Why Can’T I Disinfect My Well Using The Septic Tank? (Solved)

  • Because the delicate balance of biological elements in your septic tank can be severely upset by paint, cleaning your brushes, rollers and even your hands in the sink is a no-no Why Can’t I Do This? Both latex- and oil-based paints have chemicals in them that won’t break down in your septic tank.

Can you disinfect a well?

Rinse the inside of the well casing with a garden hose or bucket for 5-10 minutes. Open all faucets inside the home and run the water until you notice a strong odor of chlorine (bleach) at each faucet. Turn off all faucets and allow the solution to remain in the well and plumbing for at least 12 hours.

Can I pour bleach down my well?

Mix 2 quarts bleach in 10 gallons of water; pour into well. Connect a garden hose to a nearby faucet and wash down the inside of the well. Open each faucet and let the water run until a strong chlorine odor is detected, then turn it off and go to the next one. Pour it into the well without pumping.

How do I get rid of bacteria in my well water?

Shock chlorination is the process by which home water systems such as wells, springs, and cisterns are disinfected using household liquid bleach (or chlo- rine). Shock chlorination is the most widely recommended means of treating bacterial contamination in home water systems.

What does shocking a well do?

Shock chlorination is used to remove bacterial contaminants from well water, well casings, holding tanks and the whole water supply system. A licensed well driller is trained to shock chlorinate.

How long does it take to disinfect a well?

Run the water to flush the bleach solution out of the well. Monitor the process, it can take 30 minutes to 24 hours or more to flush all of the bleach solution from the well. Use chlorine test papers to verify that the water coming from the outside faucet or yard hydrant is clear of any bleach solution.

How often should you disinfect your well?

Homeowners with private wells should have their well water tested every 3 to 5 years for some contaminants, including bacteria. If these tests turn up positive for bacteria, chlorinating the well may be a way to resolve the problem.

Can I pour hydrogen peroxide in my well?

Hydrogen peroxide well water treatment for bacteria may not be as popular as other options for the treatment of bacteria-infested well water, but it is just as effective as, say, chlorination or shock treatment and, according to experts, is in fact safer.

How much does it cost to disinfect a well?

To disinfect your well and eliminate the bacteria, you should chlorinate the well. You can hire a company that services wells to do the chlorinating. The cost ranges from $80 – $200.

How often should you chlorinate your well?

Dishwashers and laundry machines should be run once as well. If running a faucet does not produce a chlorine smell, pour an additional 3 to 4 pints of chlorine into the well and try again. Once you have run all your home’s taps, turn the pump circuit breaker off, and leave everything as it is for 24 hours.

What are the symptoms of contaminated well water?

Health Risks Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, and even death sometimes. Infants, children, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick or die from disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water.

How long should you wait to drink water after you chlorinate a well?

Step 6 WAIT at least 12 hours before turning faucets back on. Do not drink, cook, bathe, or wash with water from your faucets during this time because it has high amounts of chlorine in it.

How long should you wait to use water after you chlorinate a well?

Once the chlorinated water has reached all the appliances, fixtures and faucets, let the chlorinated water stand in the well and plumbing system for 8 hours. WHILE THE CHLORINE IS IN THE SYSTEM DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. CONTACT WITH THE WATER MAY CAUSE SKIN, EYE AND NOSE IRRITATION.

Why does my well water turn brown when I add bleach?

The brown is the iron in the water that has oxidized as a result of the chlorination. Normally, the iron in water is in ion form and does not display itself until it combines with oxygen and forms common rust which turns the water reddish-brown.

Can I put a chlorine tablet in my well?

the well has been flooded or exposed to bacterial contamination in another manner, such as a crack in the well cap. Chlorine granules, tablets and liquid chlorine in the form of household bleach can all be used to disinfect your well.

How much bleach should I put in my well?

4) Work out how much bleach will be needed: For every 50 gallons of water in the well use one quart of laundry bleach – (4 quarts in a gallon). Do not use excessive amounts of bleach – more is not more effective. 5) For best results the bleach should be combined with water before adding it to the well.

Shock Chlorination of Wells – Should I shock my well?

Our work has a positive impact on the lives of Texans as well as the state’s economy. View Economic Impacts» for further information. By Mark L. McFarland, Associate Professor and Extension Soil Fertility Specialist at the University of California, Davis Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist For Water Resources for the Texas A&M University System, Monty C. Dozier Professor Craig Runyan of the Extension Plant Sciences Department at New Mexico State University is a program coordinator. Shock chlorination is a method of cleaning a water well that is used in agriculture.

Contamination can occur during the installation of the well, during the maintenance of the pump or the piping, or when rainwater enters the well via the opening.

Continuous chlorination (or the use of another continuous disinfection technology) will be required in that circumstance in order to ensure the safety of the water supply.

During the disinfection process, the water from the system is not fit for consumption, and neither people nor animals should be exposed to it for an extended period of time.

As a precaution, if there is an automated watering system for animals or irrigation, a secondary water supply should be provided throughout the treatment time.

Water filters, such as carbon filters, should be temporarily detached or bypassed during shock chlorination to avoid contamination of drinking water.

Activated carbon filters left in place during the chlorination process will actually remove the chlorine until they get overloaded.

