chlorine shock well after sediment filter install?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by alleycat, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. alleycat

    alleycat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Illinois
    Hi all
    We have a drilled well (~500 feet deep). We just had a sediment filter installed in the basement, and a new outside spigot installed. Do these installs subject the system to any contaminants that should have us shocking the well again?
    thanks for any input.
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm not sure what you mean by a sediment filter. I hope it isn't one of those in line 3/4" cartrigde filters.

    If so, you really don't have anything as a filter is concerned.

    bob...
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    My answer to your question is no.

    To learn more about shocking a well, see the link below and beware that shocking can cause serious and expensive to fix problems with the well, the pump, power cable and water quality.

    http://www.designwater.com/PDF_Files/Diesinfection.pdf

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  4. alleycat

    alleycat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Illinois
    thanks for the reply Gary - I will check out that link
    I know shocking has its pros & cons, which is why I hope I never have to do it again, but I learned the hard way that some things might cause contamination - we discovered when we sold our last home that the water had somehow gotten coliform in it. As I understand it, it could have been caused by any number of things - we did find a spider web when we popped open the well cap, my husband and his buddy had recently replaced the well bladder, and the town had done some serious blasting in front of our house while widening/repaving our little road. So it got me wondering whether the recent work we had might open us up to similar problems.
    Anyway, thanks for your reply.
  5. rshackleford

    rshackleford New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    Check out the two posts on this board. "Well Stink" and "Well Controls."
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Here is a link on shock chlorination of private wells. It gives you criteria about when to chlorinate and tells you how much household bleach to add to the well (3 pints per 100 gallons in the well).

    I think they go farther than necessary where they tell you to shock chlorinate the well when you open the "distribution system", which is just your household plumbing.

    I would shock chlorinate the well per the information at the link if I got a positive test result for coliform bacteria. After you shock chlorinate you should test again to see if it has done the job.

    http://www.water-research.net/shockwelldisinfection.htm#SHOCKCHLORINATE

    You could put a little household bleach in the well (about 1/2 cup per 100 gallons of water in the well) if you are concerned about contamination from opening or working on the system.

    If you get a repeat coliform test after chlorination and still want to use the well, then you can chlorinate and filter. Chlorine will kill the coliform bacteria and viruses, and the filter will remove sediment and larger organisms. The following is a "simplified for home use" adaptation of what I install in small systems that use water from lakes and ponds for public water supplies.
    1. Install a chlorinator that will add a small amount of chlorine whenever the pump runs.

    2. Put a filter in the system that will remove organisms that are not easily killed by chlorine. Those include giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium.

    If you want to see what crypto can do, Google "milwaukee cryptosporidium" and look at the first few returns. After you read those, try "cryptosporidium seneca lake".

    If you decide you want a filter take a look at
    http://www.harmsco.com/uploads/pdf/harmsco_polypleat_catalog.pdf

    I use the PP-BB-20-1 which is on page 3 of the link above. A generic "Big Blue" housing can be obtained for less than $50 and the Harmsco brand cartridges list for $69 but are sometimes available for less. One cartridge should last a year of normal household use unless you have a very bad well. If your filter plugs up you should not be concerned about the cost of the cartridges; you should be grateful that you are getting that stuff out of your drinking water.

    A chlorinator and filter will cost less than $500 for parts including a Hach CN-66F chlorine test kit that you should use if you are using chlorine regularly. It's a pretty easy do-it-yourself installation. If you want more specifics, come back with another post or an Email.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2011
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Alleycat,

    You never did tell us what filter you installed.

    bob...
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And if you went back to the house today and tested the water, odds are that Coliform will be present. The problem with that is the family living there won't know it, and were probably not told there was any evidence of the problem to begin with. At least that's how it used to be done here. All so the sale would go through.

    For the last 18 years I've been treating well water that was contaminated by Coliform and e-coli. At one time I was approved by the VA and FHA to do sample collection and testing for many real estate agencies and I sold and installed equipment to re-mediate the contamination with retesting required before closing. I can tell you that spiders, "the well has been sitting" and they were blasting etc. are normally what is used to explain away a contamination by those that really are doing nothing but guessing and spreading gossip. But rarely ever are those things the actual causes. If they were, the follow up testing after chlorination would not show a continuing problem in up to 60% of the wells that were previously found to be contaminated. The usual cause is that the water in the ground at the well or that recovers the well is contaminated. The primary source is the well owner's own on site septic.

