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Case #1 – MDI Biological Manages its Water Assets
MDI Biological had water issues on their sprawling Maine Campus. The water system was originally designed for summer residence only so, for that use, it didn’t matter that the town’s water lines had to be turned off and drained in the winter because they are not buried deep enough to prevent freezing. Now that they are using the facility year round it does matter.
There are four wells on the property but they are all low yield. Two of the 4 wells have contamination problems and the remaining two have yields of 6.0 gpm and 1.0 gpm respectively for a combined yield of 7 gpm. Add to this their space constraints – the entire system had to go through a 36” x 60” door and install in a crawl space under a dormitory – and you have what seems to be a difficult problem.
Their water need was projected at 3000 to 4000 gallons per day but the two wells they wanted to use could supply 10,000 gallons and the water lines associated with them were buried below frost. If the wells could be managed there would be enough water but it looked like it was going to require excavating in solid rock to bury storage tanks until their plumbing contractor, Randy Sprague of Bar Harbor http://www.rshp.net/ , discovered Well Manager®. Once he realized that a system could be built to collect from any number of wells and that its modular construction would allow it to be brought in through a small door he knew there was an answer.
After contacting us and discussing the situation they opted for two duplex Well Managers which would provide the option of using all 4 wells if need be. To this they added 2 more storage tanks and an alternator so that the two pressure pumps would alternate or work together for high flow situations.
Below are pictures of the system Randy’s men installed in June of 2010. Since that time it has been discovered that daily water use here can go over 5,000 gallons so they have ordered 2 more tanks to help with peak demand. Now they have an environmentally sensitive water system which can easily take care of their water needs.
Case #2 – Drought Proofing a Texas Well
Scott Vance lives 40 miles up Route 183 north of Austin. Scott’s well showed signs of problems for the first time during the drought of 2006. The well didn’t go dry but the static level was getting low and his dad, who lived next door, had experienced outages. These problems coupled with the fact that this drought did not look like it would be over any time soon worried them enough that Roy began researching Texas aquifers and droughts to see what their best course of action might be. When they discovered that their properties were in the “drip down” zone at the fringe of the Trinity Aquifer they knew that their location meant that they could have problems if the drought persisted too long. For more information on the Texas Drought and Roy Vance’s problem see Texas Drought
Scott’s water needs were greater than his dad’s and he was concerned that his well might dry up so he wanted to have enough storage capacity that water could be hauled in if necessary. Scott liked the way the Well Manager collected water and that it was possible to get the system up and running again in a very few minutes if the tank was inadvertently pumped dry because the system collects yield only and does not pump the well down. He also wanted to be able to use an ozone system to keep the large amount of storage in good condition so he wouldn’t have to worry about things growing in the tank. The question; is there a way to get all of this in one Well Manager® system? The answer is yes, and this is how it was done;
The Well Manager® collects from the well(s) at a rate that prevents over pumping and maximizes well production. The 1550 gallon secondary storage tank is connected to the Well Manager® by two pipes. The lower pipe is 2” and has a check valve that allows for flow from the auxiliary storage tank to the Well Manager but prevents flow from the WM to the aux. tank. There is also a 3” pipe connecting the two tanks a few inches below the tank full level on the Well Manager. As the WM collects water, the 210 gallon tank begins to fill. No water can flow from the 210 gallon WM to the auxiliary tank through the lower connection because of the check valve but when the WM is almost full water begins to overflow from the WM to the AUX tank through the 3” upper pipe. The Well Manager will collect until both tanks are full and then shut off.
You may be wondering why we didn’t simply install a Well Manager control on the large tank. Many people build systems like that using our Basic Control Package and we could have done that too but Scott did not want to loose the ability to restart the system quickly if loss of control at an outlet caused storage to be emptied. Piped so that the 210 gallon tank fills first there would always be enough storage in the well to get the system restarted using the H-O-A switch (Hand-Off-Auto) in the Well Manager Panel. All that he would need to do is put the switch in the hand position for a few minutes to transfer some of the water stored in the well to the 210 gallon tank then return the switch to the auto position and go about his business while the system slowly refilled the large tank.