Chlorine Sources

Chelating agents such as chlorine are very harmful to bacteria at concentrations of 200 milligrams per liter or higher. Adding a chlorine solution to the water supply until the water has reached a concentration of 200 milligrams per liter and then circulating the water to disinfect all elements of the water system is called shock chlorination. In addition to the liquid form, chlorine is also available in powder form. Dry chlorine and liquid home bleach are the two most often used disinfectants for wells, respectively.

When used appropriately, they are just as effective at disinfecting wells as they are at cleaning them. You should avoid using bleach that has a “fresh aroma,” a lemon fragrance, or any other additions since it may include chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals when consumed.

Chlorination Procedure

The quantity of chlorine that is required is decided by the amount of water that is currently present in the well. To find out the depth of your water well and the amount of static water in your well, contact the business that built it. The depth of standing water in the well will be equal to the depth of the well minus the static water level. The standing water depth of a water well that is 110 feet deep and has a static water level of 90 feet would be 20 feet (110 feet – 90 feet = 20 feet) in this example.

Use a volume of bleach equal to two times the depth value for the suitable casing diameter if the standing water depth of the water in the well is not known.

More bleach than suggested is not required and will result in further flushing before the water can be used.

Powdered and tablet forms of high-test hypochlorite are both available.

  1. The first step is to drain the system of as much water as possible. If the system has a pressure tank that incorporates a bladder, the rubber air-water separator in the tank may be destroyed by the chlorine solution. Check your manufacturer’s guide to see if the pressure tank should be bypassed. If the pressure tank has no bladder, remove the air to allow the tank to be filled with chlorinated water. Also drain all hot water heaters to allow chlorinated water to circulate through the hot water system
  2. Remove the plug or screen on the well cap so you have access to the interior well casing. Dilute the liquid bleach by pouring the required amount of bleach (see Table 1) in a 5- gallon bucket and filling the bucket with clean water. If you are using dry chlorine, pour the required amount (based on Table 2) in a 5-gallon bucket and fill the bucket with clean water to dissolve the bleach. Place a funnel in the well’s access hole and pour the solution around the sides of the well casing
  3. Connect a garden hose to a nearby faucet and run the hose to the funnel in the well’s access hole to wash down the inside of the well. Continue the washing process for 10 minutes and make sure a strong chlorine smell can be detected. Start and stop the well pump several times to mix the chlorine thoroughly with the well water
  4. s Do not operate the water system for 2 hours
  5. s After 2 hours, open the faucet closest to your well, allow water to run until a strong odor of chlorine is detected, then close the faucet. Proceed to the next faucet and repeat. Continue until chlorine is detected in all faucets. If the odor is not detected, check the rate of chlorine from Table 1 or Table 2 and add more chlorine to the well, repeating steps one through four
  6. Do not operate the water system for at least 12 hours, preferably 24 hours
  7. Next, flush the system of remaining chlorine. Begin by turning on outside faucets and letting the water run until the chlorine smell dissipates. Let the water run on the ground to reduce the load on your septic system. High loads of chlorine in the septic tank can kill beneficial bacteria and make it necessary to re-inoculate the septic system. But do not let the chlorinated water run onto lawns, gardens or other plants because chlorine can injure them. Place the garden hose so that it drains into a field or low-lying area away from desirable plants. Be careful not to discharge the chlorinated water directly into ponds, lakes, rivers or streams
  8. Finally, turn on the indoor faucets until the system is completely flushed
  9. After chlorination, have the well water tested again for bacterial contamination
  10. If bacteria are still detected in the well water, repeat the chlorination process and then test the water again
  11. If bacterial contamination is detected a third time, check for potential sources of reinfection such as
  • A poorly built wellhead, or the presence of animal enclosures or septic tanks in close proximity to the wellhead

It may be essential to build a continuous chlorination system or another type of continuous disinfection system in order to meet the requirements. The Tex-A-Syst rural water well assessment publications (B-6023 through B-6032), which are available through Texas Cooperative Extension, include more information on wellhead protection and are available for purchase. Download a printer-friendly version of this publication by clicking on the following link: Wells are subjected to a shock chlorination procedure.

Make contact with the appropriate county office.

Well Disinfection – Minnesota Department of Health

Disinfection of your water system, which covers both the well with a submersible pump and the accompanying water distribution system, is explained in detail in this handout. A single family house or a commercial establishment such as a resort or campground can benefit from these guidelines. When it comes to drinking water, disinfection can help to eradicate or minimize hazardous bacteria, viruses, and other germs that may be present. You may disinfect your well yourself by following these guidelines, or you can hire a professional well contractor to do it for you.

Safety Concerns

Make sure you take these steps to protect your own safety, as well as the safety of your family, pets, and animals.

  • Before beginning to disinfect your water system, make sure you have read this whole pamphlet. While sanitizing the well area, keep children and animals away from it at all times. No one should drink water from the public water supply until the disinfection processes have been completed.
See also:  Septic Tank Aerator When To Run? (Solved)


When working with electricity or water, proceed with utmost caution.

Water and electricity may be lethal when used together.


  • When working with electricity or water, proceed with utmost caution! Water and electricity may be lethal when they are used in conjunction.


  • Disinfection has the potential to release hazardous gases. An adequate supply of fresh air must be provided around the well. When harmful gases build up in well pits, they can lead to a shortage of oxygen in the environment.

