Water changes after heavy rains. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Water changes after heavy rains.

So I am sure a good bit of the people on here experienced the heavy thunderstorms over the past few days. I was going to perform a water change today but while using my sink I noticed the water had a smell to it. I know that nitrates levels can be higher after heavy rains so I have not changed the water yet. Just wondering if anyone could shed a little light on this matter. I am on a well if that helps.

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 01:53 PM
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Turn on the water, let it run for 30 seconds and then test the water straight from the tap
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 02:25 PM
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I'm on a well as well and in MD. I didn't notice any smells, but obviously this ranges per well source/water processing prior to getting to your faucet. If you're near an agricultural area then you have to be more concerned about the rains after farmers lay down their fertilizers and pesticides, since the rain water will seep into your well source a couple days after it rains.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Archerofthemoon View Post
I'm on a well as well and in MD. I didn't notice any smells, but obviously this ranges per well source/water processing prior to getting to your faucet. If you're near an agricultural area then you have to be more concerned about the rains after farmers lay down their fertilizers and pesticides, since the rain water will seep into your well source a couple days after it rains.

This pretty much sums it up. As also suggested, let the water run for a bit and test it before using it. Things like Prime will help, but they won't bind to every contaminant out there. The key ,I think, is the depth of your well. In my neck of the woods, 400 feet isn't unheard of, but that's what it takes.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerofthemoon View Post
I'm on a well as well and in MD. I didn't notice any smells, but obviously this ranges per well source/water processing prior to getting to your faucet. If you're near an agricultural area then you have to be more concerned about the rains after farmers lay down their fertilizers and pesticides, since the rain water will seep into your well source a couple days after it rains.
Yeah I live in Carroll County so there are farms all over the place. Thanks all for the suggestions.

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 04:26 PM
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Yep, I'm in the boonies of Howard so I'm in the same/similar boat.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 04:42 PM
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I would not worry about fertilizer runoff in your well, at all. Like, in the least. However, I have found that some municipalities will crank up the chloramine after a heavy rain, but that's because of the surge in introduced water to the source in the case of reservoirs an such.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 05:31 PM
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I would not worry about fertilizer runoff in your well, at all. Like, in the least.
Depends on how deep your well is. In addition to whether or not there's a large enough well shaft to let groundwater run down to the intake.

If the well is deep enough that you're not pulling in groundwater but rather pulling from an aquifer you *should* be good.

On the other hand- it probably wouldn't be the end of the world to skip a water change for a week. If you can actually smell something off... personally, I'd rather be safe than sorry.





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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 05:34 PM
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If your well is drilled and designed in a way that lets surface water get in, it should not be used for a drinking water supply unless there is a really good treatment being used as well. The nitrate and ferts from farming are among the least harmful things found in surface water. Animal and human waste are often in surface water. Any number of diseases are found. Is your well tested and approved for drinking water? If it is not and you see changes after rains, I would not drink or cook with it.
It is correct to assume that any good water treatment will increase the amount of chlorine or chloramine added if they are drawing from a surface source like a lake. Since these chemicals react with the organics and pollution in the water, the amount of chemical added at the treatment plant has to be increased as the pollution increases. When you get a heavy rain everything that is left on the street or your yard is being washed into the lake. That is everything from hog lots and dead cats to the vomit from the gutter! Oil dripping from your car and the pesticide used last week go in there, too. OOOW!
I hope they add a bit more chemical to treat that stuff!
But that doesn't mean the water you get at the faucet becomes dangerous. The whole point of water treatment is to make the water safe to drink so there are limits and testing that go with delivering the water. There are test sites all around the system which show how much chemical is left by the time it arrives at your house. (3-10 PPM)
If there is so much debris washed into the water like if you are drinking out of the Mississippi River after a flood that they can't get it safe with chemicals within the allowed amount, they have to add extra filters and other treatment methods.
The other choice is all the disease that is rampant in countries that don't have water treatment available. Anybody like to have a good case of typhus ?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Depends on how deep your well is. In addition to whether or not there's a large enough well shaft to let groundwater run down to the intake.

If the well is deep enough that you're not pulling in groundwater but rather pulling from an aquifer you *should* be good.
Yep, exactly. It also really depends as well on what your natural drainage is like as well. In some areas there is very porous soil and rock allowing for water to enter a source fairly fast without the natural 'filtration' process. In my case, I have clay soil which takes forever for water to pass through, but I still get some things in my water system thanks to the farmer next door who over does every chemical known to man on his crop land.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
If your well is drilled and designed in a way that lets surface water get in, it should not be used for a drinking water supply unless there is a really good treatment being used as well. The nitrate and ferts from farming are among the least harmful things found in surface water. Animal and human waste are often in surface water. Any number of diseases are found. Is your well tested and approved for drinking water? If it is not and you see changes after rains, I would not drink or cook with it.
It is correct to assume that any good water treatment will increase the amount of chlorine or chloramine added if they are drawing from a surface source like a lake. Since these chemicals react with the organics and pollution in the water, the amount of chemical added at the treatment plant has to be increased as the pollution increases. When you get a heavy rain everything that is left on the street or your yard is being washed into the lake. That is everything from hog lots and dead cats to the vomit from the gutter! Oil dripping from your car and the pesticide used last week go in there, too. OOOW!
I hope they add a bit more chemical to treat that stuff!
But that doesn't mean the water you get at the faucet becomes dangerous. The whole point of water treatment is to make the water safe to drink so there are limits and testing that go with delivering the water. There are test sites all around the system which show how much chemical is left by the time it arrives at your house. (3-10 PPM)
If there is so much debris washed into the water like if you are drinking out of the Mississippi River after a flood that they can't get it safe with chemicals within the allowed amount, they have to add extra filters and other treatment methods.
The other choice is all the disease that is rampant in countries that don't have water treatment available. Anybody like to have a good case of typhus ?
This is accurate. In twenty years of fishkeeping I have yet to attribute any fish loss to fertilizer or pesticide in tapwater after rain. I have had a front row seat to municipalities switching from chlorine to chloramine, elevated copper levels, etc, but that's a whole different set of circumstances.

Additionally, the fertilizers used by farmers are at best, no worse than the fertilizers that we dump in our aquarium. NPK are still the building blocks. Pesticides have a relatively short shelf life by design and aren't the end of the world. I would be curious to see what the measurable amount of any pesticide remains after it is been sprayed on a plant, washes off of the plant, pools on the surface, and then drops through more than 100 feet of dirt before it reaches a well pickup.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 06:13 PM
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I keep getting the impression that some people either missed the fact that the OP is on well water, or are under the impression that municipal water treatment procedures somehow are magically interjected between a person's well and their faucets.

Having been on a well, myself, all the stuff PlantedRich posted about possible well water contaminants is right on. One of the reasons that we ended up only pulling all our drinking water from an RO unit rather than relying only on our standard household water purification system.





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