What Causes Black Sediments in Well Water

What Causes Black Sediments in Well Water

Majority of people living in the urban areas mostly rely on either municipal water or sunken borehole water. As you move to the semi urban or rural areas, families have either collected rain water and stored it in huge tanks or rely on well water. When you make a comparison between municipal, borehole, rain and well water. Rain and well water will be preferred by most people because it is less contaminated and tasty.

Well water is particularly good for home use because it doesn’t have to go through treatment and purification processes. Its use also comes with a fair share of challenges mainly sediments. Sediments have a negative impact on the feel and taste of the water which can be annoying.

Black sediments in well water is a common happening in private well water used by families for domestic purposes. The black sediments often tend to clog the pipe system and have a great impact on water appliances like washing machines, pressure tanks and water heaters. But, what causes black sediments in well water?


Signs of Sediment issues in Well water

Change in Water Quality

If your tap water flow starts becoming irregular in a way that sometimes its spurting our while on other occasions it has no pressure, this could mean that the well has a significant problem. The water table has different types of gases which when they dissolve in the water it causes it sputter when coming out of the tap.

·         Increase in power bill.

When a pump is blocked by iron bacteria, silt or sand, it consumes more power while trying to pressure the water up the pipes. This decrease in efficiency will result to a higher power bill.

·         Low Water Pressure

When you have iron bacteria clogging the pipes, the pressure switch detects the water pressure incorrectly which results to low or irregular water patterns. A leaking tank and a faulty water pump can also cause low water pressure.

·         Sediments or sand in Well water.

Well water is supposed to be clear and tasty at all times. When you start getting odor, silt and sand in the water, then it may be a sign that the well is running dry. It could also be that the well screen has started to wear allowing sediments in the water.


Main Causes of Black Sediments in Well Water

  • Mineral Traces

Black sediments in well water can be as a result of manganese and iron in the water. When manganese is in high concentration, it can appear as black/ dark blue like sediments in the water.

Often, these black sediments turn water into an unaesthetic dark color, with stale smell and causes stain on plumbing fixtures, dishes and laundry.

  • Granular Activated Carbon

The granular activated carbon particles are also some of the popular black sediments you can find in well water. These are tough and irregularly shaped just like coffee beans. Most water filtration companies utilize the granular activated carbon as filtration agents.

However, due to the short service life of these granular activated carbon particles, they are often chocked by various contaminants and loosen from the cartridge and finally get its way to your home appliances and water glass.

  • The disintegration of Rubber in Well Water

If you are experiencing oily and smudgy junks of particles in your tap water, then it is rubber hose pipe occasioned by the disintegration of rubber as a result of the effects of chlorine and chloramine in your well water.

  • Black Sand in Your Well

Are you using a private well as your main source of water and find that the water you draw has some small blackish pieces of sand or silt? These small particles can cause damage to your home appliances like dishwasher, washing machine and also spoil your well-pump.

Effects of Black Sediments

Certainly, the black sediments in your well water will impact on the quality of water in different ways.  Apart from the awful smell and the dark brown look of your water the black sediments will wear down your home water appliances, spot your kitchen wear, clog the plumbing system and wear your well-pump thereby affecting the rate of following of water in your pipes.

So, what can you do if your well water has black sediments?

How to Clean Sand out of Water Well

When you start getting sediments in your water, it is always advisable to contact your professional water or well expert to identify and fix the problem. Sometimes you may find that the silt has filled up the well and reached where the pipe is place, this means pulling the pump several meters up will solve the problem. Water experts can also check the well screen using a camera to see if it needs repair.

  • Well Casing

If the situation cannot be salvaged by minor repairs, It is advisable to change the well casing as a whole to eliminate the problem in its entirety. If the length or diameter of the well is small then a repair is recommendable, you may be forced to incur the cost of a new water well.

  • Centrifugal Sand Separator.

When a Centrifugal Sand Separator is installed on the ground before the pressure tank, it will remove particles before the water enters the home system. Centrifugal sand separator can remove up to 98% of the sand in well water. The system is durable because it is not mechanical and doesn’t have moving parts. With proper maintenance, it can last for a longtime and will also prevent damage to the pressure tank since it keeps sand from going through it.

  • Spin down filter screens

This sand removal system uses a screen to prevent sand and silt from entering the pump. However it is not as easy to maintain as the centrifugal because it uses micron filters that will need constant replacement.