Procedure for Water System Disinfection

The process of disinfection can release potentially hazardous gases into the environment. Ventilation is essential in the region surrounding the well, as well. Well pits can become suffocating due to the accumulation of harmful gases.

  • Disinfection can release potentially hazardous gases. Well-ventilated space must be provided around the well. In well pits, harmful gases can build up and cause a shortage of oxygen.
STEP 1 – Isolate critical areas
Turn or push the bypass valves to the “bypass” or “out ofservice” position for all water treatment devices (water softeners, reverseosmosis systems, etc.) and appliances that cannot tolerate bleach. These mayharbor organisms and need to be disinfected separately. Follow manufacturer’sinstructions for disinfection procedures.Remove all filters from devicesand appliances. Bait tanks and livestock watering troughs may require specialattention.
STEP 2 – Electrical safety
Turn OFF the electrical power to the pump. If the circuitbreaker box has a lockout hasp, use it to prevent the breaker from beingaccidentally turned ON.
STEP 3 – Open the well
Open the well by:
  • Steps 6 and 7 can be completed by either removingthe well cover and transferring the wires with connector caps to the outside of the casing to avoid getting them wet during the process (as shown in Figure 1), or by removing the vent (see Figure 2-top arrow). Do not remove the compression bolts from the compression fit well seal (as shown by the arrow at the bottom of Figure 2).
Note:If the well is different fromthose described, contact Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or an MDHlicensed well contractor. You will find MDH contact information on the lastpage of this document.
Figure 1Figure 2
STEP 4 – Inspection
Inspectall well components by examining:
  • Wireinsulation for wire nuts that have cracked, peeled, or are missing
  • Cases for wells used for cracking
  • Loosewell caps
It is important thatany plumbing or well defects are fixed so that surface water or othercontaminants cannot enter the well.
STEP 5 – Mixing a bleach solution
Water chemistry and water system sizes vary.These differences will determine the amount of bleach solution that will beneeded to properly disinfect your water system. You want between 50-200 partsper million (ppm) of bleach in the recirculating water (Step 7) fordisinfecting your water system. Do not mix bleach solution that is greater than200 ppm. A bleach solution with greater than 200 ppm of bleach will reduce thedisinfection effectiveness.It is recommended to start with:
  1. After pouring water from the water system into a clean5-gallon bucket until the pail is approximately three-quarters full, proceed as follows: In a separate container, measure out the amount of bleach required.
Amountof waterin well (feet) Well Casing Diameter (inches)
2 4 6
10 2 cups 2 cups 2 cups
50 2 cups 2 cups 3 cups
100 2 cups 3 cups 4 cups
300 3 cups 4 cups 10 cups

The quantity of water contained within a well is equal to the overall depth of the well minus the static waterlevel within the well. If you are unsure about the amount of water in your well, visit the Minnesota WellIndex or call the Minnesota Department of Health. The overall depth of the well should be used if it is not possible to identify the exact amount of water present in the well. The bleach solution in this table is effective for sanitizing a well as well as the water system in an ordinary home, including waterpipes, water tanks, and a water heater, among other things.

If any of the following apply, you may need to increase the amount of bleach solution:

  • There are further structures in the water system. You’re disinfecting because your well was flooded, has nuisance germs, or is a dug well
  • Or, you’re disinfecting because your well has huge quantities of pipelines or storage
  1. When pouring the bleach solution into the well, use a funnel to ensure even distribution. It is important not to get any bleach solution on the wellcap components or wiring. Corrosion will result as a result.
  1. Turn the circuit breaker for the pump to the “ON” position. Caution is advised since the wires in the well casing are “live and hot.” A garden hose should be connected to the most convenient threaded hose connector. Extend the hose for approximately 10 minutes in an area away from the well, septic system, landscaping, and bodies of water, and then turn it off. It is possible that the water is discolored. Make sure to keep an eye on everything and keep running the water until the water is clean. If the flow rate begins to decline dramatically, turn off the electricity to the pump and contact a professional well contractor. Turn off the water supply
  2. Pour water into the well using the funnel. Incorporate the garden hose into the funnel and turn on the water supply. Water should be recirculated. Keep the water circulating for approximately 30 minutes after the first whiff of bleach emanating from the garden hose. To evaluate if the water coming from the hose contains at least 50 parts per million (ppm) of bleach, use chlorine test sheets as a visual indicator. If the concentration is less than 50 parts per million (ppm), proceed to STEP 5 and add additional bleach solution, then repeat STEPS 6 and 7. Turn off the circuit breaker for the pump. Using bottled water from a commercial source, rinse the components of the well. Rinsing removes the bleach solution, which helps to prevent rusting. Replace the wires and the well cap
  3. Turn on the circuit breaker that controls the pump.
  • Faucets for both cold and hot water
  • Toilets, shower, and bath fittings
  • Faucets or fire hydrants located outside
  1. Choose your first faucet or light fixture. If there is an aerator on the faucet, remove it. Consequently, they will not become blocked as a result of loosened scale. Run the water until the chlorine test sheets indicate a minimum of 50 parts per million (ppm). If the concentration is less than 50 parts per million (ppm), go to STEP 5 and add additional bleachsolution, then repeat STEPS 6, 7, and 8. Turn off the faucet and repeat the process for all of the other faucets and fixtures. Turn off the circuit breaker that is connected to the pump. Components should be thoroughly rinsed using commercially bottled water. Rinsing removes the bleach solution, which helps to prevent rusting. Repair or replace well components, such as vents, wiring, and the well top. Turn the circuit breaker for the pump to the “on” position.
  1. Turn off the circuit breaker that is connected to the pump. Put up posters or turn off faucets and fixtures to discourage people from using the water. Set aside at least two hours, ideally six hours, or overnight to allow the bleach solution to fully dissolve.
  1. Turn the circuit breaker for the pump to the “on” position. Connect a garden hose to an outdoor faucet or a water hydrant to complete the installation. Because bleach solution will affect your septic system, landscaping, and any bodies of water, you should avoid putting the end of the hose in or near these areas. To flush the bleach solution out of the well, turn on the water faucet. Keep an eye on the procedure
  2. It might take anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours or more to completely drain the bleachsolution from the well. Make use of chlorine test sheets to ensure that the water flowing from the outside faucet or yard hydrant is free of any bleach solution. Water heaters should be flushed to remove chlorinated water. Turn on all interior and exterior water taps and fixtures at the same time to flush out the bleach solution that has accumulated throughout the water system. Verify that there is no bleach solution present by using a chlorine test paper that reads zero parts per million of chlorine.
STEP 11 – Disinfecting water treatment systems and appliances
To disinfect water treatment systems and appliances, followthe manufacturer’s instructions for each water treatment device or appliance.If disinfection information is unavailable, contact your water treatment orappliance service provider. Bleach solutions may damage or improperly disinfectfilters that are a part of a water treatment system or appliance.
STEP 12 – Reconnect appliances, water softeners, and other treatment devices
Return bypass valves to ON position after following themanufacturer’s directions for disinfecting appliances and water treatment devices.
STEP 13 – Test the water
After the bleach solution is removed from the water system,it is recommended that you take a water sample to make sure that the well watertests negative for total coliform before you use it for drinking or cooking. MDH recommends using an accredited laboratory to test your water. Contact anaccredited laboratoryto get sample containers and instructions, or ask your county environmental or public health services if they provide well water testing services.Replace filters on all devices and appliances when MDH or anMDH certified laboratory confirms your water system is total coliform free.


