Getting the stinky smell out of water is usually the best way to spend a bunch of money and then learn to hate your local water treatment guy when the system doesn’t work. The majority of us that are in the water treatment business are good people that have no clue about what kind of nightmare we are entering into when we stutter the words, “Yes, we can get rid of the rotten egg smell in your water.”
This is article that will help you understand what to expect when you are trying to end up with clean, non-smelling water in your house. Instead of using all of the high tech terms of the gases and engineering explanations that we are pretty sure that not even engineers understand – the seriously low tech, ‘Jeff Foxworthy’ terms like, ‘smelly’, ‘stuff’, and ‘junk’ is the best way to explain what takes place.
We think there are three groups of water treatment dealers:
1. “The Dumb Blond”. (No reflection of hair color). This is someone who starts out with the best of intentions, is told by his suppliers what should work, installs the equipment properly, and then when it doesn’t work, goes nuts making numerous service calls to your house to try and fix your water. This also includes making dozens of phone calls to his supplier to try and understand why your water still smells. He then either spends quite a bit of his own money to get the system to work, or he removes the equipment and refunds you your money. . . The lesson learned – don’t mess with stinky water!
2. “The Rip-off Artist”. This is a dealer that intentionally sets out of relieve you of thousands of dollars for equipment that will absorb the smell for about a month or until your check clears – whichever comes first. There is a dealer of a nationally known franchise that installs dozens of direct pressure water treatment systems that simply don’t work. Technically, they will work, but you better have WM for Water Master stamped on your forehead. Their systems require too many adjustments and maintenance for the average homeowner to keep up with. This dealer has been installing these systems for years. When you call him to fix the system, he then charges you top dollar for the adjustments. At some point you can’t afford either the cost or the hassle content – and if you pester the dealer too much, he simply won’t work with you anymore. (That is usually when we get to meet you – when you are good and mad! Lucky us.) We did get a call from that dealer one time and he used a bunch of nasty words while he tried to explain that he was much more certified then we are . . . certifiable, perhaps!
3. “The Non-profit Professional”. This is a dealer that started out in the “Dumb Blond” category, and has taken his time, a lot of his money, and has worked through the problems associated with making water treatment systems that actually work. This dealer has usually earned the equivalent of a master degree by making dozens and dozens of ‘free’ trips to client’s houses over a period of many years – for the privilege of making little to no profit.
Years ago, we started out in the “Dumb Blond” category and have long since moved up? to the status of the “Non-profit Professional”. A major part of the problem with the water treatment industry is that suppliers only understand the basic of conventional wisdom about smelly water. There are three primary things that lead dealers into problems:
1. The Amount of Smell Varies in the Water: Twenty some years ago, we installed a direct pressure ‘Provector’ system made by ‘Water Soft’ on a brand new well. This equipment had an air injection venturi that used the air to oxidize the water in the long pipeline to the house. The oxidized H2s and Iron and Manganese in the water then went into the scrubber tank and then into a multimedia filter where the oxidized ‘junk’ was removed. It worked great since the water had a smell of less than 3 PPM. Six months later, we got a call saying that the system didn’t work. Since we were still in our ‘Dumb Blond’ years, it took us three trips out to the client’s house (20 miles away, of course) to figure out that the smell in the water was now testing at 12 PPM. This job was the first time that we used ozone to cure the problem. How were we to know that the smell would increase in the water once the well began to be used? It turns out that this is a common problem. Of course, in all of the water treatment classes I’ve attended over the years, I don’t recall ever hearing that this problem takes place. The end result is that we have to install heavy duty water treatment systems that will cure potential problems, while we compete against dealers that are quoting on fixing your existing, lesser, water problems.
2. Direct Pressure Systems Don’t Work: The national franchise crooks in our area, and others, use a chemical feed pump that injects chlorine in the incoming water line, just after the pressure tank. This chlorinated smelly water feeds into a retention time tank where the solids oxidize. (It makes the slick solids grow large enough for a filter to catch them.) Then the chlorinated, oxidized, and still smelly water goes into one type of filter or another. That filter catches the oxidized particulate. Great. Then the clean, still smelly water enters another filter – this time a carbon filter. All the books say a carbon filter will absorb bunches of smell. It does – for about thirty days. We don’t care what the books say, what the formulas say, what our suppliers say, and especially what our competition says. They are all wrong about how much smell carbon – any type of carbon will remove. (We have experimented with cheap carbon all the way up to carbon that costed us $250 a cubic foot). The operating word about the conventional wisdom in the water treatment business regarding the amounts of absorption is what my daughters say, “SHUT-UUP!”
3. Other Junk in the Water: Trying to remove the smell in the water is like getting into a fist fight with some guy – and then all his buddies jump in to help beat you up. The PH of the water cannot be low. The Hardness (liquid rock, to keep it simple) has either got to be low or be removed, and then, what about the sodium that often times is hiding under the smell and taste of H2s water? The Hardness traps the smelly gasses and generally gums up and blocks any oxidation process. After the smells are removed, the water has to be treated through a Reverse Osmosis unit. You better have a good water source in terms of volume, because you will waste about half of the water you treat with the RO process.
At this point, you are probably reaching for the phone book to dial up your local realtor to sell your house that has the stinky well. In our area there is a prominent realtor that calls us to quote on providing water treatment systems for properties that he is involved with. He tells us that if he walks into a house and smells the nasty hydrogen sulfide gas, he automatically devalues the property $15,000 per $100,000 of initial value. . . Ouch!
If you sense that we have a little bit of an attitude about the water treatment end of our business . . . We do. We started out in the pump business years ago and have found the hard and expensive way that we can’t get out of doing water treatment because of the integration of the pumping equipment, storage tanks, and the water treatment equipment. We spend 600% more time keeping up with water treatment trends and changes. We drive more miles on bid jobs that we never get due to the overall cost of our heavy duty water treatment systems. We get hammered by people that have spent all of their money with the ‘Rip-of Dealers’ and then want us to magically make their junk equipment work – for little or no additional cost. And then, after all of the time we spend educating our clients, they expect the equipment to work forever with not cost of maintenance. Shut-uup!
YOU CAN HAVE CLEAN, NON-SMELLING WATER, LONG TERM. We have developed hard earned proprietary methods in conjunction with finding and testing equipment (some of it outside of the water treatment industry) that will deal with clearing and removing the smells – and we don’t care how bad the water is. The costs start at about $3000 and go up to about $20,000. The more expensive systems include an underground cistern and an underground pump house, excavation, and the piping and wiring. We used to try and explain our systems in this forum, but we don’t need to educate our competition anymore than we already have. If you live in Southwest Colorado, we can make a free on-site call to assess your situation and then present you with a detailed proposal in a few days.
So don’t let your dream property pass you by because we do have a reliable system for making great water.
THIS is why we work so hard to source good water.