BRIGHT-MINDED HOME – October 2014
By Melissa Coleman
Q+A with Richard Long about his water treatment system
Richard Long was building his dream home on the shores of Lake Sebago when well water tests showed high levels of radon and seven times the allowed levels of uranium. A reverse- osmosis treatment system would have taken up half of the usable leach field, preventing the completion of the house and barn already under construction. Instead of giving up on his plan for a LEED Gold home with solar electricity and geothermal heat, Long called Eric Wilson of the Water Doctors, who devised a unique solution implemented by Goodwin Well and Water as well as Shaw Earthworks.
Q. WHAT TYPE OF WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM DID YOU HAVE INSTALLED? A. We buried an insulated pipe with built-in heat tape in the lake. Water from the lake comes into the house, goes through filtration, ultra-filtration, and chlorination, and then into a 1,000-gallon cistern outside the house. When someone needs water, it’s pumped in from the cistern, filtered again, sent through activated charcoal, and finally gets a UV treatment to kill off anything not already taken care of by filtration and chlorination.
Q. WHAT DID THE SYSTEM REQUIRE TO IMPLEMENT? A. Twenty square feet of floor space for equipment and pump expansion tanks, eight feet of wall space for controller boxes and equipment, plus planting a cistern, pump, and the piping from the lake to the house. We also added an irrigation system using untreated lake water for the landscaping.
Q. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU NEED TO DO TO THE SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN IT? A. Add chlorine and top off the water in the chlorinator tank every week or two, depending on water usage. The water quality is as good as bottled water, and there’s no staining on the fixtures.