It is possible for total coliform to re-grow in the water system. As a result, it is critical to check your water between two and four weeks after disinfection has occurred. If complete coliform is identified, the disinfection procedure should be repeated. If total coliform has been developing in a water system for an extended length of time, it is not uncommon to disinfect the system numerous times in order to completely eradicate it. If disinfection measures are ineffective, it is possible that the well may need to be cleaned in addition to treated.

See the “WellOwner’s Handbook (PDF)” for further information about your well and water system.

Contact Information

For further details, please see: Getting in Touch with the Well Management Section. Questions? Click here to go to the top of the page. Contact the MDH Well Management Section at 651-201-4600 or [email protected] or by email at [email protected] Department of Health and Human Services of Minnesota

Disinfecting Your Well Water: Shock Chlorination

Uttam Saha, Leticia Sonon, Pamela Turner, and David Kissel collaborated on the revision. Jorge H. Atiles and Paul F. Vendrell wrote the original draft for this piece.

  • What is Shock Chlorination
  • When should Shock Chlorination be used
  • And is Shock Chlorination always effective are all questions that need to be answered. Temporary Arsenic Release after Shock Chlorination When it comes to shock chlorination, what precautions should be taken are: Once the water has been treated with shock chlorination, when will it be drinkable again? It is important to know what type of chlorine bleach should be used. What amount of chlorine should I use
  • The Shock Chlorination Process is a method of disinfection.

Shock chlorination is a basic procedure for cleaning your water system. The following are recommendations for utilizing this therapy in a safe and effective manner.

What is Shock Chlorination?

Water systems such as wells, springs, and cisterns are disinfected by shock chlorination, which is accomplished by utilizing household liquid bleach to disinfect the water (or chlorine). Treatment of bacterial contamination in residential water systems using shock chlorination is the most generally recommended method of disinfection today.

When Should Shock Chlorination Be Used?

It is advised to use shock chlorination:

  • When a new well is completed or an unused well is returned to service
  • When annual water test results indicate the presence of bacteria
  • Whenever a well system is opened for any installation, repair, or maintenance
  • Whenever the well is surrounded by flood waters (standing water around or covering the well casing)
  • Whenever well water becomes muddy or cloudy after a rain
  • Whenever the well has iron bacteria or sulfur-reducing bacteria symptoms such as slime (biofilm) or odor
  • Whenever the well is surrounded by flood waters (standing

Is Shock Chlorination Always Effective?

In the event that a source of bacterial contamination survives after shock chlorination, bacterial contamination may return. For example,

  • A local septic system that is not operating properly
  • A channel for surface water to enter a well, such as:
  • The inappropriate placement of a well
  • The lack of a well cap
  • Or the wrong placement or looseness of a well cap when there is insufficient grouting or other flaws during the well building a well casing that has fractured

Using shock chlorination to address reoccurring bacteria issues is not advised in most cases.

A licensed well driller/contractor should be enlisted to locate and eradicate the source(s) of the pollution. The installation of a continuous disinfecting treatment system is still another alternative.

