Can I damage pump equipment by too much bleach?

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Philodog

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I have a big iron bacteria problem. This is what my filter looks like after 30 days:
Occasional shocking does not seem to have much effect so I was thinking of just constantly keeping a 100ppm bleach solution going thru the well until I see a difference. Will this constant chlorine solution harm the well pump or other equipment? Thanks. And any other tips for getting rid of iron bacteria are appreciated.
 

Bannerman

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I suspect much of the iron debris trapped in the filter cartridge, is not necessarily iron reducing bacteria, but maybe ferric iron residue resulting from the prior chlorine shock treatments.

Most iron within well water is in a ferrous state which is fully dissolved in the water and is not visible which is why it is also called 'clear water iron'. Because ferrous iron is fully dissolved, it can't be removed by simple filtration.

Once an oxidizer such as chlorine is added, ferrous iron will begin to convert to a ferric state whereby it will separate out from the water as a visible solid (rust). Ferric iron residue being heavier than water, will typically accumulate in slower moving areas such as the bottom of a well, and any particles entering the plumbing system will collect on filtration media including a simple pleated sediment filter cartridge.

After shocking the well with chlorine, to eliminate chlorine, ferric iron residue and sediment, best to continuously pump out the well at the highest flow rate possible. To do so usually involves pumping the well continuously for an extended period, often requiring the home's supply line to be disconnected directly after the pump, allowing water to flow to a ditch or other suitable catchment location.

When there is a continuous iron issue which was not resolved by shocking, there are numerous treatment options possible depending on specific water conditions, which is usually performed at point-of-entry. If there is also an ongoing bacteria issue, treatment will usually include chlorination after the pump.

Suggest having a sample of your well water tested by a qualified lab to determine it's conditions. A detailed report will assist to determine appropriate treatment options.

National Labs offer a standard well test that is frequently recommended in the Water Softener forum. NTLWATERTEST
 
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Valveman

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All good stuff above. But to answer your question, yes chlorine can damage the pump. Chlorine that is too strong eats things like acid, even though it is the opposite, and can eat copper, brass, stainless steel, and even make plastic brittle. You might also research lowering the ph with something like vinegar before adding chlorine. I find it makes the chlorine work better and I'm therefore able to use less.
 
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Philodog

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I suspect much of the iron debris trapped in the filter cartridge, is not necessarily iron reducing bacteria, but maybe ferric iron residue resulting from the prior chlorine shock treatments.

Most iron within well water is in a ferrous state which is fully dissolved in the water and is not visible which is why it is also called 'clear water iron'. Because ferrous iron is fully dissolved, it can't be removed by simple filtration.

Once an oxidizer such as chlorine is added, ferrous iron will begin to convert to a ferric state whereby it will separate out from the water as a visible solid (rust). Ferric iron residue being heavier than water, will typically accumulate in slower moving areas such as the bottom of a well, and any particles entering the plumbing system will collect on filtration media including a simple pleated sediment filter cartridge.

After shocking the well with chlorine, to eliminate chlorine, ferric iron residue and sediment, best to continuously pump out the well at the highest flow rate possible. To do so usually involves pumping the well continuously for an extended period, often requiring the home's supply line to be disconnected directly after the pump, allowing water to flow to a ditch or other suitable catchment location.

When there is a continuous iron issue which was not resolved by shocking, there are numerous treatment options possible depending on specific water conditions, which is usually performed at point-of-entry. If there is also an ongoing bacteria issue, treatment will usually include chlorination after the pump.

Suggest having a sample of your well water tested by a qualified lab to determine it's conditions. A detailed report will assist to determine appropriate treatment options.

National Labs offer a standard well test that is frequently recommended in the Water Softener forum. NTLWATERTEST
Thanks for the detailed reply. I had the water tested and it showed 5.3 ppm iron. The orange sludge is definitely iron bacteria. When I shock it the residue is much darker, like rust. I have had a filter system put in consisting of an iron filter, ozone and water softener. I am trying to kill off the iron bacteria before reaching the system for fear it will clog it up completely. The pleated filter in the picture definitely helps as the other 5 micron filter in the new system shows very little contamination. But I would like to kill off the bacteria completely so I don't have to clean the first filter constantly. So back to my original question; do you think I high constant chlorine level will damage anything in the well system?
 

Bannerman

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back to my original question; do you think I high constant chlorine level will damage anything in the well system?
See reply #4 by Valveman.

While there may infact be a bacteria issue, the sludge visible on the filter cartridge, appears identical to sludge resulting from ferrous iron that was oxidized.

5.3 ppm iron is significant and an amount that necessitates an appropriately sized dedicated iron reduction system to remedy.
 
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