Pump Chamber

Well Manager© Applications

 
 

Storing Water in Above Ground Tanks

Many people automatically assume that water stored in atmospheric tanks must be chlorinated or otherwise treated to prevent algae or bacterial growth. This is because they are accustomed to dealing with systems that store large quantities of water for long periods of time in tanks that are not very active, as is the case with cisterns or very large above ground tanks.

Well Managers® are different in that they add water to storage several times per hour and are sized so that the content is turned over regularly. For that reason, Well Manager storage tanks are very active and stay cold.

Others ask: don't you have to treat the water because it is in contact with air and airborne bacteria?

Low yield well - cap flush with
the ground has air vents on the
underside

When people ask that question, I wonder why those same folks are not worried about air in their well. A well is an atmospheric tank too and low yield wells are subject to a lot of air contact. You see, the water level in a well that has a refill rate of 10 gpm with a 10 gpm pump in it stays pretty constant because water is being removed at the same rate it is entering the well but the water level in a low yield well with a 10 gpm pump drops quickly when the pump is running because it is borrowing heavily from storage to make up for the slow refill rate. This has the same effect on the well as a piston being withdrawn from a cylinder with a 6” bore; It draws in about 1/5th cu. ft. of air for every foot the water level drops. That is why we call low yield wells “heavy breathers”. All of this air enters the well through or around the well cap. Some caps have screened vents which are often only inches above the grass. At best, with a fully in tact gasketed well cap, the air is filtered by the rough equivalent of your screen door. In addition, the vents in many well caps are fairly small so the velocity of the air entering can be quite high which has the tendency to draw particles like pollen and airborne microbes in along with it.

Underside of gasketed well cap
showing 2 small brass screened
vents at top of picture
If that isn’t bad enough, air can be drawn in through the conduit that carries
your wires to the well head. In most cases these run from the well head to the pressure tank location which may be in a well house, crawl space, barn or basement. The conduits have open ends that are not protected by anything. When well drawdown is dramatic, air can be drawn in though these too. When it comes to well caps, the preceding is a best case description because many caps have no gasket and no vent screen at all.  If you have a low yield well that is how your water system has been functioning up until now.

When you install a Well Manager, these dynamics change because the WM takes small amounts of water at a time, reducing the drawdown and the amount of air drawn in which reduces the inflow velocity and the tendency to draw in contaminants.  The Well Manager tank has an air filtering system. The main tank vent has a 70 micron filter on it. This is many times finer than the best case scenario at the well.  This filter is 5’ above the floor and can be piped to another area if the air in the installation space is less than desirable.  The system has a feature which prevents the content of the tank from being siphoned back to the well. This is accomplished by the use of an atmospheric vacuum relief valve. These are common in elevated water heater and other installations in plumbing systems that are subject to siphoning when turned off or compromised by a broken pipe lower in the system.

Vermin proof well cap has no gasket.
Air enters well in unscreened space
between cap and casing and at
broken wire conduit
When the water line on which this device is installed is subjected to negative pressure the valve opens causing ambient air to be pulled into the pipe thus breaking the siphon.  Since we have a filter on our air intake we have arranged things so that the air the AVR pulls in is also filtered. The bottom line is that the air system on a Well Manager is better than that normally found on code approved plumbing systems and the new collection dynamic reduces the possibility of contamination from air at the well.

Beyond all of that, keep in mind that in 1864 Louis Pasteur demonstrated that germs and bacteria do not spontaneously generate thus debunking a commonly held belief that had persisted for 2000 years. In other words, if there is no bacteria in the well water then there is no reason to expect any in the tank. If the well water contains e.coli, iron or sulfur bacteria then treatment will be necessary otherwise it is not – UNLESS there is a local air contamination source or local codes require it.

We have systems in place for more than 15 years and many of the tanks look as clean as they did the day they were installed. Many of these homes have been sold and passed some of the most rigorous water test requirements in the US.

One of the advantages of being able to see your water is that you can detect visual changes that may indicate something has changed. You can't see that in the well.

For those who would like additional assurance we offer great prices on a variety of NSF validated and standard Ultra Violet disinfection systems which destroy a minimum of 99.99% of harmful microorganisms, including E. coli, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia.  These can be installed on the water inlet and/or the discharge outlet of the Well Manager® System.