Bleaching My Dug Well

CampFireJack

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I'm not exactly what to call my well. I've referred to it as both dug and shallow. Either way, it's about 12 feet deep and three feet wide. There are three 4 foot cylinder sections that stack on top of one another. It's a common setup.

The reason I'm writing this post is to determine if I bleached (or shocked) the well correctly. I was never sure how to bleach a well, but I read some articles about it and just went ahead and did it. The bleach smell has finally disappeared from my sink faucets and the chlorine level is reading zero on my pool test kit, so I guess the water is okay to drink. Actually, it's never smelled so good.

This was my process. I first removed the lid from the well cap and poured in about a half gallon of bleach. I used an online calculator to figure out how much water was in the well. It said about 220 gallons. I poured the bleach in and then ran my garden hose into my pool. It needed some water and the additional chlorine didn't hurt. I only ran the hose water until I began smelling the bleach. Once that occurred, I turned that water off.

I then went inside and ran all the faucets, both hot and cold, until I smelled bleach. I turned them off and let everything sit for about 12 hours. I also tested the indoor water with a pool test kit and determined that there was tons of chlorine in the system killing any bacteria that may have been living in the well or in the pipes inside the house. The maximum level for chlorine to be measured by the kit showed yellow and the sink water showed dark orange.

I think I should have turned off the hot water heater, but I didn't. Oh well.

The next day, it was time to flush the bleached water out of the well and the plumbing. I did a few dishwasher loads as well as a few laundry loads (white only). That helped. Then I ran the garden hose into the pool again. I did this for a few hours. I took a shower and did a few other things. By the end of the day, the pool test kit showed a light trace of chlorine. The next day, after running some more water, the chlorine was all but there. Today, it's completely gone. There's a hint of smell still coming from the faucets, but I'm sure that'll disappear soon.

When I first ran the bleach through the system, I made sure to run everything that could run water in the house, including the bathtubs and showers. I think I did a pretty good job. I'm not sure what else I could have done. I did read that when beginning the process, you should run the garden hose back into the well to mix the water up thoroughly. I didn't do that, but it seems to have mixed up sufficiently. I was actually surprised at how fast it happened.

Any thoughts?
 

15Katey

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You did a good job. Any suggestions would just be splitting hairs at this point. You disinfected your system and that's what mattered. As long as you stored fresh water to drink throughout the process, you're fine.

I learned to disinfect my well many years ago. My parents used to own a house in New York state. When they tried to sell it to retire to North Carolina, the buyers had the well water tested. The tests showed that the level of coliform bacteria was too high. They were told to disinfect the well water with bleach. To do so, they opened the top of their deep well and poured two cups of straight bleach down. A week later, the water was tested again and showed the same level of bacteria. In my opinion, the bleach never even made it down to the water. It hit the sides of the well as it was falling down and that was that. The next time, they poured an entire gallon of bleach down the well. That made it to the water and they told me that it completely stunk for about a week. It cleared up the problem though and the next time the water was tested, it passed with flying colors. No more bacteria. I guess a gallon of bleach will do that. It'll kill any bacteria there is.

I used to own a house with a deep well. I would disinfect it once a year. I'd use two cups, but I would mix that bleach with 5 gallons of water and pour it all down the well. Yes, the water would smell slightly for a few days, but it wasn't bad. It really depends on how much bleach you add. The important thing is to run the water inside the house until it starts to smell. Then shut it off and wait until the next day. Then flush it out. Don't just run the water inside because you don't want all that bleach going into your septic system, if you have one. It'll kill the good bacteria that breaks down the waste. Run the water out of a hose as much as you can. Run it into the back yard, but not next to bushes and trees. Try to run it where nothing matters.
 
Bleaching My Dug Well was posted on 10-03-2021 by CampFireJack in the Home Forum forum.

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