Spring water supply

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Spring water supply

Post: #260421 Povester
Mon May 14, 2012 1:50 pm

The house we are renting gets its water from a spring. There is no mains water. There is no filtration system as far as I know. We have been advised by the owners that the water is fine and we have been drinking it without a problem. It tastes very nice.

The spring is located up on a hill behind the house on Forestry Commission land and according to the locals its an illegal installation. I presume that means that it was installed without asking permission. That was back in the 70s I think. I don't know if the FC know it exists to this day.

We live in the middle of a pine forest and the water is slightly acidic because of this. The hot water is leaching copper from the tank which means that when you wash with hot water and soap the water turns bright blue (I am watching my blonde haired boys carefully for signs of a green tinge!).

We are in the process of trying to buy the house so we need to think about all this carefully. Does anyone else have a similar set-up regarding water?

Should we have it tested?
Who would do the testing for us?
Is a filtration system necessary and is it expensive?
Should we speak to the Forestry Commission about the illegal installation on their land - I'm a little concerned that in the future if discovered they might shut it off.

All help very gratefully received.

Cath

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Green Aura
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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260423 Green Aura
Mon May 14, 2012 2:15 pm

Right, I may be wrong on all of this because my involvement with the legislation is many years old, but it might be somewhere to start.

I don't know of any legal requirement to filter water but it may well need treating, with UV or other water treatment methods. I'm guessing that if this spring is unknown to the Water Authorities then it won't have been tested may be illegal, especially as it's a rental property.

The best place to look is on the Drinking Water Inspectorate's website. http://www.dwi.gov.uk - I think.

If you know there's copper in it, to a point where it's discolouring the water, I wouldn't use it internally. Maybe you should use bottled water until it has been checked.
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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260424 Odsox
Mon May 14, 2012 2:41 pm

We have a spring water supply and it is also unfiltered apart from a particle filter to catch the heather flowers and peat particles after heavy rain. Ours is also acidic, although maybe not as acid as yours. I have not noticed any colour changes due to copper but I have had to replace the copper cylinder once and the immersion heater twice through being eaten away, during the 18 years we have been here.

Can't help with the legal aspect though I'm afraid.
Tony

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260427 Povester
Mon May 14, 2012 4:06 pm

Thank you Green aura, that website is very helpful. I've got the details now of the Council Dept who can look into it for us.

Thanks, Odsox for your reply. I'll get some litmus paper and check exactly how acidic the water is.

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260607 Povester
Wed May 16, 2012 4:34 pm

Tested the water today, pH of 6 which, from a quick look on the internet, seems to be acceptable for drinking water. Also took a walk up the hill to the spring itself. It seems that the water comes out of the hillside, collects in a pool and trickles into a big open pipe. I couldn't see a particle filter at all, maybe its further into the system? Its a nice big pipe, lots of space for all-sorts to crawl into and die....

Will try and do further investigations of the system. The source is quite a way from the house and I couldn't work out why as there is loads of water sloshing around a lot closer. But, having thought about it, I guess its designed to use gravity to provide the water pressure.

Anyone else's experiences of spring fed water supplies would be very interesting.

Thanks,

Cath

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260609 delineator
Wed May 16, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi Povester
Sounds just like the 'water' supply at a property we are buying!
The spring at this property is located up on a hill behind the house and its land adjoins Forestry Commission land. The spring water hasnt been tested for about 8 years (it was ok then) so we don't know it's current rating although one positive is the current owners use it every day for drinking and washing etc and both like in fine on it. We plan have it re- tested once we purchase the property. We will let you know how things go please do the same and keep us updated on your 'spring water'
Many thanks

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #260612 Povester
Wed May 16, 2012 6:32 pm

Hi Delineator, thanks for that, very helpful to find people in the same position. I'll keep you posted.

