Sunday, April 8, 2012

Fluid Dynamics, Viscous Resistance

Water now flows freely from the well. It bubbles and froths and splashes, streaming over in long sheets and ribbons of water that look clean enough to drink, and it has doing this for over two days, with no signing of relenting. Mystery solved.

After blaming everything else--the pump, the pump's o-ring, the pipe, etc.--I finally resolved that the water itself was at fault. And I was right.

Yes, I was right, but only if the stuff that was at the bottom of the well could be called water, because it was as thick as corn syrup and as black as oil. The pump was trying to push clear water into that thick soup and was meeting with sufficient resistance to slow it down.

The well works like this: it's about 6 feet deep; 3 feet above ground and 3 below, which makes it the same depth as the lower pond--and this makes sense, because the pump pulls water from the lower pond and sends it to the bottom of the well. The white pipe in the picture is the water pipe. The black one is the hose from the shop-vac I used to suck out the goop.

There's a rack suspended about 1.5 feet about the bottom, and on the rack is a filter, and on top of the filter are several bags of lava rocks--what seems like tons of lava rocks--and these enable a chemical process to take place, purifying the water.

Cleaning out the well is a back-breaking, nasty job. At least the stuff doesn't smell too bad. And I'm guessing it is good fertilizer, so I've spread it all over the yard.

It's only taken me eight years to figure this out...

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