchability actually increases when fish population decline.

      In Mille Lacs, walleye congregate in preferred spots rather than disperse evenly throughout the lake. Fewer fish in the lake means there’s more room in the preferred spots for fish to gather, and anglers find these spots where they can catch a larger portion of fish. Finally, while the walleye population has decreased considerably (by half or more), the amount of fishing pressure has declined by a lot more. This means that there are more walleye per angler fishing Mille Lacs today.

      Q: How is the DNR using science and research to help the walleye population?

      A: Mille Lacs Lake is the most studied lake in Minnesota. It is also a complex and changing system. The agency conducts a large number of surveys on the lake annually. These surveys include assessing the abundance of young walleye; setting 52 nets to assess adult abundance; using fine-mesh nets each summer to determine abundance of food (prey fish) for walleye; and using interviews with anglers around the lake (called creel surveys) to estimate the number of fish anglers are catching. The DNR also periodically tags walleye and other species to provide actual population estimates. We are tagging bass this year in cooperation with angling groups, and will be tagging walleye in 2018 and 2019 when the 2013 year class will be reaching full maturity.

      Q: What is the purpose of the external review the DNR has initiated?

      A: The DNR has asked Dr. Chris Vandergoot to lead an independent review of the DNR’s scientific approaches to manage Mille Lacs Lake. Vandergoot is a key member of the international team that co-manages a very significant walleye fishery in Lake Erie. He works for the U.S. Geological Survey in the Sandusky Lake Erie Biological station in Ohio. His review report will be available to the public in early 2018 and will help inform fisheries management decisions for the 2018 season.

      Q: What does the future look like for Mille Lacs walleye?

      A: It is unlikely that Mille Lacs walleye production will return to the levels that state anglers enjoyed over 20 years ago.  The ecosystem of Mille Lacs is going through extreme change, starting with increased water clarity in the mid-1990s, to impacts today from aquatic invasive species such as spiny water flea and zebra mussels. Longer growing seasons are also helping some species such as smallmouth bass but may be hurting others. While walleye will still be abundant, the future fishery will be more diverse, offering angling opportunities for a greater variety of fish.

      ###
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