Q:

How do you disinfect a well with bleach?

A:

Quick Answer

Disinfect a water well with chlorine bleach by isolating the water system, preparing the bleach solution, adding the solution to the well, circulating the bleach and flushing the water system. Examine the well before starting the project. If the well has a cap or a seal with a threaded plug you can proceed, but if it only has a seal then it is necessary to hire a professional well service company.

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Full Answer

Bypass everything that could be damaged by the bleach, including water softeners and filters, dishwashers, washing machines and water heaters. Disinfect these items separately according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mix the bleach solution in a large, clean five-gallon bucket based on the diameter of the well casing and its depth. Make sure not to exceed 200 parts per million because too strong of a mixture increases the alkalinity and reduces the solution's effectiveness. An accurate table for mixing the solution is available on the Minnesota Department of Health's website, health.state.mn.us.

Turn off the electricity to the well and remove the cap or threaded plug, depending on how your well is constructed. Pour the solution into the well. Attach a new garden hose to an outside spigot and turn the spigot and the well on. Let all of the discolored water run out of the hose and when the water runs clear put the hose into the well to start the recycling process, letting it run for at least two hours. Turn off the pump, remove the hose from the well and replace the cap or plug.

Turn the well on and run just enough water through each faucet until you can smell the bleach. Place the hose where it can discharge the bleach safely and run the well until the bleach is out of the system.

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