In the normal operating mode, the PumpChamber™ in the Well Manager delivers to the plumbing and other systems from storage at a pressure and rate that will properly supply the connected uses. If the delivery rate exceeds the WM collection rate the water level in the WM tank will begin to fall. As it does, water from the auxiliary tank will flow through the lower connection in an attempt to equalize the level in the two tanks. As long as the system is not full the Well Manager will continue to collect periodically whether or not water is being used.
Scott wanted to be able to use an Ozone system in the large tank to insure that water there stayed fresh. When using ozone for this purpose it is recommended that storage is equal to 4 days normal use. This way the tank is never emptied and new water coming in is never more than 25% of storage so the ozone content does not get too low to kill bacteria. Once the water level rises above the 3” pipe, ozone is free to cross from the large tank into the upper portion of the Well Manager and any water that flows from the large tank enters the WM tank at the bottom and is already saturated. Since the PumpChamber pumps from the bottom the ozonated water is thoroughly mixed with the fresh incoming water in the 210 gallon tank.
This arrangement offers the option of filling the auxiliary tank with a tank truck so systems similar to this, some with buried tanks, are used in arid areas where well yield cannot keep up. Used this way, water from the well will supplement trucked water to stretch the interval between deliveries substantially. Even a 1/10th gallon per minute well can contribute 1008 gallons per week. This arrangement can use a single secondary tank as Scott’s does or there could be several secondary tanks to produce a very large system.
If the well water is biologically clean, there may be no treatment required and if it is not, ozone, chlorine or other chemicals can be used because there is adequate retention time to get the desired result. As it turned out, Scott has not installed the Ozone System yet because his water has not required it but the option is available if the need arises.
Well Manager Systems can do wonders with drought affected wells. If your well is suffering from drought or you live where well yields are just poor, give us a call to discuss your problem. The call is free; 800-211-8070
This is the well system for a State run group home. It consisted of 2 wells, one 750’ deep that produced 0.1 gpm and a second well (depth not known) that produced about 1 gpm. In addition to the two wells there was a 500-gallon atmospheric tank buried in the side yard – the jet pump and large tank in the center of the picture were connected to that tank.
This building was home to six mentally challenged young men and a live-in councilor. The residents were all employed off site. The problem was that some of the men did not understand the consequence of leaving for the day with a toilet running. Once the wells and tanks were empty, it took a long time to get things back in operation and, on several occasions, resulted in a burned out pump in spite of the motor protectors that were installed.
All of the existing equipment was removed and replaced with a duplex Well Manager system with 440 gallons of storage. The Well Manager collects water from each well according to its ability to contribute.
This Well Manager® incorporates a Stop Loss System™ that shuts off the toilets and hose bibs if storage gets too low. It is now impossible to use up their supply inadvertently. All other plumbing works if the Stop Loss™ turns off the toilets and the items disabled by the Stop Loss come back on automatically when stored water returns to the proper level.
There is a reset button on the Stop Loss that permits the toilets to be turned back on for troubleshooting as long as there is enough water that the low float is up.
The original “system” held over 600 gallons of storage and presented problems constantly. The Well Manager holds 440 gallons and is rarely below ½ full.
Case #4 – This New Home in the Country came with some bad news!
The people that sold this home to Bill Torre’s family of 5 adults this home in Rocky Hill, NJ, forgot to tell them that they had been getting water deliveries to fill the well. The Torre’s moved in shortly before Thanksgiving 2003 and ran out of water almost immediately. They were so upset that Bill’s wife wanted to move out and give the house back.
The plumber they called installed a second pressure tank to “give them more storage” but that helped very little. When they called us for help and all the facts were gathered, the picture looked pretty grim. There were two wells on the property. One was so poor that a pump was never installed and the second was producing 0.1 gpm. The neighbor’s well wasn’t much better.
