Ground wells require maintenance just as other household components and one of the most important tasks is disinfecting it. Disinfecting a ground well involves adding chlorine which kills bacteria and microscopic organisms living in the water. Although specific well chlorine products are available at stores, you can also use pool chlorine tablets. Because the tablets may sink to the bottom without completely dissolving, you must use them in combination with liquid chlorine.
Things You'll Need
Pool chlorine tablet
Put on gloves and eye protection to protect yourself from contact with the chlorine.
Enter the outside well house, also sometimes called a pump house, and turn off the power to the pump. Remove the well cap using the directions supplied with the well cap.
Drop the proper number of pool chlorine tablets into the well. For a 10-foot well use 2 tsp. of a chlorine tablet, for a 20-foot well use 1 1/2 tbsp. of a chlorine tablet, for a 40-foot well use 3 tbsp. of a chlorine tablet and for an 80-foot well use 4 1/2 tbsp. of a chlorine tablet.
Pour 5 gal. of water into a large bucket and add the proper amount of liquid bleach. Pour the liquid into the top of the well. For a 10- to 20-foot well use 1/2 cup of liquid bleach, for a 40-foot well use 1 cup of liquid bleach and for an 80-foot well use 2 cups of liquid bleach.
Insert one end of a garden hose into the well and connect the other end of the hose to a water faucet and turn the faucet on. Turn the power back on for the well and allow the water to flow into the well for 30 minutes then turn the hose off and disconnect it.
Go into the house and turn on each water faucet one at a time. Allow the faucet to run until you smell bleach in the water and shut the faucet off. Flush all toilets and run all appliances that use water, such as a washer and dishwasher. Do not place dishes or clothes into the appliances.
Allow the chlorine to sit in the well overnight or for at least 12 hours. Reattach the garden hose to an outdoor water spigot and turn it on to drain the bleach water into your driveway or the drainage ditch. Turn on all faucets inside the home and allow them to run until you no longer smell bleach.
It's a good idea to wear old clothing when chlorinating a well since the chlorine will bleach clothing if it splashes on you.
After disinfecting the well water, call your county health department to have them test the water for any remaining bacteria.
Have plenty of bottled water on hand to drink and cook with since you should not use the chlorinated water during this time.
When disposing of the chlorinated water, do not allow it to touch grass or vegetation as it will kill it.