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Thread: Well Point Water Connection To House

  1. #1
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Well Point Water Connection To House

    I'm sure most are aware of the bleak water situation in Cape Town which has motivated me over the last few months to install a connection from my wellpoint to my house.

    My idea started simple but ended up quite complicated for several reasons which I'll get to later. I had my wellpoint water tested a couple of years ago and it came back with a 3 page report I couldn't make head or tail of which basically said it is of potable quality. Up until now I've only used my wellpoint for irrigation and swimming pool purposes but given the looming water issues I decided to use it in the house. My first idea was simply to have the entire house on dual supply which could be manually changed over from council water to wellpoint water by means if a couple of ball valves or taps. After speaking to someone with a lot more experience in potable water systems it was suggested that using wellpoint water as drinking water would require regular and frequent ongoing testing of the water quality ie at least once a month.

    The costs and the inconvenience of doing this ongoing testing regime ended up changing my original plan. Instead of supplying the entire house with wellpoint water I decided to continue to use council water only for human consumption and wellpoint water for the rest with an option in future to install a more thorough filtration unit for wellpoint water to be used for human consumption as well should 'zero day' ever actually arrive. This new plan meant I had to do considerable internal plumbing alterations to separate the 3 points in the house we get our drinking water from, namely the kitchen sink cold tap, the coffee machine and the soda machine which are all permanently plumbed-in items. I completely re-piped the three points to allow them to be separately supplied from the rest of the house.

    Next step was to dig up the council supply pipe at the house and install a double check valve, a ball valve and pipe a new take-off for the 3 drinking water points and a new pipe for the wellpoint water supply. Then I installed a manifold for the 3 drinking water points etc and around the other side of the house I fitted a strainer, a filter, a PRV and a couple of pressure tanks to prevent the wellpoint pump short-cycling. I then dug up the garden and installed a 25mm pipe from the wellpoint for the house supply.
    Last edited by AndyD; 01-Jan-18 at 04:52 PM.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Here's a few photos;

    Existing wellpoint pump;
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    Check valve, strainer, filter, PRV and pressure tanks;
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Digging up council main and installing take-off pipe, check valves, tap and wellpoint supply pipe.
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    Installing new pipework for kitchen sink cold tap, soda machine, coffee machine etc;
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    Installing the wellpoint connection pipe (the black pipe)
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    This was the schematic drawing I was working to. There's a couple of minor inaccuracies where the plan changed slightly and I haven't ammended the drawing but it's pretty close for the most part. You should be able to match up what you see in the photos above (pipes, valves etc) to what's on the drawing.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,

    I would have rather connected a filter system in the kitchen, from which you could draw all potting water.
    Builders recently had a special on these filters, they may still have a few left in stock. Just bought one today for R1,500.00

    I personally use one of these filters in my house.
    3 filers in series and requires replace after 10,000 litres of clean water.
    1st stage is a Silver impregnated ceramic filter with heavy metal filter
    2nd stage is an active carbon filter to absorb any odours from the water
    3rd stage a 10uM string filter to keep all the little impurities out of the water, and aerates the water.

    I have stored water after filtering for more than a year with the inlet cover open to the air, and noted that there was no smell from the water, nor was there any moss in the container, unlike water left in any other container getting that dam sand type smell and with moss growing on the sides of the container. What it tells me is that it has removed all bacteria in the water, but left the natural minerals in the water.

    I have found that filtering the local municipal water, that it has a sweet taste, and seems very light when one drinks it.

    I buy the replacement filters from a local industrial supplier for around R600.00, the most expensive being the silver impregnated ceramic filter.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I already have filters and softeners on the coffee machine and the soda machine, you can actually see the soda machine sub-micron filter mounbted on the wall in one of the photos above. I also already bought a 3 stage filter set which I was going to install sometime in the future just for the kitchen sink cold tap mainly because I suspect the council water quality will deteriorate as the dams get down to their last few percent.

    I'm not keen on the reverse osmosis systems, they're a massive waste of water because of the constant flushing they must do plus you've got to re-mineralize the water before consumption Filters are also expensive when you must replace them every 10 kilolitres, for a whole house filter set 10Kl equates to replacing them approximately every month.

