Ok, so the bubbler only seemed to work for a little while and then things returned to a very taupe normal.
This time around I purchased a pond pump with a 15′ power cable. I attached a 10′ length of hose to it and tie-wrapped that to the power cable and dropped the whole thing down the well, removing the bubbler at the same time.
The bubbler had never been able to blow bubbles below a couple feet, and by the time Kenny and I removed it, it wasn’t even able to do that. I think the aeration stones had become clogged with iron themselves.
The new pond pump was able to pump water up a couple feet above the surface of the water, even when it was bumping into the rock at the bottom of the well, so I raised it just an inch or two off the bottom of the well and fastened it in place with the water splashing back onto the surface of the water. Let me assure you that standing on my head and leaning into the well and trying to mount and plug in this new pump, all while blackflies are chewing on my exposed skin, was not an easy venture.
Before doing this, the water wasn’t actually very pleasant looking. It was very murky and brown. My hope was that by keeping it circulating and oxygenated, perhaps the iron will precipitate better and be able to be captured by my 5 micron filters.
The pond pump is easier to determine if it is operating. In the early morning and evenings when the world gets quiet, we can hear the water splashing even from within the cabin if we listen carefully – it isn’t a distracting sound, it’s actually quite nice to me.
So far the result has been far to the opposite of expected. The water comes out much more stained than before – I’m hoping that’s just because the accumulated iron is finally being stirred up and flushed out. I’m going to stick it out though, as I have to believe that the circulating water is more palatable than the brackish stuff first revealed when we opened the well head a week or two ago.