We installed the Well Manager® on the right and suggested Bill call a hydro-geologist to study the situation and recommend a location for a new well. In the meantime the holidays, winter weather and life in general delayed the survey until the summer of 2004. Toward the end of that summer the new well was drilled and Bill called to say how disappointed he was that this well was 700 feet deep and yielded only 0.14 gpm. I told him not to worry because, between the two wells, he had a quart per minute which would be enough with a Duplex Well Manager feeding the existing storage tanks.
During that conversation I asked how they had been doing on the single 0.10 gpm well and he said that he thought the well was now providing a little more water than when we first installed the Well Manager and that they had been doing okay as long as clothes washing was properly scheduled. I pointed out that he would now have 2 ½ times the water he had been living on but it still did not sound like much to him.
In November 2004 we installed the Duplex Well Manager control and left assuring the family that their water life would now be substantially better. We heard little from the Torre’s until the summer of 2007 when we got an invitation to a pool party at their home.
As it turned out, the family that had been ready to abandon the place in 2003 had now become comfortable enough to invest money in the property in the form of an in ground swimming pool and a two car garage with an office on the second floor. As Bill showed us around, it soon became apparent that the house basement had also been finished and that the Well Manager now resided in a special room with folding doors.
While Bill described their life since the second well was installed he mentioned that they could not fill the swimming pool from the well but admitted that his wife does use a hose to top off the pool every three or four days. As of September, 2009 when this update was written, Bill is happy and recommends the Well Manager system to anyone who calls or asks about it.
The moral of this story is that a little bit of water properly managed can make an amazing difference. After all, Bill Torre and his family are living a good life using a water source that would take four minutes to fill a gallon jug.
Case #5 – You Want Me to Put it Where?
What do you do when your 6-gpm well won’t supply enough water to run the 8 bathrooms in the main house, the bathroom in the pool house apartment, the poolside shower, and the horse barn and pasture water trough fillers? To add to the problem the only remaining space for mechanical equipment is in this quaint little well house! But what are the options?
You could drill a new well but with the prospect of a 750’ to 800’ well and no guarantee of finding a reasonable amount of water you’re going to think twice before you start drilling.
That was the dilemma facing this owner when he called to ask if there was an alternative to prospecting for water. There was!
The ivy covered well house in the picture above was the entrance to a well pit that measured 63”x 63”x 84” deep. Inside the pit was the wellhead, an assortment of equipment, pressure tanks and a few snakes.
We were quite pleased to find the roof was removable. Once it was removed and the pit cleared of everything that wasn’t essential, including the snakes, there was room for the necessary equipment.
The picture shows the result. The well pit now contains an electrical sub panel, a Well Manager® pump control, a 220 gallon tank, a 1 ½ hp jet pump and a pressure tank we removed from the main house.
The owner says “we’ve accomplished what we set out to do,” which is quite a compliment when you consider the background story here.
In 1992 this owner had an addition put on his stone farmhouse. Before the architect started to draw the owner told him he wanted to be able to use several bathrooms at the same time, and do the wash or start the dishwasher while he was in the shower.
This same request was repeated when the builder was hired and once again when the plumber came on board.
When the job was complete the new stonework matched the original and all of the carpentry and other finish workmanship was of obvious high quality.
The only problem was every time someone turned on a barn hydrant or washing machine while the owner was in the shower there was a tremendous drop in water pressure in the shower. He was stuck with the one thing everyone had assured him would not happen!
Over the next eight years several contractors attempted to fix the problem without result. With a Well Manager® system in the well house he now has the home he had asked for in the beginning.
Case #6 – A Country Home is Everyone’s Dream
I’m sure anyone would be proud to call this home. The only problem here was the 4 gpm well could not keep up with the 8 bathrooms and landscape sprinkler system. Beyond that, the beautiful master bath shower did not perform like the one in the showroom photograph. It was not possible to run the two showerheads and eight body sprays at the same time. You could run one or the other but not both!
The Well Manager® system below took care of the problem. There is now enough water and pressure to run everything at once!