What to do about acid well water

Q. Some years ago a plumber had us use a lye process to reduce the acidity of our well water. It worked but we were later told the lye was too dangerous to use. Thus, we used some powder every two months which also worked but was unwieldy. Then we bought a $400 mechanical filtering system which also worked, but the 80-gallon frequent backwash nearly made our well go dry. Do you know of a better answer to the problem? Charles B. Hanna New Hope, Pa.

A. A well-water-acidity problem can be likened to being caught between a rock and a hard place -- between chemical neutralizer additions and a mechanical filter system with an unaffordable backwash.

the pH measurement of acidity/alkalinity content in water ranges from 1 to 14 , with 7 being ideal water. Below that number is acid, while above is alkaline. Acid water tends to be corrosive.

You have already tried two solutions which weren't completely acceptable, so what to do now?

If it were my well I'd have the water tested by a professional right at the well. Laboratory water testing is acceptable if it is promptly done after taking the sample. Thus, determine the actual pH reading. Use only a competent water-conditioner expert, such as Culligan or equal. Avoid amateurs.

Then follow the professional advice rendered by the conditioning expert based on the water test. Such advice may be to resume a neutralizing feeder or to design and buy a custom filter that won't dry up the well.

Based on flow, volume, and acidity, it may or may not be possible to use or redesign the existing $400 filter due to the limited flow of the well.

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