How to tell if the Well is drying out

·         Water well Recovery is Slow after heavy use.

When your household has been busy for quite some time. You have been doing your weekly laundry and watering your flowers in the backyard you may notice you well is taking longer than usual to recover. This may be an early indication it has started drying up.

·         Water Pump Runs Longer than Usual

Usually the pump is strategically placed deep under the well water so that it builds up pressure with ease and pumps it out. When the water levels are low you may start noticing that the pump will run longer than usual before filling the tank or may build a habit of starting on and off.

·         Neighbors facing problems identical to yours

When you talk to your direct neighbors who also use well water and are reporting a similar problem, maybe it’s time to call in a water professional to check if your source is running out. Ground water fluctuation is common especially after a long use of a well.

·         Water Change taste.

Decrease in well water levels can affect quality of the water as a result of sediments sitting at the bottom of a well. If you detect bad taste and odor in your water it is advisable to ask a water expert to check your home system and also the water levels in your well.

·         Muddy Water

If your water starts to discolor and it was once crystal clear, it may be a sign of a drying well or silt and sediments at the bottom are near the pump.

·         Faucet begin sputtering.

If there is spluttering  in your tap, then it is likely the water levels in the well have gone down and as a result the pump is taking in air into the plumbing system while trying to pump water.


How to fix a Dry Well

Before coming into a conclusion that a well is dry, you have to do a background check to ensure that it’s not the pump or the pressure that is failing. A water well doent run dry permanently. Sometimes it could me as a result of prolonged drought that may result to the water levels running low. In most cases you may find that when it rains, the water table is recharged and the water levels will rise back again.

Lower the Water Pump

If your well is less than 50 feet deep, it means that you still have aquifer carrying water. In most cases when the well is deeper, you will have access to quality and more water supply. It has been proven that the water table sometimes is deeper into the ground which makes a deeper well more sufficient. However, if your well is already 50 feet you only need to drill 10 feet deeper to reach more water.

Replace the Well

The lifespan of a water well averages at least 30 years. If the well dries up when it has reached an equivalent if this age, it would be wise to drill a new one rather than try to revamp the existing one.

Once you make this decision, you should invite a drilling technician to explore an ideal location for the new well. Here you will have an opportunity to make amends about the things you didn’t like about your old well. You may want to place the water tanks strategically or change the plumbing system in your house.

Drilling a new well is less costly than modifying and deepening an old one. The cost implications largely depends on the location, depth and terrain. Once the works on the new well are completed, ensure that the old one is secured to prevent accidents and also protect your water supply.

Hydro fracture the Well

This is a well rehabilitation method that helps clear away the silt and sediments by applying high pressure water. This unlocks the fractures in the aquifer allowing water to flow in your well freely and in plenty. The success rate of this method averages 97% but may fail in some areas where the geological factors do not allow water flow increase. Unless there are other factors forcing you to go for this method, drilling a new well still remains the best option considering the cost is almost the same.

There main types of sediment filters that are most useful for well and spring water

iSpring WSP-50 Sediment Water Filter

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This water filter is a soldier for you home appliances. It protects the installed water filters from the large particles, silt and sediments. It ensures that they do not reach the other home appliances and your plumbing system. WSP is reusable and flushable making it even cheaper to maintain. It is advisable to flush it at least weekly to eliminate the dirt but this is dependent on your daily usage of water.

Product description

Size:50 Micron

The WSP-50 spin down sediment filter is ideal for filtering out course sediment larger than 50 micron. The stainless steel screen makes the flushing and cleaning process very simple, allowing flushing of the contaminants through the bottom of the filter when the cartridge begins to get clogged. This allows the stainless steel filter cartridge to be used over and over again without needing to be replaced. The 1 inch outlet MNPT fitting provides a maximum 20 gpm flow rate, and the WSP-50 also features 3/4 inch NPT threads on the inlet and outlet. The housing is manufactured with FDA approved grade materials.


  • Mesh pore rating: 50 micron
  • Dry weight: 1 lb
  • Dimensions: 3.5″ width x 9″ height
  • Suitable temperature range: 40 – 100 °F
  • Suitable pressure range: 20 – 90 psi


  • The Filter is durable
  • It is easy to install
  • Does the work as described
  • Affordable


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