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  1. #1
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    Default Slime in well water ? ?

    Yesterday, I turned on the kitchen sink and nothing came out. My first thoughts were that the well had run dry or that some mechanical failure had occured. My well is 55 feet deep with a 4inch 1/2 hp pump at the bottom of the casing.

    On my way to the breaker box I checked the faucet in the bathroom and it worked just fine. Turns out, the only fixture that was not working was the kitchen sink. I unscrewed the strainer/aerater and turned on the water. It flowed fine.

    Further inspection yielded the problem. The strainer/aerator on the kitchen sink was totally clogged with a thick slimy mucosy stuff that looked like boogers. (yuck) [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    So, what is going on ? Has anyone seen this before ? (The faucet spout sits about 4 inches higher than the sink so there is little chance that a food item entered) Also, I have a refrigerator filter and an RO filter, neither of these were clogged.


    Thoughts ? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    TC35D w/ SS

    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    I had a whole house filter that turned black.. smelled really bad.. it was on bypass setting but water was still entering the filter then into the house. Scrubbed it clean.. filled it w/ bleach.. then dumped a couple gallons of bleach into the well and then ran it through the system.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Goffs Corner, KY
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    IH 2444

    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    I would be leery of the water, bacteria seems to make slime.

    Ben

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    The only way to know if it is a problem or an anomaly is to have the water tested for bacteria. It could be something as simple as a piece of food was deposited on the aerator and then bacteria started to grow, or it could be coming from the water in the well. I was told that if you thought that there was a problem with the water to first check the toilet tank to see if there were any black spots growing in there. Makes sense, since that water is constantly being changed and it it isolated from contamination usually.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    Sounds like you should look into how to treat your system with bleach, as mentioned.
    If I found that in my system (happened once), I would treat it with bleach. It's not uncommon to have mold and mildew build-up in the storage tank and needing cleaning. Sometimes I've heard this happens when a system sets for a period of time. This winter we were gone for 8 weeks, with the well turned off. There was no problem with mildew or mold (sometimes can detect a mildew smell when the system first comes on).
    Newer systems with a bladder in the pressure tank help to avoid some of these problems, but there can be 'things' that get down into the water above the pump in the well casing too, and hitting these 'things' with some bleach will help.

    Check around for a procedure to do this and adapt it to your well situation. Seems getting the bleach into the system, then letting it sit and then flushing the system is generally how to do it. Your local plumber will likely know as well.
    This done after getting a bacteria check on your well water.

    But for the slime, I wouldn't get too bent out of shape as it is likely like 'mother' in vinegar. Looks worse than it really is. (and we all have 'boogers' in our nose one time or nuther [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] ).

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    I had a well start producing the most God awful rotten egg smell. I called the County water people to get their opinion . The guy told me to shock the well with a quart of bleach ,let it set a few hours then run the faucets one at a time until all the lines had the bleach/water mix in them . He said do it once a year to kill the germs producing the smell . That was 10 years ago and I have no more problems . It took about a day for the bleach smell to get flushed out of the well.
    Allen

  7. #7
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    We need a more technical description of the slime. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Specifically, what color was it?

    I have actually seen something like what your are describing. A few months ago, I replaced a kitchen faucet with a fairly expensive Kohler model. All was fine for a couple of weeks, then it started plugging up with gunk that just about fits your description.

    Ours what white; what color is yours? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

    Seriously, it looked like some sort of assembly lubricant was working its way out. It did it a few more times, then stopped. We have had no problems since.

    I assume that any assembly lube would be food grade, so I wasn't really concerned.

    There are several web sites that discuss how to properly shock a well with chlorine. It's worth searching them out.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    Hmmm , its a Kohler faucet that I installed a few months back...

    The slime was clear to white in color . . .

    Maybe, I should see if the Kohler web site has faqs on this issue

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    So far only 3 OTR dual axel Peterbilts and one Freightliner. :)

    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    Since the problem is at one faucet, the probability of it being contaminated is high, and even higher since it is the kitchen sink. So check the other faucet tip aerators for the same material. If you don't find any, then sanitize the faucet tip by removing it and putting it into a glass of water with a cap of bleach in it for 20 minutes. Watch that the chrome doesn't start peeling and don't leave the 'rubber' gaskets in that long.

    If other faucets have the problem, then it is coming in with your water and the material should be bacteria of some kind but... a Coliform bacteria test won't identify what type. Look in the toilet tanks for an oily film on the water surface and snotty slime at and below the water line. Flush and wipe the palm of a hand from the water line down, if it's jelly like slimy then you have iron and/or other reducing type bacteria coming in with the water. Shocking can stop the problem for a time and make the problem worse over time if you continue to shock the well. The reason is due to chlorine raising the pH of the water and as it does that, chlorine loses its disinfection properties but it becomes a better oxidizer but that doesn't help to kill bacteria. When these reducing bacteria are disturbed, they produce slime that chlorine can't penetrate and then that turns to hard encrustations and mechanical and chemical well cleaning is needed. Shocking also has the chance to damage the pump and plumbing and cable. It can also cause hard to treat water quality problems.

    Reducing bacteria can be from clear to orangish redish brown to black. An oily film says bacteria if when you touch the water level, the oil slick doesn't move away from you finger tip. ummm I think it's away from... otherwise you have oil in the water. usually reducing bacteria problems add an H2S (sulfur) odor to the water; especially the hot water if your water temp is less than 140f.

    Gary Slusser

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    NH 1920 w/7308 Loader

    Default Re: Slime in well water ? ?

    I have a slime problem too. Its also called a "bio-film" problem and I like that term much better. Check out the back of you toilet tank and see if you have slime.....er....bio-film in there. If this a typical case than the toilet tank should give some pretty clear evidence of what you're dealing with. Note: cancel above if you use a a drop-in cleaning "tablet" in the tank.

    Slime in wells is produced by bacteria. Reducing bacteria, iron or sulfur. They are NOT a health issue but can be a real nuciance. Clogged screens on faucets, washers, etc. can get to you. Sometimes they can produce odor, although mine does not. The treatment is to "bleach shock" your well and plumbing. You will need to do it as a regular maintance procedure. Mine only needs it about once a year. Once the bacteria are there you can only controll them. I have not found any way to totally eliminate them. You are not alone with this problem. I talked to a clear water specialest with the DNR and was told that tens-of-thousands of wells have this problem in my state. If you find this as a re-occuring problem contact your DNR well specialist for rec. on a bleach shock.

    PS - I have found that metal screens will get slimey much faster that plastic ones.

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