In older pressure tanks found in homes with wells, the incoming water pushes air into the upper third of the tank, where it forms a spring-like cushion. When the air pressure reaches a preset level, a pres sure switch is triggered, shut ting off the pump. As water is drawn from the tank and the pressure diminishes to a pre set level, the switch turns on the pump again.
If a tank, like the one shown, loses too much air pressure, it becomes waterlogged, causing the pump to switch on and off frequently. To solve the problem, shut off power to the pump and use the drain valve to drain the tank. Then, open a faucet to drain any remaining water. With the tank empty, shut off the faucet, close the drain valve and turn the pump back on. Newer versions with diaphragms or floats to separate air and water are less likely to have this problem.
If periodic blasts of violent air come from the faucets, the pressure tank may be air-bound. Troubleshoot the problem by draining the tank and replacing the air-volume control if there is one. If you have an air-bound air-cell pressure tank, which has no air-volume control, call a well contractor, because you probably have a leak somewhere between the well and the house.
Wastewater treatment simulates nature’s purification process, but at a much accelerated pace. Although water released from a treatment facility isn’t pure, it's likely to match or exceed the purity of the body of water where it's released. The treatment has five basic steps, though processes may be combined and vary greatly from plant to plant.
1. In preliminary treatment, the wastewater flows through bar screens to remove trash and debris, then slowly moves through a grit tank, where sand and heavy particles settle and are removed.
2. During primary treatment, water moves into sedimentation tanks, where it’s undisturbed for a few hours. Solids that sink are scraped from the bottom of the tank and removed. Grease and oils that float to the top are removed with large rotating skimmers.
3. Secondary treatment begins when the water enters a chain of aeration tanks, where bacteria feed on incoming waste solids and organic matter forming a heavy sludge. The water then moves on to a clarifying tank where the sludge settles out.
4. In some plants, the final step is disinfection, where harmful bacteria and other microorganisms are killed through chlorination or use of intense ultraviolet lights.
5. Before the treated water, or effluent, is released into the main body of water, it may undergo advanced treatment to remove phosphorus and nitrogen, ingredients that stimulate algae growth and eventually deplete the oxygen levels of lakes and rivers.
Keeping Water Systems Safe
A cross-connection occurs when water that should go into a pool, DWV system or other location gets into the supply system, where it pollutes the drinking water. This happens when a vacuum is created from a heavy draw else where in the house and another part of the water supply, such as the nose of a faucet or a water hose sitting in dirty water, siphons water into the sup ply system. To solve this, replace old faucets that have spouts below the spill line and install anti-siphon valves, or vacuum breakers, on outdoor faucets.
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If you live in the country or suburbs, you've had, are having, or will have water problems.
What's yours? Not enough water? Too much? Tastes terrible? The pump quits? The water's contaminated?
No matter what it's , author Stu Campbell addresses it in this guide, and offers down-to-earth solutions in language understandable to all of us who aren't plumbers.
Campbell had coped with water problems in both the East and the West, from the many-state shortages of the West to a cantankerous pump in Vermont. And he's probed the minds of experts -- dowsers, well diggers, plumbers, electricians, and those who know about the flow of water deep underground.
In a friendly, knowledgeable manner, Campbell discusses your difficulties.
He provides concrete and money-saving answers to questions that range
from locating water to digging a pond to hooking up the plumbing in
your home. You'll know when to try something yourself, when to call
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Bob Vogel's illustrations take much of the mystery out of things as the underground flow of water and how pumps and other water-linked equipment operate.
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Last modified: Friday, 2007-11-02 22:02 PST