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Old 03-19-2013, 16:32   #1
Jack_Pine
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Those who have wells.....

Neighbor just sold house. During inspection the inspector had a well company do an assessment. They said she should be shocking her well twice a year. She has not been doing this. Neither have I. We use bottled water for drinking.....

What say you all? If so, what is the procedure?
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Old 03-19-2013, 16:39   #2
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No idea but here's a video

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Old 03-19-2013, 17:06   #3
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Yeah, I saw that too. I am thinking the aquifer is potentially very bib....not sure how some chlorine is going to help the water "I use".
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Old 03-19-2013, 17:13   #4
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To a certain extent it depends on how deep the well is. I recently moved and when we had a well in our country house it was only 47 feet deep. I had it checked occasionally for bacteria levels and they were never high. I was told it was runoff water and therefor it was exposed to sun and air more than a well say, hundreds of feet deep, so the chance of bacteria is higher. It had an 8 inch casing and I always kept a cover on the top.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:41   #5
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To a certain extent it depends on how deep the well is. I recently moved and when we had a well in our country house it was only 47 feet deep. I had it checked occasionally for bacteria levels and they were never high. I was told it was runoff water and therefor it was exposed to sun and air more than a well say, hundreds of feet deep, so the chance of bacteria is higher. It had an 8 inch casing and I always kept a cover on the top.
This is actually backwards. Shallow wells are often under the influence of surface water and have a much higher propensity for bacterial contamination. Shocking a well is pretty much useless, it will only disinfect at that point and time (unless you're pouring chlorine down the well daily). And how do you control dosing? Most system contamination usually comes from the distribution system in a ground water system or a poorly designed wellhead protection. Your wellhead should be above grade, good cement seal tight around the casing. If you suspect bacterial contamination you should install a post chlorination system. Bacti tests are only $25, but they need to be drawn correctly to rule out any contamination at the point the sample is being taken.

And if you are finding snakes and such around the pump intake, you really need to take a long hard look at your wellhead protection plan. Pouring chlorine down the well is only putting a bandaid on a much larger problem.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:00   #6
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This is actually backwards. Shallow wells are often under the influence of surface water and have a much higher propensity for bacterial contamination. Shocking a well is pretty much useless, it will only disinfect at that point and time (unless you're pouring chlorine down the well daily). And how do you control dosing? Most system contamination usually comes from the distribution system in a ground water system or a poorly designed wellhead protection. Your wellhead should be above grade, good cement seal tight around the casing. If you suspect bacterial contamination you should install a post chlorination system. Bacti tests are only $25, but they need to be drawn correctly to rule out any contamination at the point the sample is being taken.

And if you are finding snakes and such around the pump intake, you really need to take a long hard look at your wellhead protection plan. Pouring chlorine down the well is only putting a bandaid on a much larger problem.
Well that is exactly what my county health dept. inspector told me. Shallow wells are often under the influence of surface water and have a much higher propensity for bacterial contamination. That was the gist of my post.

I have never shocked my well but was told I should. I was also told that better yet, install a post chlorination system. I have had the water tested, and it showed no bacterial contamination problems. Just the luck of the draw I supposed. The thing they did find though, is salt. I lived on a state route that was heavily salted in the winter and over the years that contaminated my well. We had a bottled water cooler/heater for drinking but used the well water for everything else. I can absolutely see how pouring a bunch of bleach down the well would cause problems on it's own and not really solve the overall problem.

In the area I was in, 75 feet or more seemed to be the cutoff point where surface water would not be a problem. Wells hundreds of feet deep would in theory be OK.
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Old 03-19-2013, 17:13   #7
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I've never heard that before.