    Replacing the pressure tank etc. isn't going to cause Coliform contamination. So what were some of the problems you experienced in shocking your well?

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  9. alleycat

    alleycat New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Illinois
    Well, I had no idea my little post would create any controversy. A few observations about the responses I have received, and this is from someone who has no knowledge or affinity for plumbing/science (that's why I went to law school -- please do not insert lawyer joke here).

    The main thing I have learned from my personal experience and from reading all the great information on these boards is this: if you have a drilled well, get your water tested every year or two.

    Here are some specific responses to your posts, and let me say that I am grateful to have heard from all of you with comments - whether I agree or disagree, I am glad to have your input....

    Speedbump: I do not know what kind of sediment filter it was - your first post threw me off and I am afraid to admit what it was lest you mock me (~:

    rshackelford: thanks for the tip to check out the other posts. Again, I know nothing about this, but I fear chlorine and I don't think I agree with the concept of shocking the well once or twice a year just in case. When we shocked our well, it was quite a project. A full day with no water, then WEEKS of running the well pump out to the backyard to clear the chlorine, and so weeks of drinking bottled water, us and the animals. It was not easy. Again, I think the main thing well owners need to understand is that many things might compromise a well and well water should be tested frequently. If the test shows a problem, figure out how to solve that problem.

    BobNH: thanks for your input - I live in NH too, and so far I have never had a second positive test after shocking the well. If I do, I now am better educated.

    Gary: your first post was helpful, but your second basically accused me of failing to notify the buyers of my home that we had a serious problem with our water. I am sure there are people out there who would do this. With all due respect, I am not one of them. I cannot think of a more important issue than clean drinking water and would never fail to disclose such information. Anyone who would lie about this deserves something nasty coming back at them. The issue was fully disclosed and the buyers knew that they should be vigilant in follow-up testing. We did not try to "explain away the contamination by guessing and spreading gossip." I did a lot of research on the internet, had many conversations with my state department of environmental services, and tried my best to determine what might have caused the contamination. Please understand, I had been drinking that coliform-tainted water, so I was not as disinterested as you might think. Finally, I am sure you are correct that some people have follow-up tests that show further contamination because they have a problem with their septic. We had a reputable septic company come in and test the septic system as well. I'm not sure what else we could have done. As far as your question about what problems we had with shocking our well, see my response above to rshackleford. I don't like bleach, and I don't like having to pour a ton of it into the water that I intend to then run through my fixtures and my septic system, and that I eventually hope to DRINK.

    This is a wonderful website, and I am glad you all are here helping people like me to better understand plumbing.

    Cheers.

    Alleycat
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Alleycat,

    Even though you had a problem, it sounds like the chlorine has cured the bacteria.

    I don't like chlorine either and don't recommend using it unless it is totally necessary. I especially discourage any type of chlorine injection into a system on a daily basis if it can be avoided. Even though I sell do them.

    I don't know what the water well situation is where you live, or where Gary lives, I just know that here in Florida the well water taken from deep sources is extremely safe to drink and bathe in and we have very little problem from bacteria, nitrate or many other things the Health Department would like you to think is a major problem. (But then how would they justify their existence.)

    I have many reasons for saying the above that I won't get into. I just basically want to try to assure you that well water is far safer than river, lake or any other above ground water source in most areas of the U.S. So please don't lose any sleep over owning a water well as opposed to having city water full of chlorine, chloramine, ammonia and fluoride. And the costs are far lower than paying that monthly bill.

    bob...
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Alleycat... I'm sorry you see it that way. That was not my intention.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  12. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Radon in Water

    Deep wells in New Hampshire often have radon. The EPA has not established a standard because congress prohibited them from spending money to establish a standard. I don't have recent information on the status of the standard. There is link to EPA Radon below. The level under consideration is 4000 picoCuries per liter.

    http://www.epa.gov/safewater/radon/qa1.html

    Radon in water contributes to high radon levels in the air in your house. You may have had to get a radon test when you bought your house, or may have to when you sell it. I helped my son put a radon reduction system in his Vermont house.

    The simplest way to get rid of radon in water is with a granular activated carbon filter. However, it becomes radioactive. It won't make you glow in the dark but you should put it in a plastic bag and get it out or your house to a safe disposal such as a landfill or system where it will be incinerated.
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