What a great resource this forum is!

I want to upgrade this system, and prevent "no water" in the near future.

Sorry this is gonna get a bit long I'm afraid, first a little history:

Well is about 45 feet deep, 4" cast iron casing, probably about 35-40 years old. I've been using this well for about 20 years myself.

1 1/4 inch black ABS out of well to a 90* elbow, transition to copper after the elbow, 1 1/4 inch check valve. <-is this check valve needed ? I'm almost certain there is a foot valve installed.

Myers HC pump, ejector mounted to pump for shallow well use. Located about 3 feet away from the well head.

42 gall bladder tank.

This is all installed in a pit next to the house foundation. I haven't checked since moving in about 20 years ago, but at the time, the water level was about 10 feet below the top of the casing.

I've never lost water from the well, even during very dry spells. The only problem I've had over the years is one bad air tank, and one pressure switch replacement. (knock wood).

No disinfection equipment installed. (I only tested quality once, when we moved in...)

OK, the questions:

I believe I have a suction line air leak, as evidenced by spurts of air in the fixtures. Some of the stainless clamps were rusted out, so I replaced them and the problem is MUCH better, but still some minimal spurts. I have been considering pulling the pipe from the well, and installing new foot valve, pipe, etc. to cure this problem.

Here's where it gets me freaked... One look at the well seal all rusted to smithereens makes me not want to even touch it. I'm afraid that the part of the casing that's exposed may also be fragile. Are there options for repairing the top of the casing if I do happen to break it ?

My neighbor with an identical system pulled his pipe last year and couldn't get the new pipe in as far as he pulled it out. The assumption was that there was "crud" in the casing at the bottom and when he pulled the pipe, it settled to the bottom. He was only able to get about 35 feet of pipe back in. Is this assumption correct? Will I have the same problem ? If it is, and I do, are there ways of suctioning the well to clean it out ?

Should I replace the black ABS with rigid PVC ?

What are the options for disinfection ?

The HC pump has been doing a fine job, but has gotten noisier over the past year or two. I'm guessing the bearings are about shot, and it may be time for a replacement. Would the less costly HJ series of pump suit my needs ? (two person household, one bath, washing machine, but no dishwasher)

By the way, the water from this well tests at about 12 ppm Fe ... I do run a softener that _almost_ keeps up with the iron. Is there a better way of removing iron ?

I'm probly gonna have more questions, but I'm sure this is enough for starters! THANKS!