Domestic water problem...

Hi all,
Last post from me on this subject, though a long one. I'd just like to fully lay out the water problem in my house, and hopefully somebody, whether a plumber or whatever, can have a clue what might be awry. Here goes.
For many years, we have had terrible quality mains water, slimy and containing sediment, which in turn would hasten us to clean the attic tank every few months due to sediment at the bottom. It wasn't until late last year that a breakthrough happened, totally by accident, when we were having our washing machine replaced. I detached the feeder pipe to the old washing machine and drained it at mains pressure for a minute or so before I replaced it with the new feeder hose to the new washing machine. Didn't think anything of it.
Suddenly, the water became much clearer and fresher than before out of the mains tap, noticeably so. Still not really up to standard, but much better to us at least. Within less than a week, it had gone bad again, you know always can tell in our house as the hot water starts to smell musty, and the cold water leaves your hands a little yellow! So I repeated what I had done before, draining out the WM feeder pipe at mains pressure into the sink. Same result, same cycle again.
I then had a leak detector come round, who assured us that he could not detect a leak... more frustration. I then had our local council, who regulate the water come round and flush the nearby hydrant. This they did, and the water became very clear for a couple of weeks before going back to a terrible state again.
On this group, it has been suggested to me that my house could be at a dip in the mains or a 'balance point' where we are in the middle of two seperate directional mains flows, each one bringing its dirt into the house.
I still flush out my system using the washing machine method, at least whenever it is absolutely necessary, and believe me, you know when you have reached that point. What I cannot get my head around is why this would be so effective (at least in the very short term), and why the water gets so bad so quickly. If we don't have a leak, I don't know why this works like this. The water is not supposed to be such a problem in the general area either, the council tell me they never get many complaints.
If anyone could shed any light on these ramblings, by all means, be my guest.
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None wrote:

Do you get the same result if you just run the cold tap in the sink fast for a few mins? Or do you get a much bigger flow rate from the WM hose?
When you flush it like this, what is the quality of the waste water like? i.e. is it as bad as "normal" or worse?

The leak could be some distance from your property... Could even be someone causing back feeding into the mains.

Sounds like you need to keep banging away at the water supplier until they get so fed up they actually do something about it.
--
Cheers,

John.

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Sounds terrible, I hope youre not drinking it. But theres really only one lot to take this up with: your water co. They must be supplying you unfit water. Thats assuming your water is mains.
Council weill tell you youre the only complainant even when theyre being overrun with complaints.
NT
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Have you thought about getting a sample of the water independantly tested ? at the very least a list of the ingredients could provide you with a clue to the source of the contamination.
Pete
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None wrote:

