Rusty water - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
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Rusty water

Okay, so where I keep my horses, we have a water pump. I was pumping water this morning and it was rusty. Like it looked like someone peed in it. This isn't uncommon at the farm- You have to pump it until the water clears. But today, the water WOULDNT clear! I sat out there for like 10 minutes, and the water never cleared. My mom came out and yelled at me saying that "they're animals and they eat grass with dirt in it- when they pull up grass from the ground it has dirt in it. And they drink pond water! Just give them the water!"
So, she thinks it's okay to give my horses water with rust in it? I don't think it's okay to give it to them, but my mom (who doesn't know anything about horses anyway), and my 3rd grade sister (who don't know anything anyways, either), thinks it's okay to give horses rusty water!!!
What do you think???? I need help!
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 10:57 AM
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Are you sure its rust in the water? I would do a water test to be sure.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'm positive it's rust because when we first moved our horses there our boarders told us and instructed us on how to make it okay (running it out til it looks normal)

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 12:06 PM
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I wouldn't. Rust can cause a lot of problems, plus there is quite a bit of lead in it. I'd have a water test done, and if your mom doesn't get it, make her look at some literature about the effects of bad water on animals AND humans. Horses eat dirt because it contains trace amounts of salt in it, which is good for them. Rust isn't good for anyone.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 12:35 PM
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The rust will settle to the bottom of the trough, but my biggest concern is if you use this same well for house water. If you're using it for both the horses and the people, your mother really should be concerned as it can cause health problems.

If the water isn't clearing it could also mean that the well is running dry, which will pull rust and other nasties up from the bottom as the pump tries to keep the water flowing.

There's most likely a whole lot more going on here than just rust in the water. I'd be very concerned that it's not clearing up at all.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 12:50 PM
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I would have the water tested, but rust does not contain lead.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 01:43 PM
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It may just be dirt. When we have alot of rain, our well would get dirt/red clay in it and appear rusty. It didnt have a filter.

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post #8 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 02:49 PM
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We had trouble with rusty water when we first move in to our place. Did a water softer for the first year. Then we had a new well drilled solved our rusty water problem our water is now crystal clear. We aso tested the the new well water to make sure there was nothing harmful too us or our animals. Dont recall what it cost to test it but was well worth the money for our peace of mind.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 03:12 PM
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It's not rust; it's more than likely iron reducing bacteria. That is usually what causes the rust colour. It's not harmful to us or to animals, but discolours items and just looks punky.

I take it the water is coming from a drilled well? If so, you can shock the well to clear it up. Depending how deep the well is, the size of the well and the static level of the water in the well, you dump a certain amount of regular household bleach in the well. Anywhere from 1-4 cups is usual. Run a garden hose back into the well and turn on the water. Turn the water on to a low flow and let it circulate. When you smell the bleach coming from the hose, turn the water off. Let the well sit for 24 hours. Then hook up the hose again and let the water run until the bleach smell is gone.

If it's really bad, you may have to do this a few times. Make sure you have water stored up before you shock the system as you will be without use of the well for a while. Probably a good idea to scrub the water trough with a bleach solution too, to clear out remaining bacteria in there. But you can do that after you have shocked the well and have your regular water supply again.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 03:19 PM
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I was thinking iron sediment as well. What works even better than bleach is food grade hydrogen peroxide, it cleans everything and the flushed out water will make your grass thick & green whereas bleach yellows it.
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