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Hairyloon

Water purification.

I am being asked for advice on a water supply for a house.
My best answer: "ask someone who knows" did not go down well, so I am looking for some pointers.

The house is fed by a spring, but the spring is a bit close to a livestock field and at the last test showed unacceptably high bacterial contamination.
They presumably still have the test results somewhere if it is important which bacterium, but I don't know off hand.

Any tips or recommendations? Systems or manufacturers to avoid? Questions I should ask?
Nick

Bugs will be a problem. It's unlikely their tests show what they are, because it's not normal to ask. There will also be many other things to worry about and test for. Treac recently investigated the various commercial labs who'll run the tests for them. They're standardised and very routine. But they need to know what they're looking for.

What they need to purify it will depend on what's in it. Ours is physically filtered and nothing else.

Starting point would be to find out what the problems are, and solve them. The world is full of consultants who can advise, and a local recommendation is probably the way forward. The actual tests can only be (reliably) done at a handful of labs in the uk. These are often, but not exclusively, the local water board. Have them Google Alcontrol and ALS as alternatives.

They'll all test for what you ask them to test for, but the list of potential things is very large (and often not relevant).
Hairyloon

Bugs will be a problem. It's unlikely their tests show what they are, because it's not normal to ask.

I think they did, because I recall a name being mentioned...
I'll see if I can find what it was.
Nick

Bugs will be a problem. It's unlikely their tests show what they are, because it's not normal to ask.

I think they did, because I recall a name being mentioned...
I'll see if I can find what it was.

First level test probably looked for coliforms.
Hairyloon

Bugs will be a problem. It's unlikely their tests show what they are, because it's not normal to ask.
I think they did, because I recall a name being mentioned...
I'll see if I can find what it was.

First level test probably looked for coliforms.
Yes, that rings a bell.
Nick

Yeah. That's a first level test. It's what's used for drinking water, but that's because they know there's nothing else in there, thanks to modern purification and delivery systems. Water from a shitty field might want a bit more investigation. Your advice to speak with an expert is the right advice. Hairyloon

Your advice to speak with an expert is the right advice.
It is quite possible that they did, at least by proxy. But thus far, they have chosen to mostly listen to the bad advice on everything else, so what do I know.
Treacodactyl

Re: Water purification.

The house is fed by a spring, but the spring is a bit close to a livestock field and at the last test showed unacceptably high bacterial contamination.
They presumably still have the test results somewhere if it is important which bacterium, but I don't know off hand.

Any tips or recommendations? Systems or manufacturers to avoid? Questions I should ask?

I spoke to my local council. A very nice bloke came out and took a sample and ran some tests and also offered advice, so might be a place to start.

I've not done much yet but one thing that has become apparent, why just worry about the livestock field? If the supply isn't fully fenced off then you'll also have deer, rabbits etc and even with fencing you'll get birds and rats.

If it's a spring the first thing to do is to stop surface runoff contaminating it but when I had a quick look at filters it seemed logical and not that much more expensive to go for something that would get as much as possible out of the water.

Still, when the terrorists attack the mains water supplies a bit of a dodgy tummy will not seems quite as bad. Wink
Hairyloon

Re: Water purification.

Still, when the terrorists attack the mains water supplies a bit of a dodgy tummy will not seems quite as bad. Wink
The chap who used to live there just had a pipe from the spring, and lived there for a few decades, so presumably it can't be that bad... OTOH, he is dead now. Confused
dpack

it isnt just bugs or things in the immediate area of the spring contaminating the water,depending on the local geology there can be cumulatively dangeroos levels of metal salts,even if the spring is in an "organic"agricultural area the water may originate from a high nitrate,high pesticide area ,there can be issues from industrial.mining and landfill leachates etc etc etc .
the more areas that feed water into the hydrology system the more chance of something undesirable in the spring water.

if i was planning to use an off grid water source long term i recon a broad set of tests on several samples(summer,winter,drought and flood for instance) would be a good place to start to plan for any required treatment to ensure the water was ok.

just to complicate matters a couple of anecdotes:

we used a spring for 3 years with no problems,it was tested and failed for coliforms by a factor of 3.we started to use tap water and everyone came down with tummy bugs.we went back to spring water with no subsequent problems.

some pals had their water tested at a doomsday book era farmstead it had been the supply for centuries but it was 20 times the "safe"lead level.they spent a lot of money to get mains water.

my advice to them is spend out for a broad set of tests and then decide what to do.iirc a few hundred quid should give some levels to base a sensible plan upon.if they plan to stay testing and a personal treatment rig will be good value compared to paying for water after x number of years.
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