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Old 05-06-2022, 11:57 AM   #1
Keel Holler
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Default Water System Advice

Hi all, we’re looking for advice on lake water systems for our island camp.

Currently we have a pump under the house that draws water up from the lake. It’s just about 10 years old, but it has been failing more & more often- went out 4 times last year.

After having trouble getting it going this year, the contractor is now recommending we install a different type of system using a submersible pump further out in the lake that would pump up to the house. He says he’s been switching everyone over to this arrangement; he thinks it is more reliable and the maintenance is easier.

Does anyone have experience with this type of system, or just advice about the whole scenario? We’re fine replacing the system (using buckets gets old fast!), we just want to do it right. The last thing we want is to switch to something just as problematic, except far out and underwater where we personally can’t reach it

Also, the contractor recommends adding a UV light in addition to the filter. He says that eliminates the need for bottled water. Thoughts anyone?
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Old 05-06-2022, 12:48 PM   #2
Bear Guy
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Hi Keel,
Try searching this forum for the word "submersible." There are a few short threads on the arrangement you're asking about. I have no personal history with this setup, but my quick summary of other threads is the benefit of no pump priming, with concern of having to run electricity (to the pump) through a swimming area.
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Old 05-06-2022, 01:17 PM   #3
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At the house I have the Pura uvbb-3 uv filter system but I use a regular pump and a pressure tank. The filter system has a charcoal filter, a sediment filter, and a UV chamber to kill bacteria. The water tests as good enough to drink. I left a Lowe's filter in line ahead of the Pura system because those filters are only about $7. I change them every couple of weeks with the hope that they catch a lot of the dirt before it gets to the Pura system. I have used Gould pumps and usually get over 15 years out of them.

At a commercial property I used a water system with a submerged pump for irrigation and water at the docks. It worked well and with the cam lock connector on the water line it was easy to remove at the end of the season. The pump just hung under one of the docks. Because of the use I didn't have any filters in the system.
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Old 05-06-2022, 02:00 PM   #4
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We have a submersible pump here on Welch. It is about 70' from shore in deep water. There is a T with a drain valve at shore. Open the drain at closeup. In the spring close the drain, switch the power on and watch the pressure come up. The pump is a standard Goulds well pump.

Under the camp we have sediment and carbon filters followed by the UV system. Overall a pretty standard setup.

I can't say that we miss priming the old pump.

Alan
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Old 05-06-2022, 03:14 PM   #5
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I changes to a submersible last fall and am installing a UV system this spring (in fact, just called “my guy” to set it up). Don’t know the UV brand but do know it is all stainless. I was set on a Pura but “my guy” recommended this. Also, when he installed the submersible he put an inline cyclone filter to capture sediment and heavier solids. About 1 X/months I push down on a valve and accumulated solids are ejected out the bottom of the filter. Got real tired of priming the old pump at the house in the spring and hoping it caught, and hauling 5 gallon jugs out to the island is getting to be too much as I get older. Can’t wait for everything to be finished.

I will say that I “discovered” a couple of leaks at valves and a pipe joint once I the increased pressure from the submersible. My pressure tank had a 30/50 switch with the old pump but now has a 40/60 to accommodate the higher pressure from the new pump.


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Old 05-06-2022, 03:58 PM   #6
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We've had a submersible pump for many years--actually, I think we're on the second one. Our water out of the kitchen tap tested just fine with a little bit of bacteria, so we never had any sort of filter system and we've never carried bottled water. One family member wanted filtered water since that's what she was used to at home so she had "Secondwind" out of Bedford NH install a reverse osmosis system in the kitchen, for cooking, brushing teeth and the fridge icemaker. They were great. My wife ands I don't use it, but if we did, I'd install a Point of Entry system to feed showers, bathrooms, everything instead of just the kitchen sink.

