Disinfecting a well

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curtis cutter
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Location: Curtis, WA

Disinfecting a well

Post by curtis cutter » Mon May 28, 2018 10:45 pm

I would like to disinfect my entire well system. It is rather complex with maybe a thousand feet of 2" PVC line and numerous taps off the line to barns and shops. I have to do the process for a while to really clean the system.

My thoughts were to introduce a small amount of bleach with every well pump cycle. I know I can buy some expensive injection pumps but I really do not want to spend that kind of money so I came up with an idea and I want to run it by folks here:

Since my well casing "breathes" with every cycle of the pump, I thought about attaching a line to the casing vent and adding chlorine that way. If I were to run a hose into an old carburetor float bowl that had bleach in it then it would draw the bleach out of the float bowl with every cycle. The bowl would refill slowly via the bowl intake and shut off by the needle valve as the float was designed to do. I would have a five gallon bleach container and just use gravity to refill the bowl.

No, I have not been sniffing the bleach prior to thinking about this.... :)
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

Harold_V
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Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by Harold_V » Mon May 28, 2018 11:16 pm

Seems to me that putting a gallon of bleach in the well should work. I guess a lot depends on the amount of head it has, though, and how far down it gets pumped when the well is called upon. I pump to a 1,000 gallon tank, so mine runs for a while before turning off. I draw the 50' head down, as my pump puts out slightly more than the well produces. Pump Tec saves the pump from self destruction, assuming it pumps itself dry. So far, it hasn't.

Any reason why you haven't tried just pouring in some clorox?

Chlorine is quite aggressive. It's entirely possible it will destroy the mechanism you proposed, although I'm not speaking from experience.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

curtis cutter
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 11:46 pm
Location: Curtis, WA

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by curtis cutter » Mon May 28, 2018 11:31 pm

It has been some years since I did exactly that Harold. My problem is it only gives it a single dose and I have to be sure it sits in the lines for a certain duration. I also have to be certain it gets into all of the side taps along the way.

My thoughts were to just do it for a week or so and use all of the faucets in the system at multiple times to be sure of contact. Maybe add 3-4 ounces with each draw down. I do not know how far I draw it down during each cycle but the well produces 10 GPM so I regulate it to that amount so as not to over pump it. I do like the Pump Tec protection and have one as well.

If the carburetor lasted for seven day I would be happy.
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

Harold_V
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Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by Harold_V » Mon May 28, 2018 11:40 pm

That all makes sense.
The problem with the chlorine and carburetor idea is that chlorine will likely dissolve the carburetor. I don't know if that's a good idea, or not, as the dissolved metal(s) will be included in your drinking water. I think I'd err on the side of safety and just pour a quart of chlorine in the well every day for a few days, using each of the circuits as you suggested to ensure each got a dose of chlorine, but I certainly could be wrong about all of this!

You'll likely be able to tell (by smell) if each part of the extended circuit gets exposed to the chlorine.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

curtis cutter
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Location: Curtis, WA

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by curtis cutter » Mon May 28, 2018 11:51 pm

I will most likely do that and maybe try for two 1 qt doses er day for a few days. I can just get the test strips for chlorine as my sense of smell gets desensitized quickly to the chlorine. I can just siphon the bleach through the vent hole as I have a garden hose connector on that port and I can use a short hose.

I believe I will go by I-5 wrecking yard and get an old carburetor, wash it in my wife's dishwasher to remove the oil and grease and immerse it in bleach for a week or so and see if my idea has any chance of success in the future though.

Gregg
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

Harold_V
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Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by Harold_V » Mon May 28, 2018 11:59 pm

Sounds like a plan. I'd be interested in hearing the test results on the carburetor.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

John Hasler
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Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by John Hasler » Tue May 29, 2018 3:07 pm

Find a cast iron carburetor.

f350ca
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:10 pm
Location: Calabogie Ontario

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by f350ca » Tue May 29, 2018 5:51 pm

I dump a gallon in every few years let it sit for an hour then pump it out. If you bleed the mix into each line and let it sit you should get everything.

Greg

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steamin10
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Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by steamin10 » Tue May 29, 2018 7:05 pm

I dunno, but the well guys here are an independant lot and well covered by laws for what can be done. (pardon the pun). We have sand well and submerged pumps now, it used to be, 2 inch shallow suction wells. No matter. Where I am there is a high water table and the supply is near endless just ten feet down, but much of it is hard, or iron rich, shick makes for egg smells and that sort of thing.

When i serviced my cousins well i pulled the downtube and hooked up an air lift insdie the case. I let the air run for an hour and it removed all the fines from the case and pumped them through the lift. We inserted the down pipe and blew a lot of air to agitate the fines and float them out of the system.then we added a gallon or plain laundry bleach to the mess and let the house supply run to a drain hose and cycled all the hot water and cold feed lines in the house. The idea was to get all the mucky clay based marl out of the lines, and provide a sterilizing solution at the same time. after an hour or so of muddy water the lines cleared out , and the pool taste and odor faded with the next few days, and we had no trouble since.

Previously, the water would get a slug of rusty or black material that stunk rotten eggs, and this was told to us as normal for the area. BS, the old well guy said, and he described how to kill and clean the well to get rid of the biologicals causing the trouble. Since the well has to breathe, it is always open to the air, and that provides the access. If the water is dirty, and carries any chemical residue from plants or other sources, it can get to be a stinky problem. There are all kinds of snake oil treatments that are designed to pick your wallet first, so buyer beware.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
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curtis cutter
Posts: 400
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 11:46 pm
Location: Curtis, WA

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by curtis cutter » Tue May 29, 2018 10:02 pm

Dave,

Our valley flooded badly in 2007 and there was a tremendous amount of mud that came with the flood leaving about 6" to 1' of mud on the ground when the water went away. Some of the homes went under about 8' of water. Weird things happened.

The water rose very quickly and the ground itself was not saturated. Water with mud went down toilets and drains in homes an played havoc with septic systems as the ground took water from the plumbing to the tanks and drainfields faster then it could leave through the soil naturally. Septic tanks had to be pumped of mud and lines flushed.

Another thing that happened was wells became drains for water and mud. Water and mud went down the casing vents and sometimes poor fitting caps

After one well pump failed, we advised people not to turn their well pump on until it was flushed otherwise it would be pumping mud. We found a solution to the well contamination. After pulling the well pump, we took a 5' piece of 2" iron pipe and attached it to a 2.5" fire hose and then we dropped the fire hose to the bottom of the well and started pumping water in to the well with a tender. We kept lowering in the casing until we got just clear water out. We boiled out feet of debris using this process. One guy said he was able to get back down to the original well depth he had decades ago. We removed, according to him, about 10' of new as well as old mud from his well casing.

I am glad I live on a hill......

Gregg
Gregg
Just let go of it, it will eventually unplug itself.

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NP317
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Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by NP317 » Wed May 30, 2018 9:05 am

"I'm glad I live on a hill..."

I learned from my Grandparents to evaluate the local geology of any place I was considering to live.
Look at potential water runoff, Lahar zones if near volcanos, and natural exposure to sunlight.
Yea, living by a beautiful creek sounds lovely, until...
We've lived on hills all our lives, and never been damaged by "natural" disasters.
~RN

John Hasler
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:05 pm
Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Disinfecting a well

Post by John Hasler » Wed May 30, 2018 10:14 am

> We've lived on hills all our lives, and never been damaged by "natural" disasters.

Tornados.

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