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Thread: confused about shocking well, or not

  1. #1
    DIY Member ugabulldog's Avatar
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    Default confused about shocking well, or not

    I just bought some acreage and am building a house. The land had belonged to our current neighbor so I know the history. There is a 6" drilled well already on property. It has been capped and we recently had a new pump, pipe, wire installed, with pump at 240'. I had the water tested, basic and bacteria, by county/university and it came back positive for coliform and e-coli. I was told to shock water and re-test. I am new at all this, and did not test my last well after it was first drilled. After researching it seems like shocking can damage, well, parts, and address the symptom, not the cause, bacteria can re-occur... Also, e-coli is pretty common and usually not harmful? (for instance, many say chlorine in city water is bad) Should I even worry about shocking, or just use as is? One other thing I should mention is this land had chicken houses, and bury pits on it many years ago and has also been a pasture for horses, and had chicken manure spread on it.......any help or advice is appreciated as I am confused
    Last edited by ugabulldog; 09-12-2010 at 06:53 AM.

  2. #2
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    When you install a pump all kinds of crap goes in with the pipe. If you hopefully used Poly, it laid in the chicken manure while being set. Its certain to not pass a test.

    I just did a 240 footer, 6" - 1 gallon + of clorox, 6% [ comes in big bottles, 1.2 gallon I think and at more commercial oriented stores] I think basic bleach is 3%.

    You MUST rig up a return line to the well - hopefully the well guy left you a port or plug in the cap. Dump the chlorine and start recirculating water from a hose bib for about an hour down the well. Dont use other taps in that hour. Then run water through all your taps just until you smell chlorine. Shut it all down overnight. run all taps in the AM and flush out the chlorine.

    Other guys here will cry about using store bought bleach, but it works fine. I think in the "stickies" there are more ideas on this. I always get a pass test after such treatment.

    If E-coli continues, you will have to check the well and see if it is sealed correctly. The manure should not make it to the water table.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 09-12-2010 at 10:38 AM.

  3. #3
    AAW jimtum's Avatar
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    Ball valve is correct the store bought bleach will be fine for disinfection, it is usually 5% chlorine and you don't need much to kill bacteria. You really don't need to leave it over night, it only takes about 45 minutes of contact time to disinfect your water lines if nothing is running through them so you can let them sit an hour or so. Also you may want to make sure the collection was done correctly, for instance there can be no wind blowing since as you said Coliform is naturally occuring and in the air and will be in your hose bib or where you collected it from. It too has to be disinfected as well with bleach or use a small torch to kill the bacteria before you collect your sample. In our state the county provides collection bottles for us to use and there are directions as to how to collect and what the process is. Hopefully these people followed the directions for your state. Try ball valves procedure and you will be fine I am sure.

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