Why and When Do You Need to Chlorinate Your Well?

chlorinating your well

Reasons for chlorinating

The most common reason for disinfection of a well is to clear up the water system following a positive test for coliform. Regular testing of the well water can help determine if your well is contaminated. When the water sample analysis shows that the water does contain coliform bacteria; chlorination of your water system is necessary to kill the bacteria that may be potentially harmful in a well.

You should also consider chlorinating your well:

  • If it is a newly constructed or reconstructed well
  • After maintenance or repair of your water system
  • The well has had its sanitary well seal removed
  • Following periods of flooding
  • Sudden change in the water color, taste or odor
  • If you have sulfur, chlorination can also be used as a way to reduce odor

Before chlorinating your well

An unsatisfactory coliform test usually indicates that the integrity of the well or distribution system may have been compromised, allowing surface pollutants to contaminate the system. Physical defects in the well, storage tank, pipe leaks or water distribution facilities should be corrected before chlorination and resampling.

You need to know that after you chlorinate, you cannot use the freshly chlorinated water for bathing and laundry for at least 24 hours. This means that you might want to try to catch up on your laundry and other household tasks before the water is treated with chlorine.

After chlorinating your well

You will need to discharge the chlorine 24 hours after your well has been chlorinated. The time that it will take to complete this process will depend on the type of well that you have.

Use a garden hose at an outside faucet and run the water; do not run it into landscaped areas or the septic system. Monitor the chlorine level until you can’t detect any chlorine coming out of the hose. Once the chlorine has been pumped out of the well you are now ready to flush the lines in the residence. Open the water faucets in the house and flush out all the chlorinated water. If you chlorinated for bacteria you should boil the water for cooking and not drink the water until you know the system is free of contamination.

When to retest your water

After normal usage of the water for a minimum of 5 days the well should be retested. If this sample is free of contamination, you should retest your water in six months. This will insure that your water well system has remained free of coliform bacteria.

It is always a good idea to get a professional service to ensure that the chlorination process is carried out safely and effectively. If you think that your water well system might be contaminated, please contact Pacific Pump to determine what types of treatment might be necessary.