Cath

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #261824 camillitech
Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:58 pm

Hi there,

we're in the same position here, just say nothing or you could end up having to install expensive and unnecessary filtration equipment and be lumbered with an annual examination fee. If your really concerned then build yourself a 'slow sand filter' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_sand_filter

Image

I'm just in the process of constructing one for our supply which does not really need one, as people have been drinking it for generations and myself for 23 years. However we're just about to build a new house and I know they will condemn our beautiful wholemeal organic water :dontknow:



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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #261859 boboff
Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:57 am

Personally I would not mention it to the Forestry People, BUT have a word with your Solicitor about getting an Indemnity Insurance should there ever be an issue. You can normally get the Sellers to pay this in any event.

The above solution looks good and would also give you a good buffer of water, Springs can dry up for a period.
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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #261880 Povester
Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:01 am

The sand filter looks interesting, I think we need to do a little more investigating as to what is in place already. But we have been drinking the water without a problem and, as you say, many people have been doing so for many years.

The indemnity policy is a great idea, we're still in the mortgage process at the moment. Will get our solicitor to have a look. I have been reluctant to get the authorities involved, it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie and we would have a bit of protection from possible future problems with the insurance.

Thanks for that.

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #265636 diggernotdreamer
Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:12 pm

We have a spring well. A concrete collar has been sunk into the ground and it sticks out of the ground and has a very heavy concrete lid on top. We have looked in the well and it has a pipe that is not right on the bottom that is attached to a pump which pumps the water up to the house, about 300 yards or so. Every year we have been here, at certain times the water has gone a bit brown but seems to clear up again. The previous owner before last lives two doors down and she does not remember the water ever doing that in her time. I think we may have iron deposits in our water. Can springs surge and stir up the mud, we are quite puzzled as to what the reason is, we don't think rainwater runoff can get in, it can taste a bit metallic when it goes a bit brown, we are probably going to put a filter on as when we took out the old water tank it was full of yellow silt. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem is, never had spring before, just mains water so a bit stumped by it all

Cheers, Lyn

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #265648 Odsox
Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:21 am

Are you talking about the water being brown in the spring tank or out of the pipe feed indoors ?
The reason I ask is my well supply to the greenhouse and tunnels goes thick sludgy brown at times and it took ages for the penny to drop as to why. The alkathene pipe gets coated on the inside with iron deposits and when it gets a thermal shock from frosty weather it gets released back into the water.
My spring water on the other hand goes brownish when we have heavy persistent rain and is due to peat staining.
Tony

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #265650 diggernotdreamer
Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:32 am

Odsox wrote:Are you talking about the water being brown in the spring tank or out of the pipe feed indoors ?
The reason I ask is my well supply to the greenhouse and tunnels goes thick sludgy brown at times and it took ages for the penny to drop as to why. The alkathene pipe gets coated on the inside with iron deposits and when it gets a thermal shock from frosty weather it gets released back into the water.
My spring water on the other hand goes brownish when we have heavy persistent rain and is due to peat staining.


The water coming in straight from the well up a very long plastic pipe, it comes out with a brownish tinge. It does seem to happen more when we have had these flash floods. The neighbour said that these regular flash floods we have been having over the last few years are a new thing. So are you saying the peat staining could be from where the source of the spring is or picking it up as it goes along? , other times the water is crystal clear,

Best wishes Lyn

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #265655 Odsox
Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:10 pm

diggernotdreamer wrote: So are you saying the peat staining could be from where the source of the spring is or picking it up as it goes along? , other times the water is crystal clear,

Probably, although our set up is a bit different.
We have both spring and borehole supply, the borehole water tastes disgusting (very minerally and sulphurous) and is only used when the spring dries up in extended dry periods ... remember them ?
The spring is up the mountain and is fed to a tank up there from where it comes out of the ground and then gravity fed through about 3/4 mile of pipe. That's the one that gets stained with peat for a week or so after heavy rain. It can also have minute particles of peat in it, which you can see in a glass, but that is easily filtered out.
Tony

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Re: Spring water supply

Post: #265657 diggernotdreamer
Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:15 pm

Well, we hadn't actually thought of peat, but now you say about particles, when I put some in a glass you can see bits dropping down to the bottom and if you put between your finger and thumb they just smear like dirt. Thank you for clearing up the mystery for us. I can just about remember hot dry summers in the 70s but the rust in my brain from Irish weather is affecting my memory bank.

Cheers, Lyn


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