Shock Chlorination and Temporary Arsenic Release

Aquifer sediments with high amounts of arsenic may temporarily raise the arsenic levels in water, despite the fact that shock chlorination will disinfect the wells (WDNR, 2008). It has been shown that arsenic occurs naturally in some bedrock and aquifer sediments in the southern coastal plain (SCP) area of Georgia, and it has also been discovered in drinking water from several private wells in the region. As a result of groundwater pumping, the water table is reduced, allowing oxygen to reach sediments in the groundwater below the water table.

In a similar vein, because chlorine is an extremely powerful oxidant, it has the potential to breakdown arsenic from sediments and release it into groundwater.

  1. Neither an acidic nor an alkaline bleach solution should be used. The ideal solution has a pH of 6-7. Avoid leaving chlorine solutions in well casings for longer periods of time than recommended (12-24 hours). To ensure that there are no residual chlorine levels in well casings, holding tanks, and pipelines, complete flushing should be performed. After shock chlorination, well water used for drinking should be tested for arsenic to ensure that the arsenic content is below a safe limit (less than 10 parts per billion).

What Precautions Should Be Taken Prior to Shock Chlorination?

It is necessary to utilize shock chlorination to eliminate bacterial pollutants from well water, well casings, holding tanks, and the whole water distribution system. A well driller who holds a valid license has received shock chlorinate training. Make careful to follow these safety precautions if you want to shock chlorinate your own well:

  • The use of concentrated chlorine solutions for shock chlorination can be hazardous to the environment. In order to protect oneself from the volatile and corrosive properties of the concentrated chlorine solution, one should dress in protective clothes such as goggles, an apron, rubber gloves, and boots. In a well-ventilated location, combine and add the chlorine solution. After shock chlorination, the chlorine levels in the water are quite high. Make arrangements for a different supply of drinking water if necessary. Make sure that children and elderly individuals do not drink tap water while the water is being treated
  • Chlorine should have enough contact time with the germs to destroy them. Take precautions to ensure that no one in your household uses the water for any reason throughout the 12 to 24 hour treatment period
  • Keeping the water pump from delivering an electric shock. Prior to removing the well cap or cover, be sure that the pump circuit breaker has been turned off. To complete Step 3 of this shock chlorination procedure, you will need to reconnect the electricity, but make sure to turn the pump circuit breaker off again before reinstalling the well cap or cover (Step 6). Wearing water-resistant rubber boots is recommended for protecting the components of water supply and treatment systems. Shock chlorinating a water supply system has the potential to cause damage to components such as pressure tanks, certain filters and filter media, and various treatment devices, among other components. Before you begin, make sure that all carbon filters and reverse osmosis devices that are connected to your household water pipes have been disconnected. The high concentration of chlorine in the solution can harm these filters. Some water softeners, iron filters, and sand filters, on the other hand, may not be affected. Before shocking chlorinating your water supply system, consult with component makers to learn how to bypass or safeguard this equipment, if required.

When Will the Water Be Drinkable Again after Shock Chlorination?

Retesting for total coliform and E. coli bacteria should be done one to two weeks after the shock chlorination of the water supply system has been completed. Follow the instructions for sample collection to the letter. If the results of the test demonstrate that there are no coliform bacteria present, the water is safe to drink. When coliform bacteria are detected, the source(s) of contamination should be located and eradicated by a licensed well driller/contractor, or a continuous disinfection treatment system should be established to ensure that the bacteria are not present in the water supply.

What Kind of Chlorine Bleach Should Be Used?

Retesting for total coliform and E. coli bacteria should be done one to two weeks following the shock chlorination of the water supply system. Instructions for collecting samples should be followed to a T. Water is safe to drink if the results of the test demonstrate that there are no coliform bacteria. If, on the other hand, the results of the tests reveal the presence of coliform bacteria, the source(s) of contamination should be located and eradicated by a licensed well driller/contractor, or a continuous disinfection treatment system constructed.

How Much Chlorine Do I Use?

Adding 3 quarts of common laundry bleach to every 100 gallons of water in the well is recommended when using this product. In order to assess how much standing water is in your well, follow the methods outlined below:

  1. Calculate the depth of water in your well, which is the distance between the bottom of the well and the water level at the surface of the water. Measure the distance between the ground level and the water level in order to obtain this information (distance “b” in the diagram). To get the entire depth of the water, subtract the well depth “a” from the total depth of the water: a – b = c. If you are unsure about the depth of your well, but you are familiar with the well drilling business that built it, you should call that company. Well drillers frequently maintain detailed records of all of the wells they drill. If you are unable to locate any records pertaining to your well, you should call a qualified well driller who can assist you in obtaining the necessary measurements. Calculate the amount of water that can be stored in your well per foot of water. The diameter of your well is used to get this value. Wells are generally classified into two types: drilled wells and bored wells. The interior diameter of a drilled well’s casing (well pipe) is normally between 4 and 10 inches in diameter. Bored wells are greater in size, with diameters ranging from 12 to 36 inches. To find out how much water your well can hold per foot of water, use the following table:
Drilled Well/Pipe Bored Well
Diameter (inches) Storage per footof water (gal/ft)* Diameter (inches) Storage per footof water (gal/ft)
4″ 0.653 12″ 5.88
5″ 1.02 16″ 10.5
6″ 1.47 20″ 16.3
7″ 2.00 24″ 23.5
8″ 2.61 28″ 32.0
9″ 3.30 32″ 41.8
10″ 4.08 36″ 52.9
* If your well diameter is not listed in the above table, or if you use a cistern or reservoir, you will need to contact your local Extension office for more information.
  1. Multiply your entire depth of water “c” by your storage per foot of water “s.” This is your storage per foot of water. This example will make the assumption that “c” is 204 feet in length. The quantity of water in your well will be the final product: 204 divided by 1.47 equals 300 gal. 3 pints of bleach per 100 gallons of water should be poured into your well, with an additional 3 pints to treat the domestic plumbing, which includes the pressure tank, the hot water heater, and the pipes. Using the following example, if the volume of water in your well is 300 gallons, you will add 9 pints of bleach to treat the well and 3 more pints to treat the plumbing, for a total of 12 pints or 1.5 gallons:

Use a volume of bleach equal to two times the 150-foot water depth for the suitable casing diameter if the water depth in the well cannot be determined. For example, a casing with an 8-inch diameter and a 150-foot water depth would take 1.85 gallons of ordinary home bleach.

If the depth of the water is not determined, the amount of bleach necessary will be 1.85 x 2 = 3.7 gallons of bleach. Do not use more bleach than the prescribed amount since it is not essential and will result in further flushing before using the bleach in the home or on the clothes.

The Shock Chlorination Process

  1. CLEANING: Remove any loose or foreign material from the well house, spring house, or storage tank before starting. Removing the well cap or lid will allow you to safely turn off the pump circuit breaker. Then use a strong chlorine solution (1/2 gallon chlorine bleach per 5 gallons clean water) to cleanse the interior surfaces that are easily accessible. To avoid recontamination, the well must be equipped with a sanitary cover that is in excellent working order
  2. Otherwise, the well must be abandoned. CALCULATING AND DISPENSING: Pour 3 pints of chlorine bleach per 100 gallons of water, plus an additional 3 pints, into your well, following the directions outlined before. MIX: Attach a clean garden hose to the outside faucet closest to the well and insert the other end of the hose into the well to make a mixing bowl. After turning on the faucet, re-starting the pump, and allowing the water to flow until you smell chlorine coming out of the hose, turn off the faucet. Close the exterior faucet after washing down the interior of the well casing with the hose for approximately 15 minutes. Allow the solution to circulate throughout the system by pressing the button. Open each faucet, starting outdoors and working your way inside (both hot and cold), one at a time, and allow the water to flow freely. When a strong chlorine stench is noticed, turn off all of the faucets. Flush the toilets one at a time until they are completely empty. The well should be filled with an extra 3 quarts of bleach and tested again. If a strong chlorine odor cannot be detected at each faucet and toilet, repeat the process. TO COMPLETE THE FLUSH AND FINISH, turn off the pump circuit breaker, replace the well cap or cover, and flush and finish again. It is recommended that chlorinated water be left in the system for 12 to 24 hours. Turn on the circuit breaker for the pump. Remove any residual chlorine from the system by turning on exterior faucets one at a time and allowing them to run until there is no longer any chlorine odor in the air. To finish, turn on each of the interior faucets one at a time until the water is clear and the chlorine smell has disappeared. Each toilet should be flushed. More than 100 gallons of chlorinated water should not be discharged into your septic system, nor should the water be allowed to drain into a stream, pond, or lake through an open drainage ditch. Alternatively, you might run the water into a storage tank and utilize it to irrigate vegetation once the chlorine has dissipated
  3. This would help to preserve water.


A report published by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension on “Shock Chlorination of Home Wells, Springs, and Cisterns.” A report by the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on “Shock Chlorination of Domestic Water Supplies.” Shock chlorination is used to disinfect private household water supply systems as part of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program.

Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are three of the state’s educational institutions.

Arsenic Sensitive Areas should have enough chlorination.

PUB-DG-069 2002


Adam Speir (UGA), Alyson McCann (University of Rhode Island), Jackie Ogden (UGA), and Mark Risse are among those who have contributed to this work (UGA) History of the current status and revisions Originally published on December 17, 2012. On September 1st, 2016, the full review was published.

Water Well Disinfection Procedure

Water Well Disinfection ProcedureInformation From The:American Ground Water Trust, 50 Pleasant Street, Suite 2,Concord, NH 03301-4073This is a general description only; state and county codes may vary.Dry granulated chlorine can be dangerous and is NOT recommended for home owner use1) Use common household bleachas the chlorine source for disinfection.3)Determinehow many gallons of water are stored in the vertical columnof the well.Once you know depth you can work out the gallons.(See Table 1 for specificWater Volumes)Well diameter gallons per foot of well gallons in 100 feet4-inch 0.65656-inch 1.47 1478-inch 2.61 2614) Work out how much bleach will be needed :For every 50 gallons of water in the well use one quart of laundry bleach – (4 quarts in a gallon).Do not use excessive amounts of bleach – more isnotmore effective.5)For best results thebleach should be combined with water before adding it to the well. 8) Recirculate the water in the wellby running water with a hose back into the well for 30 minutes.9)Todisinfect the household plumbingfirst turn off the electric or gas supply to the hot water heater.Turn on all the faucets, shower heads, clothes washers, dish washers and outside faucets, etc. until there is a chlorine smell at each location.10) Leave the Chlorine-Water Mixture in the plumbingsystem and well for 12 to 24 hours before removing the chlorinated water.11) Remove the chlorinated waterfrom the well by running the pump and leading a hose from outside faucets to a safe area.12) When the chlorine odor has gone the well flushing is complete .13)Once the chlorine has been removed from the well water, theindoor plumbing may be flushedout to the septic or sewer system to remove the chlorinated water.14)Wait about 5 to 10 days beforeresamplingthe water supplyand testingfor bacteria.15)Repeat testing in three months to confirm treatment success, and thentest annually .