    Just out of interest, how come you're worried about water supply to the point of filtering and storing it when you're in JHB?
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  7. #7
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    I'm not keen on the reverse osmosis systems, they're a massive waste of water because of the constant flushing they must do plus you've got to re-mineralize the water before consumption
    Just out of interest, how come you're worried about water supply to the point of filtering and storing it when you're in JHB?
    They speak of reverse osmosis in the marketing material, but the system sold by Builders is not the case, they use in line filtering, which is adequate for the current application.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    Filters are also expensive when you must replace them every 10 kilolitres, for a whole house filter set 10Kl equates to replacing them approximately every month.
    These filters are not designed for daily water usage, but rather for the use as potable water. Taking this into consideration, 10Kl is a large volume of water for drinking and cooking.
    Probably the best for cleaning water as a first step would be to use a typical swimming pool sand filter as a first line of filtering, as this requires a back wash on occasion to maintain the filter effectiveness, and would be a far cheaper solution as a primary filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    Just out of interest, how come you're worried about water supply to the point of filtering and storing it when you're in JHB?
    The water in Johannesburg is not as clean as it used to be, and frequently there is water interruptions due to pipelines leaking. When the water returns it is usually full of sand and other gunk that gets introduced into the system during the repair work. Just recently in Jhb North, the main water line was contaminated by sewerage when there was a leak in both lines. So one never knows when this will happen again. Unfortunately the Jhb system is an in pipe line process of water treatment, so any interruptions, and then the water is not properly treated.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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  9. #8
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I've been running on well point water for nearly a month now and so far so good apart from one minor hic-up; the wellpoint has a quantity of air in the water. In the past it just used to make the irrigation sprinklers intermittantly hiss and it never bothered us but the air seems to build up in the geyser especially and causes the hot water in the showers to spit quite violently every couple of minutes which was somerthing of an annoyance.

    I decided to make an air separator from junk I had in the workshop so I managed to dig out an off-cut of copper drain pipe and a second hand solenoid valve that was from a scrap coffee machine and this was the result;

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    The only new parts were a stainless steel float switch which I had in stock and the pipe fittings.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I installed it today and it works pretty well up to flow rates of about 13 litres per minute. Between 13 and 20 litres per minute it discharges progressively more water every time it dumps the air that's collected. Anything much above 20 litres per minute flow rate there's air carrying through it.

    The diameter of the separator is the limiting factor, ideally it should have been 100mm diameter but the only off-cut I had on hand was 67mm so the velocity of the water going through it gets too high. I didn't have any other suitable pipe available and I didn't want to shell out the cash for a full 6 meter length when I was only going to use about 40cm of it so if anyone in Cape Town has half a meter of 100mm copper or stainless pipe with two end caps kicking around, let me know what you want for it or I'll trade you for it.

    Here's the separator installed;

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    And this was the concept sketch I was loosely working to. There are numerous discrepancies between the sketch below and the finished prototype shown above and I haven't bothered amending it because I'm sure anyone who wants to build one will improve and adapt it to their requirements.

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    Last edited by AndyD; 25-Jan-18 at 11:05 PM.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I installed the UV sterilizer and the drinking water filter this weekend. The UV-C tube in the sterilizer has a life rated at 8000 hours which is only about 10 months if it runs continuous so I want to install controls so it only operates when there's water flow.

    I need a flow switch that can give me a signal for water flow between 0.2 and and 25 l/min. I'm struggling to find something suitable that doesn't cost a fortune.

    I thought I'd give it a bash with fabricating my own and I've been mulling over a few ideas but I'm not sure the best way to go about it. I thought I might use a standard brass check valve to give me a small pressure drop and use that to cause water flow in an auxilliary circuit to cause a shuttle in a sleeve to raise against gravity. If the shuttle has a small magnet on the top it could operate a reed switch mounted externally if all the components and non-magnetic.

    I'm not sure if this is the best way, there's a lot of variables involved and I've got a suspicion it could get a bit messy with the tolerances and the tweaking involved to get it to work. Anyway, I did a sketch which is below, if you've got any advice or even any better ideas on a completely different track please let me know.

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