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Old 07-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


Hello,

The well at the home I recently bought has coliform bacteria in it (it tested negative for E-Coli though, which is good). I'm looking to "shock" the well. I looked up quite a few instructions but I want to make sure I take every precaution. First I know i should shut off the cold water tube going to the hot water heater. Do I need to bypass the water softener as well? Lastly I have another blue tank in the basement that I'm not sure what it is (attached pic). Do I need to do anything with it? What is it? Other than these questions the process seems pretty simple, directions straight from the county.

1.) Shut off hot water tank
2.) Pour 2 gallons of unscented household chlorine bleach down the well.
3.) Fill well with water from the hose until you smell chlorine. Turn off hose.
4.) Run water in every faucet and toilet one by one until you smell chlorine. Make sure to shut off faucets when done.
5.) Pour in one more gallon of chlorine in the well and close it up.
6.) Wait 24 hours
7.) Turn on outside water faucet allowing the chlorine water to flow out in a safe place. Wait until you no longer smell chlorine and test with a chlorine strip.
8.) Turn back on hot water tank.


Everything sound right with that? This is my first time cleaning a well so I want to take every precaution to ensure I give myself the best chance of killing the bacteria.


Thanks in advance!!
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Last edited by Sam Alex; 07-18-2012 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Attached picture of blue tank
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


The blue tank is your pressure tank.
Why not run the chlorine water into the hot water tank as well?

Also if the well hasn't been used for a long time just turn on a tap and run the water for a day or two. Water your lawn a lot first to get some fresh water into the well.

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Old 07-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


3 gallons seems like way to much. When I shocked the well a cup or two was enough. Do it once a month in the summer
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


I wasn't going to run it into the hot water tank because the county's instructions say to turn off the tank to prevent a possible explosion from chlorine gas build-up. Do I need to do anything with the pressure tank?

And to the point of using a lot of chlorine. I need the well to pass a test showing that the coliform is not present so I want to make sure it is really gone. I'll be living in the house so I want to ensure the drinking water is safe to consume (and won't just come right back).
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


If you have a crack in the casing, or have ground water runoff, it will come back. Thats why you have to maintain it at least once a month, particularly if its a dug well.
Less chlorine on a regular basis. Not just once
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Alex View Post
I wasn't going to run it into the hot water tank because the county's instructions say to turn off the tank to prevent a possible explosion from chlorine gas build-up. Do I need to do anything with the pressure tank?

And to the point of using a lot of chlorine. I need the well to pass a test showing that the coliform is not present so I want to make sure it is really gone. I'll be living in the house so I want to ensure the drinking water is safe to consume (and won't just come right back).
then consider a very good water filter system ....well water tables change all the time ...with a good filter you stay safe by changing filters on a regular basis....
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


A good UV system will keep you and family safe
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


Thanks for the advice. Here is my problem. I am in the middle of purchasing the home but it has to pass the well test. I need to ensure I kill all the bacteria to get the loan to go through (The sellers live out of state which is why I am tasked with chlorinating it). I'm even fine dropping 2-3k on a UV system down the road but would prefer to get the well to pass the test now so I can move in. I am thinking of using 2 gallons of bleach instead of 3. When finished if I don't smell chlorine and the chlorine strips test negative should I still wait to test? The site I read says to wait 7-10 days after all chlorine is gone to ensure no traces are left but that seems like a long time. Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:56 PM   #9
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


I think I am confused. You have not purchased this home yet, so far as I understand. Yet you have taken on the responsibility of attempting to kill bacteria in a well that you don't own, so you can purchase the house and eventually install a system that will permanently remove the bacteria. And you are doing this because a failed test will kill the deal, because you will be unable to get a mortgage on a property with a defective well. Are there no other houses in the area for sale that actually have a properly functioning well? It would seem that fooling the bank into believing you have a bacteria free well might not be the best plan.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I think I am confused. You have not purchased this home yet, so far as I understand. Yet you have taken on the responsibility of attempting to kill bacteria in a well that you don't own, so you can purchase the house and eventually install a system that will permanently remove the bacteria. And you are doing this because a failed test will kill the deal, because you will be unable to get a mortgage on a property with a defective well. Are there no other houses in the area for sale that actually have a properly functioning well? It would seem that fooling the bank into believing you have a bacteria free well might not be the best plan.
Certainly not the best plan I've ever heard LOL.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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Precautions when disinfecting the well


people over shock the well for the point of sale all the time. Obviously, the bank just wants to know that should you default on the mortgage, they aren't stuck with a property that isn't sellable due to non-potable water without having to drop more quid into it.

Its usually the seller trying to pull this off though, but since you, the buyer, are in cahoots with the situation and choose to proceed just make sure you are fully aware of what you are buying. Go ahead and overshock your well, but not too much or you may end up corroding parts. Make sure you get that uv installed for the health of your family.

Why not just save yourself a trip and fill your sample bottle right at the health dept/water lab drop off office

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