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HenryFussy's avatar

White fibers are appearing in my well water. Any idea what they are or what I should do?

Asked by HenryFussy (108points) January 31st, 2014

White fibers are accumulating in the screens on the end of my faucets. The well is 3 years old with no problems. The fibers look almost like fiberglass, but I am told there is nothing like that in my pressure tank. Any ideas on what it is or what I should do?

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21 Answers

rojo's avatar

Do you have a filter system on the water line?
There are some minerals (such as gypsum) that are fiberous but I would Google “Water Testing Services” to find one in your area and give them a call.
lso, please keep us informed

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How old is the entire system? My first thought was asbestos.

orlando's avatar

I would second asbestos. Google it as look at Google Images results. If it is it could be dangerous for your health.

rojo's avatar

Do they look like This?

And here is a site about naturally occurring asbestos.

cheebdragon's avatar

That is kind of scary shit.

Coloma's avatar

Have your well tested. I had a well for years that was drilled from solid granite and even with filters little granite granules would clog my washing machine at times.

HenryFussy's avatar

Everything is approximately 3 years old.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That rules out asbestos from insulation. That’s good.

filmfann's avatar

Could a filter gone bad

HenryFussy's avatar

No filters on the system. All pipe is either the black plumber’s pipe or PVC. The only unknown material is what is in the bladder pressure tank (but I’ve been using that for 3 years with no problem). There is one section of “old” pipe but it was used for 20 years with no problems. I just can’t figure out where this white stuff is coming from.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I think you need to figure out what the,

“one section of ‘old’ pipe but it was used for 20 years with no problems”

is made out of, maybe that is the source.
Consider installing an inline filter.

ibstubro's avatar

You don’t say if you’ve stopped using the well water for consumption. DO NOT USE IT, until you get it tested.

If you have a well, you’re apparently rural, so I would contact the nearest Ag agent. If you’re in the US, there should be one in your county.

Probably the first thing they will ask is ‘Have you contacted the firm that drilled the well?’ That would have been my first stop. They certainly should have water testing equipment and had some responsibility for testing the site before drilling.

Finally, you’re certain it’s a well. I believed my house was on well water for the first 7–8 years I lived here, then learned I was getting my water from a sand point in the farm field across the road. Bleh! When rural water came through, I hooked up.

glacial's avatar

First, get your water tested so that you know what you’re dealing with. We can’t guess what it is.

If you are worried about asbestos, here some information put together by the EPA about asbestos in drinking water.

HenryFussy's avatar

It is a well, I had it drilled. I am getting the water tested. In the meantime we are not drinking it. Thanks

Cyri's avatar

It sounds like a fungus to me… maybe try some sort of anti-fungal stuff.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll be interested to know what it is, please give us an update after testing. It could be some sort of living organism that appears fibrous or a non living substance. I have no idea what is the best guess for what it is, but I am very curious to know what it turnes out to be. I hope it is easily remedied.

HenryFussy's avatar

Here is the answer. The bladder in the pressure tank burst. Since we service two homes from the well and one uses more water than the other all of the debris from the bladder was going to that house. Pressure was maintained by the tank on the 2nd home. The 2nd home occupant was on vacation therefore they were not using any water to speak of other than any which was run when the plants were watered, etc. Pressure tank replaced. Water lines cleared (or almost – still working on it). Problem solved.

snowberry's avatar

You said you were having the water tested. Did you ever hear what the fibers were?

HenryFussy's avatar

Debris from the bladder. The bladder shredded under the constantly running water and passed through the supply pipe.

glacial's avatar

But they didn’t say what the material was? The bladder must be made of something.

ibstubro's avatar

“fibrous material?, @glacial?” lol

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