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Q&A with Handy Mac: Water issue

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Cas has a problem with his water

Q: I have a wellpoint and was hoping to use the water for the pool, but I had the water tested at two pool shops and both advised against this as the iron content was very high. Both shops were unable to offer solutions, but one suggested a filter system at a cost of about R14000 without giving details.

Other advice was to install a filtration system for about R40 000, and that I take a water sample to a laboratory in the Strand to have it tested at a cost of R855 before doing anything. I live in Diep River.

All I am trying to achieve is to use the wellpoint water to fill my pool. Can you offer advice or refer me to someone reliable? I am happy to invest in a good system but don’t want to spend huge sums on something that will not work.

A: This is similar to my own problem, and I spent much of my holiday trying to find the cheapest answer. But cheapest isn’t necessarily the best way to go. It depends how much of a gambler you are. Will the weather and rain patterns of old return? What will happen to the cost of water, and what will the final outcome be regarding the use of wellpoint or borehole water?

I’m filling my pool with untreated wellpoint water, and I have a high iron content. The trick appears to be to let the pump run for a bit first as the water seems to clear after time. I recently topped up my neighbour’s pool twice. He had his water tested afterwards, and got a great reading. I keep my chlorine content high and run the filter for a good eight hours. Having a fibreglass-lined pool helps as the brown stains would more likely affect a concrete pool. Our children often swim here and so far nobody has started growing extra limbs.

However, we do need to go up a level as we have a very large top-loading washing machine which uses an awful lot of water and I can only wear my clothes so many times, or turn the duvet over and then inside out. Modern machines use less water but don’t have the same capacity, so you end up doing more washes and use the same amount of water. I need to get my borehole water into the washing machine, without running the pump until the water is clear, and then use buckets.

I had my water properly tested for R1500. I sent it for a quote to have the right system fitted so it could be pumped into the house system. The price was R70000-plus, so that is out.

Last year I popped in to Sam’s Irrigation in Bergvliet and was impressed. I went to see Uncle Sam last week to look at my test results. To ensure the water is clean enough for the pool I probably need to spend R6000 on equipment, and to upgrade for use in the washing machine a further R7000, but this, once installed, means modern technology will see washing machine and toilet cisterns fill themselves as necessary.

The system would also form a good basis for the final step, which would be to get the water treated to a stage where it can be pumped into the house system.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac

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