So you have a well of your own? Good for you. But do you know having your own well requires a lot of work and maintenance? That is the cost you have to pay so you get clean and fresh water whenever you turn on any faucet in your home.
When it comes to keeping well water clean, you will need to chlorinate it. If you do not want to end up drinking or using water ridden with bacteria, you will have to take this seriously. Another reason why chlorination is important is that it rids your water supply of any odors that may pop up from time to time.
If you are new to this and are not sure how to go about cleansing your water supply with chlorine, and how long it will take to get rid of said chlorine from your well water, you will find all the information you need right here.
Prepping for Chlorinating your Well Water
Before you go about chlorinating your well water, it would be wise to take care of the following tasks beforehand:
- Deal with household laundry
- Take a proper bath and shower
- Determine the amount of beach that will be required using the following formula:
- 1 gallon for every 500’ of a drilled well
- 1 gallon for every 18” of standing water from a shallow well
You cannot bathe or take care of laundry with chlorinated water for 24-hours, and in some cases, days even.
When it comes to the bleach itself, make sure you get unscented bleach used in households. It is also a good idea to get a chlorine test kit in advance.
Understanding the Chlorination Process
After opening the well cover, you need to pour the bleach into the well. While doing so, make it a point to cover the walls of the well with chlorine. If your well has a cartridge filter, keep a new one handy because the one there will clog up pretty quickly. Once that is done, connect a garden hose to the storage tank and run it to the top of the well, and then open the spigot.
Let the circulation process continue until you notice chlorine in the hose. When you see the level of chlorine is strong enough, wash the inner walls of the well with the hose. Replace the well cover when you are done.
Note: a shallow well’s circulation will take 30 minutes, whereas, a drilled deeper well can take a couple of hours. When you see chlorinated water flowing through the hose; be careful, as it could cause eye/skin irritation or damage/stain your clothes.
If you have an electric water heater, keep the water running for 10-15 minutes, after which the water faucets in your home to remove the stored un-chlorinated water. Do keep in mind though, all faucets and plumbing should be run at the same time so that chlorinated water replaces un-chlorinated water, after which you can shut them off.
Getting Rid of Chlorine
At least 24-hours after the chlorination process run your garden hose outside but in a safe area. If your well is a low production well, then keep the water running for an hour or two. As long the water keeps flowing, it will not damage your pump.
Monitor the chlorine levels in the water, and after some time, you should see them go down until there isn’t any no more. Freshwater will enter the well, diluting it in the process. Keep discharging until you are certain there is no trace of chlorine.
Remember, removing chlorine from your water supply is going to take time. It is a slow process, so do not be surprised if you have chlorinated water for two or even three days. If need be, repeat the process of opening all the faucets in your home, so that fresh water replaces treated water. If necessary, replace the cartridge in the filter too.
When all is said and done, you can resume your daily household activities involving water. It would be wise to test the water for bacteria though, just to be on the safe side. But do not stop there; indulge in follow-up tests to make sure you do not have any problems later on.
In case there is a loss of pressure after the chlorination treatment, then here is what you need to do:
- The sediment filter could be clogged. So get it checked.
- Faucets or screens could be clogged. Get them checked as well.
If the water pressure is below 20 psi, shut off and leave the hose for about half an hour. If the pressure does not return, you should contact a professional immediately.
All in all, you have everything you need to know about the chlorinating your well. It may seem complicated and will require your undivided attention, but as long as you play your cards right, it is highly unlikely you will have any problems with your water supply.