Summary, I love the submersible pump. If I had electrical concerns, I'd buy a floating alarm system the detects stray voltage in the area.
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Old 05-08-2022, 07:47 AM   #7
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Can everyone provide a specific submersible pump model that they have had really good success with? We are also looking to create a new island water system and want to do it the right way.
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Old 05-31-2022, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptT820 View Post
Can everyone provide a specific submersible pump model that they have had really good success with? We are also looking to create a new island water system and want to do it the right way.
Probably too late, just remembered to look at my records. We had a Goulds model 5GS05422C installed many years ago, no problems so far.
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Old 05-31-2022, 11:33 AM   #9
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"Going out"? There are many ways a system like this can go out. I'm thinking since you didn't say you are replacing the pump that you are probably losing prime. That is most likely due to a bad foot valve or a leak some where in the intake pipe. Both should be easily fixed, the problem is finding the problem.
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Old 05-31-2022, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keel Holler View Post
Hi all, we’re looking for advice on lake water systems for our island camp.

Currently we have a pump under the house that draws water up from the lake. It’s just about 10 years old, but it has been failing more & more often- went out 4 times last year.

After having trouble getting it going this year, the contractor is now recommending we install a different type of system using a submersible pump further out in the lake that would pump up to the house. He says he’s been switching everyone over to this arrangement; he thinks it is more reliable and the maintenance is easier.

Does anyone have experience with this type of system, or just advice about the whole scenario? We’re fine replacing the system (using buckets gets old fast!), we just want to do it right. The last thing we want is to switch to something just as problematic, except far out and underwater where we personally can’t reach it

Also, the contractor recommends adding a UV light in addition to the filter. He says that eliminates the need for bottled water. Thoughts anyone?
Can you elaborate on the term failure?
It might help some of us understand what you may be experiencing....

As for putting a submersible pump out in the lake, it is something I see a lot of people doing. Personally I do not like the idea, putting electricity out into the lake creates a risk that doesn't need to be there....

I have very little problem with my jet pump system, its roughly about 10 feet above the foot valve in the lake, and as long as all connections are tight priming it isn't a big deal.... This year I have installed cam locks which should make things even easier on me....

As for a UV light, its not a bad option... I keep thinking about installing one, but other projects always seem to come up....
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Life is about how much time you can spend relaxing... I do it on an island that isn't really an island.....
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Old 05-31-2022, 01:09 PM   #11
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We had a submersible pump, a big blue sediment cartridge filter and a Trojan UV at our last island property for years and it worked great. Very clean and certainly drinkable.

In our current place we have pump at the house, drawing from about 4 feet of water, 200' out (we have extremely shallow water where we are). The filtration and UV is a Viqua system, purchased from LaChance in Tilton. Works great.

Our plumber was not a fan of submersible systems.
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Old 06-01-2022, 09:26 AM   #12
Jerry
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Default Island water system

When we bought our camp some 30 years ago it had a UV set up on the water coming from the pump in our boathouse. I found that the problem with UV is that any sediment in the water or dirt on the transparent sleeve surrounding the UV light casts a shadow, with the result that the UV system does not do anything to clean or disinfect the water which is in the shadow. So it is hit and miss, with lots of misses. I was not enthusiastic about hauling gallons of drinking water over to our camp, nor about drinking untreated lake water given the growing bacteria levels in the lake and the discharge of oil and gas (and frankly some sewage) into the lake. So this is what we did. We put two 9" sediment filters on the outbound pipe from our pump, with 20 micron and 5 micron filters in place (these are really inexpensive filters -- $2-$3 a piece --) and they last for around half the season. Then at the sinks, we installed Seagull filters which take everything out that you do not want to drink -- bacteria, viruses, organic chemicals, parasites. These filters are expensive but usually last more than a season. We don't treat water that goes to the washing machine, the toilet, for dishwashing, etc. Only for drinking and toothbrushing. You can find info on those filters at https://generalecology.com/ and they are sold as well on Amazon. I think there are some cheaper versions now on the market, which may be good, but I have not yet tried them. I know that the Seagull filters are really good and work, and have relied on them for years. Good luck.
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