Very interesting. I had to read it twice before I fully understood the nature of what you were saying.
Basically what seems to be happening from your description, is that any sediment in the incoming mains, ends up at your house. High flow rates as from flushing various things, clear it, but it eventually returns.
It sounds to me like there IS a pipe leak..although its odd that it is pulling IN crap - usually its just water loss - in the main. Do your neighbours have this problem? Or is it just you?
Do you get good mains pressure and flow? It might be a problem due to a part buggered pipe incoming to your house alone.
I am not sure, but I think that you can get your water quality tested by the local health people..when I was on pumped borehole water they did this every year. If it is substandard you may have a case against the water company.
There is a possibility that your actual internal plumping is e.g. sucking in stale water from e.g. a hose..you ate supposed to have no-return valves for this sort of thing etc.
Is your cold water all mains pressure as well? I assume this problem is common to all taps etc?
Is your hot water mains pressure or header tank? I know you mentioned a header, but that could have been CH only.
What is your general location with respect to other houses etc..are you perhaps the tail end charlie on the main? or at the bottom of a dip?
Sediment I can understand, but the bad smell bothers me. Mustiness means some sort of aerobic activity generally..that may mean the water is lying open to the air..I don't understand that.
What part of the country are you in?
Sorry to ask more questions than answers, but this seems a very unusual problem to me.
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So what was the result of the water analysis that was a recommended course of action in your previous threads?
There seems little point in reposting the same information in the hope that some one will guess at a different solution
I would call out the water board and or environmental health department of my local council as soon as the water quality became poor. If they did not come up with an solution I would invite the local press to take up the story and contact Ofwat (I do not know if you have an equivalent body)
Tony
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Could be the washing machine hoses. They are notorious for tainting water. So much so that most water companies, when they receive a complaint such as yours tell the consumer to have a non return valve fitted to both hoses where they exit the standard pipework. It will not be due to leakage as the mains are pressured all the time (in theory). Are you sure it is the council who are supplying the water? It seems very odd to me. Most water is supplied by Water Companies. They have a statutary duty to investigate complaints such as yours. They will take samples and Lab Test them to ascertain the problem.
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I live in Dublin, no water companies here, just the ignorant council workers who I have to put up with being annoyed at me whenever I call. In short, it's difficult enough to get them to flush out our hydrant (eg I've been on to them for the last week to do it, every time the guy that works the phones tells me they will do it the next day... still no sign!), and since the problem is extremely acute and I still can't pinpoint what it is, I am brushed off. One thing I have noticed is that at almost exactly midnight every night, the pressure reduces at the kitchen sink by about half... now I seriously doubt this is healthy practice by the regulator, as it is the mains pressure that keeps out the gunk in the first place! I am so frustrated at this point and just want to move, but the property market is awful here. I have no hoses or outside taps installed BTW, so I can rule out any problems that could cause.
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Ok, well, we're a bit further along with the problem now here. All week I have been badgering the county council to come out and flush the hydrant. They kept saying they would come out the next day, blah blah... basically I found out today that they in fact wont do it anymore. They want to send out a chemist instead to ascertain results from the tap. This is a waste of time,as I dont trust anyone who works with my local council and Im sure all they will look for will be pathogens, and they probably wont find anything. Its been three weeks since the last flush, and the water is now very slimy. Its disgusting really. I really wish that having dead ends on mains water supplies was illegal here, like in the US for example. Our water is stagnant and dirty, but it wont be enough for these pricks to just connect some pipes to the line to keep the water moving. At least in Britain, you dont have to deal with this malarky as the water is privatised.
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I've never heard of that. Are you sure?
How could you get back-siphonage through a washing machine hose? How could material accumulated in the hose between washes taint the water in the whole house? How could contamination flow backwards against the water flow to taint the water in the tank? How could the hose degrade sufficiently to cause the tanks to require cleaning out every few months, without actually failing?
It sounds like utter bollox to me. You don't sell hoses by any chance, do you?
It is probably mains contamination or possibly a cross connection to the heating system.
I'd fit filters at the point of entry to the house.
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Yes of course, suggestions of back contamination are indeed bollox. As for fitting filters, they wouldnt filter out the bacterial slime that we are currently experiencing. This slime is present because as I mentioned, the water people need to flush out the nearby dead end hydrant to clear that out. We literally have no chlorine residual at the end of the pipeline to kill this stuff, but they are point blank refusing to do it now... and see me as a nuisance... lol. Pricks, the lot of them. I've been on to the Environmental Protection Agency ffs, and they too seem powerless to convince the council to do anything. It is a very rare problem, and one that is always dismissed. I mean, I have never, ever, ever, experienced any mains water problems in other places Ive lived that would make me have to constantly ring up the local authority to complain about it! It affects absolutely everything in the house:dirt and slime in the drinking water, the hot water smells, the washed laundry has had a foul odor lately, the attic tank builds up with loads of dirt and other gunk etc. What the hell do I have to do to make these people see sense? Its a terrible state of affairs. I'm gonna just sell up unless they do something, its that bad.
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None wrote:

Perhaps if the dead leg on their main pipe had an "accident" and sprung a serious leak, they would have to come and fix it. Would probably be simplest to cap off the leg...
--
Cheers,

John.

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Hehe, might be an idea. The hydrant is under a steel plate. I have no idea what it looks like underneath, and if there is even a possibility that there is just a valve closed off or something such that is causing this. We live in a heavily built up residential area, so surely I can eventually piss these workshy people off enough by persistent complaining to find a solution. I'm done with being timid about it though. This has been going on as long as I can remember, years in fact. Only now have I discovered enough concrete info to back my complaint up with.
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