Water Volumes in Various Diameter Wells
(Subtract the Static Water Level from the Total Well Depth to get “Feet of Water in Well”)
Feet of Water in Well 4-inch Diameter Well Gallons of water in Well 6-inch Diameter Well Gallons of water in Well 8-inch Diameter Well Gallons of water in Well
10 7 15 26
20 13 29 52 1 Quart Bleach*
30 20 44 1 Quart Bleach* 78
40 26 59 104 2
50 33 74 131
60 39 88 157 3
70 46 103 2 183
80 52 1 Quart Bleach* 118 209 4
90 59 132 235
100 65 147 3 261 5
110 72 162 287
120 78 176 313 6
130 85 191 339 7
140 91 206 4 365
150 98 2 221 392 8
160 104 235 418
170 111 250 5 444 9
180 117 265 470
190 124 279 496 10
200 130 294 6 522
210 137 309 548 11
220 143 323 574
230 150 3 338 600 12
240 156 353 7 626
250 163 368 653 13
260 169 382 679
270 176 397 8 705 14
280 182 412 731
290 189 426 757 15
300 195 441 783
310 202 4 456 9 809
320 208 470 835
330 215 485 861 16
340 221 500 10 887
350 228 515 914 17
360 234 529 940
370 241 544 11 966
380 247 559 992 18
390 254 5 573 1018
400 260 588 1044 19

Disinfecting a Domestic Well with Shock Chlorination

Marsha Wright is a Water Quality and Pesticides Specialist with the University of Illinois Extension. New Mexico State University’s College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences is home to a diverse range of students. (PDF that is easy to print) In the event that a home drinking water supply is polluted with microorganisms, shock chlorination is a disinfection procedure that should be considered. Contamination can occur during the installation of the well, as well as during the maintenance of the pump or the piping.

  • If the bacteria in the groundwater is the root of the problem, the system will become polluted once more when the water is pumped into the plumbing system.
  • Water systems are subjected to shock chlorination, which delivers extremely high quantities of chlorine into the system.
  • Plan to disinfect the faucets and toilets when they will not be in use for at least 8 hours, and ideally 12 to 24 hours, before beginning the process.
  • When it comes to mechanical water systems for animals and irrigation, extra considerations must be taken.
  • To prevent harm to landscaping plants and grass areas, chlorinated water discharged out of a sprinkler or drip system should be directed away from the plants.
  • During shock chlorination, some water filters, such as carbon filters, should be temporarily unplugged or bypassed to ensure proper operation.
  • For the disinfection procedure, use liquid home bleach containing 5.25 percent chlorine, according to the manufacturer.
  • One gallon of bleach will treat up to an 8-inch diameter well with a 100-foot depth of water in one treatment.
  • Direct skin contact with bleach solutions should be avoided.

If you accidently get it on your skin, rinse it away with plenty of clean water right away. Never combine chlorine bleach with other cleansers since it might result in the production of a poisonous gas.

Disinfection Procedure

  • Pour 2 quarts of bleach into 10 gallons of water and pour into a well to dissolve the bleach. Connect a garden hose to a nearby faucet and use it to thoroughly clean the inside of the well. Open each faucet and let the water to flow until a strong chlorine stench is noticed, then turn the faucet off and move on to the next one in the series of steps. Remember to include outside faucets and fire hydrants. Using chlorinated water, flush the water heater and allow it to recharge. If a strong odor is not detected at all outputs, the well may require more chlorine. To detect chlorine at each outlet, utilize chlorine test strips that are available with swimming pool supplies if you have impaired sense of smell. Make a thorough cleaning of the toilets. Add an extra 2 quarts of bleach to 10 gallons of water and mix thoroughly. It should be poured into the well without being pumped
  • Make sure to let the chlorinated water sit in the well and pipes for at least 8 hours (ideally 12 to 24 hours). Continue to direct water from outside faucets to the garbage disposal (away from desirable plants) until the chlorine odor is just barely detectable or not detectable at any of the faucets. Then turn on all of the inside faucets until there is no more chlorine smell. Reduce the amount of chlorinated water entering a septic tank as much as possible.

Some chlorine may remain in the system for up to seven to ten days. Water with a little chlorine odor should be suitable for the majority of applications. If the chlorine odor or taste bothers you, simply leave the water running until the chlorine fades completely. After cleansing the system, take a sample of the water (in accordance with laboratory instructions) and have it tested for biological contamination around 2 weeks after flushing. It is recommended that you repeat the test in 2 to 3 months to ensure that the system has not been poisoned again.

Because human and animal waste are typical sources of bacterial contamination, it’s possible that a nearby septic system or livestock cage is to blame for the contamination.

As soon as you detect a change in the taste or smell of your water, or if you observe an increase in the number of unexplained illnesses in your family, test the water.

