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Thread: In-well chlorination

  1. #1

    Default In-well chlorination

    After reading gobs of postings here about chlorinating well water--I'm wondering why some of you seem to be against in-well chlorination? Does it develop chlorine-resistant bacteria?

    After much testing and research, we are considering in-well pellet chlorination to remove high iron, manganese, IRB. The well is located under the house so, without extensive re-plumbing, we don't have the headroom to install a tall mixing tank (and in fact, no way to get much of anything through the tiny crawlspace doors). We thought in-well was our solution. Maybe not?

  2. #2
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    If you want to destroy everything in that well including the well itself, go ahead.

    I have seen what pellet droppers do to wells after a few short years.

    Had a local water treatment dealer talk a customer of mine into sending O-Zone down to the bottom of a 4" well which I had recently put a 5hp submersible in. Less than a year later, there wasn't enough left of the pump to save.

    Do your cleaning upstairs, not in the well.

    bob...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    If you want to destroy everything in that well including the well itself, go ahead.

    I have seen what pellet droppers do to wells after a few short years.

    Had a local water treatment dealer talk a customer of mine into sending O-Zone down to the bottom of a 4" well which I had recently put a 5hp submersible in. Less than a year later, there wasn't enough left of the pump to save.

    Do your cleaning upstairs, not in the well.

    bob...
    Ah okay, but we have an above-ground jet pump. Would the same damages accrue?

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    Is the casing steel?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    Is the casing steel?
    Probably. The house was built in 1937, so you have to suspect that the well was installed at that time. Whether or not it has a "casing" is not really known--probably not in the way wells are "cased" today. There is a steel pipe which pokes up out of the soil. That is all we know.

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    That is probably the well. If the pipe is steel, the chlorine will eat it like candy.

    bob...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    That is probably the well. If the pipe is steel, the chlorine will eat it like candy.

    bob...
    Okay, let's presume we can find out what kind of metal it is...is there a type of metal which can withstand chlorine?

    And then, aren't you also saying that the chlorine is hard on the innards of the well pump too?

    Oh, and the pH is testing around 6.7, 6.8, so there's that.

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    If the well is steel, it's either galvanized or black iron. Chlorine will eat either. No there is no pipe that chlorine wouldn't eat that was used in the 30's.

    Chlorine is hard on anything, including plastic over time.

    bob...

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Goat, you didn't fill in your location.... You may have a rock bore well and the casing stops at maybe 50' in a 200' well. I have a different experience with pellet droppers than Bob has. I've sold a number of them and have never heard of any problems yet but yes, they can cause problems if a pellet lays on top of a pump or gets stuck between the power cable and the drop pipe (you don't have a cable or submersible pump), and the pellets usually fall to the bottom of the well. You may not have any water in the casing but if you do, it will not contain much chlorine because chlorinated water (or bleach) is heavier (viscosity) than water and will sink in the well. If you have galvanized drop pipe, do not use a pellet dropper or chlorine in galvanized pipe anywhere.

    You have a very small crawl space, so do you have space for equipment in the house? If not, you're stuck with a dropper or the water quality you have now unless you dig a room underground if you are in a freeze area or put the stuff on the ground outside.

    Shocking a well can cause problems and repeated shocking can make bacteria problems worse because the bacteria produce slime that chlorine can not penetrate and the slime forms hard encrustations that chlorine can not penetrate and you're left with cleaning the well with serious acid and caustic or well rehabilitation which is very difficult to find anyone that does it on residential wells. So then next choice is a new well, and there is no guarantee you won't come up with the same water quality or worse.

    So why are you wanting to chlorinate the well?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Goat, you didn't fill in your location...
    Central NC. Our water table is very high (everyone has ponds!). Digging down just a couple feet will often find water. The local well guy I talked to this week said that given the age of the well, it was almost certainly dug, un-cased, and prone to groundwater contamination. He said it was probably, at most, 25 feet deep. I've tested for coliform twice (during our historic drought and later after several weeks of torrential rain) and it was negative. Of course that could change at any time.

    Of course, he suggested that he come over, at a cost of $300, to shock the well every six months. The cost of a new well he ballparked at $6000. I did get him to admit that drilling a new one might not solve our iron problems at all, especially in our area.

    It looks like the pipe that goes into the soil is indeed galvinzed steel.

    Can holding tanks for chlorination systems be set on their sides? If not, looks like some replumbing is needed to put the whole mess in the house.

    Between the iron and iron bacteria and the chance of groundwater contamination, it seems like chlorination covers all the bases.

  11. #11
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If the crawl space was 2-3' deeper and you could get into easier, I've had people in your area dig a hole in the crawl space to bury part of the tanks. You can do the same thing outside the house.

    Anyway, take a look at my inline pellet chlorinator (under Chlorinators on my web site) and special mixing tank that is equivalent to a 120 gal retention tank. It takes up the least space of any type of disinfectant equipment and is the least expensive. After them you need a correctly sized backwashed filter with special carbon to remove any dirt and the chlorine. The size of the filteris dictated by the number of people and bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Andy, you are showing links without understanding that they contain an impostor using a copy of another manufacturer's manual and two different versions than I sell. Maybe you'd still make the same mistake if you knew more about the subject. BTW, my prices are better than those shown.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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