(Farmstead Assessment System).


Wanda Eubank, Jerry D. Carpenter, Beverly A. Maltsberger, and Nix Anderson are among those who have contributed to this work. Bacteria in Drinking Water, WQ0102, University Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia. Bacteria in Drinking Water, WQ0102, University Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia. Karen Mancl’s Bacteria in Drinking Water was published by The Ohio State University. Linda Wagenet and Ann Lemley are co-authors of this work. Chlorination of Drinking Water, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University Fact Sheet 5, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University.

Are Baking Soda and Vinegar Safe for Septic Systems?

The answer to this question is an unequivocal “yes!” We get a lot of inquiries regarding cleaners and best practices in septic systems, and this one is simple — the answer is an unequivocal “yes!”

Baking soda and vinegar are safe

Using baking soda and vinegar as drain cleaners is both safe and effective, and, best of all, they are completely safe for your septic tank and drain field to use. Bleach and ammonia-based cleansers (which include most of the products in the cleaning aisle of big-box retailers) can be hazardous to the beneficial microorganisms in your septic tank. Instead of killing the beneficial bacteria in your tank, baking soda and vinegar help to keep your septic system running efficiently for far longer periods of time and with less maintenance necessary.

How to use baking soda and vinegar

Consequently, you may be asking how to clean with baking soda and vinegar in your home environment. Here are a few of our favorite ways to utilize these powerful and economical cleansers in your kitchen and bathroom, in no particular order: Drains that become clogged are a big nuisance. Even if your septic system is not backed up, it is crucial to keep an eye out for indicators of a problem. Baking soda may be used to clear tenacious filth from your pipes, which may be causing minor backups. A couple of teaspoons of baking soda and a cup or two of boiling water should suffice (you can also add white vinegar for a bit more punch).

Pour the liquid down your drain, wait a few minutes for it to begin to work, and then try running hot water or using a plunger to clear the obstruction. It’s an excellent method to avoid the high cost of a plumber’s visit as well as the inconvenience of blocked drains – so give it a shot first!

These work as a toilet bowl cleaner as well

These natural cleansers are also effective as a toilet bowl cleaning, which is rather remarkable! For this reason, a combination of baking soda and liquid castile soap is recommended by the manufacturer. You may have heard of castile soap, but you may not be aware of the reasons behind its cult-like appeal. Many people swear by the cleansing abilities of castile soap, as well as the fact that it is non-toxic – despite the fact that it is a vegetable-based soap that is devoid of animal fats and synthetic additives.

To clean a toilet bowl, liberally sprinkle it with baking soda and flush it down the toilet.

When used as a scouring agent for sinks, showers, tubs, and countertops, baking soda is quite effective.

You won’t even miss the toxic conventional cleansers you used to use after adding basic white vinegar and liquid castile soap to your cleaning arsenal.

You don’t have to harm your septic tank

Cleaning our kitchens and bathrooms is a necessary, but it does not have to be done at the expense of your septic system. Thank you for reading, and please do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you have any septic tank inquiries or to arrange a septic tank pumping or cleaning. We’re more than delighted to assist you.

How to Naturally Clean & Maintain Your Septic System

Without the proper knowledge, septic systems may be difficult to keep up with and manage. If you suspect that your toilets aren’t flushing properly or that your pipes may need some cleaning, you should avoid introducing harsh chemicals into your septic system since they can disturb the naturally existing biome of bacteria that is necessary for the system to work effectively. Our team at Fagone Plumbing was inspired to publish a blog post that would teach readers how to add a natural cleanse to their septic system without endangering the system’s performance.

Simple, Quick Cleanse

This procedure is a quick, mild remedy that is also effective. It is very simple to use. It is necessary to use the power of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon to achieve success with this procedure. Starting with a quarter-cup baking soda and a half-cup vinegar mixture, pour it directly into the toilet. Repeat this process several times. After that, squeeze in two teaspoons of lemon juice. A chemical reaction occurs when the baking soda and vinegar are mixed, resulting in a fizzing sound and the breakdown of grime and debris.

Following a flush, this solution will clean the inside of your toilet bowl and the pipes that run through your system as a result. Furthermore, because this is a natural remedy, it will have no adverse effect on your system’s beneficial microorganisms.

Homemade Septic Tank Treatment

As previously stated in this article, healthy bacteria are required to guarantee that your septic system is operating effectively. Because of the bacteria in your system, sediments are broken down more quickly, allowing for simpler movement to the leach field. In addition, it is beneficial when it comes time to have your septic system pumped. The following are the elements that will be necessary for this natural solution: Water, sugar, cornmeal, and dry yeast are the main ingredients. Prepare the combination by first heating around a half gallon of water until it comes to a boil.

Because the sugar will function as the initial food source for your bacteria!

Allow the cornmeal to absorb the water before mixing everything together until it is well mixed.

Once everything has been blended, pour the mixture into the toilet and flush it.

That way, you may be certain that the mixture is pushed all the way into your septic tank.

Upon completion of this treatment, your tank should have returned to a healthy bacterial environment.

Fagone Plumbing Can Help!

If you have any reason to believe your septic system may be performing better, give Fagone Plumbing a call right away! It doesn’t matter if it’s a bacteria problem or something else; we will be able to assess the problem and deliver the most cost-effective solution to get your septic system back up and running correctly!

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