I'll have the wife ask her dad tonight when she talks to him. His property is on a well.
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:06   #8
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Hmmm I have been on a well for 13 years... never shocked the system...
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:35   #9
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Hmmm I have been on a well for 13 years... never shocked the system...
Minus three and a half years, I've been on a well for my entire life and have never shocked any of them. The first I had heard of it was from a friend at work a year or so ago. Her water will begin to stink after a few months. Of course it stinks of bleach after the shocking so she has to run all of the faucets in the house until the smell dies down.
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:22   #10
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Father in law doesn't shock his... so.. I dunno what to tell ya.
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:35   #11
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I am not going to worry about it. we have had the well since 1997 and have never done it....was just wandering.
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:46   #12
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I've been on a relatively shallow well for my whole life; have never done anything like that to it.

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Old 03-19-2013, 18:47   #13
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I am a plumber and have been working on this kind of thing for 39 years now and I also live in the country and have a well and I DO shock mine twice a year. If you need proof as to why pull the pump an take a look. I have see n everything from worms to dead decaying snakes wrapped around the suction of pumps. It is a cheap easy thing to do and well worth it for the health of my wife and I.
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Old 03-19-2013, 19:28   #14
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I am a plumber and have been working on this kind of thing for 39 years now and I also live in the country and have a well and I DO shock mine twice a year. If you need proof as to why pull the pump an take a look. I have see n everything from worms to dead decaying snakes wrapped around the suction of pumps. It is a cheap easy thing to do and well worth it for the health of my wife and I.
Is your guess that shocking the well has as much effect on the water and the system after it leaves the well (i.e. filter, pump, pipes, tank) as it does on the water in the well?


Just curious as it seems at least around here every time there is a "boil water" order it is because some contamination has entered the system some place past the well field.
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Old 03-19-2013, 20:03   #15
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As a caver I have sort of a layman's knowledge of ground water. Purity of ground water depends on a bunch of factors. When surface contamination (from any source) goes underground, it does not magically get purified. I know some ground water contamination stories that will curl your hair.

Perhaps the worse was a well at a school system in our state about 40 or more years ago. Students and staff were getting sick at alarming rates. They called in an expert. The expert put a harmless testing agent in the schools bathrooms and flushed the commodes for a long period of time.

The testing agent was slightly larger than coliform bacteria. So if the testing agent was getting through, guess what else was getting through? Twenty four hours later the testing agent was being pumped up in the schools well water. Enough said.

Many factors can affect groundwater. A large factor is geology. Some geologic conditions are much more favorable to letting contaminants into deep water tables than others. There should be a state agency that can advise you on your specific states geologic problems. It's the Department of Natural Resources in my area.

Of course the depth of the well and the population density around you can have an effect. So can some farming operations. Generally deeper wells are safer, but that is absolutely no guarantee.

I've been several hundred feet underground in a cave and seen a well casing going through the cave environment. If I could get there, so could surface contaminates. I would never trust a shallow well.

Safest thing is to have your well tested on a regular schedule, and treat accordingly. Even shocking every six months is no guarantee. Again there are probably state agencies who can advise you on your locality.

And when testing your well, be absolutely sure you follow the written procedures to the TEE. Otherwise you can get inaccurate results.

BTW I'm on a 350 foot well that is cased to 190 feet. Never had any problems yet.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:52   #16
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I am a plumber and have been working on this kind of thing for 39 years now and I also live in the country and have a well and I DO shock mine twice a year. If you need proof as to why pull the pump an take a look. I have see n everything from worms to dead decaying snakes wrapped around the suction of pumps. It is a cheap easy thing to do and well worth it for the health of my wife and I.
If I had dead things in my well I'd get some kind of filter systems and a UV treatment.
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Old 03-19-2013, 18:54   #17
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We have a well and did install an injection pump that mixes incoming well water with a water/ bleach solution that mixes in a storage tank. It will kill organisms in your well water if this is a problem.
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Old 03-19-2013, 19:05   #18
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Been using a 300 foot water well (on 2nd well) since 1967.
I've never even heard of shocking a well.

I have a filter at the tank and a filter on the kitchen cold water that I change out every 3-4 months.
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Old 03-19-2013, 19:02   #19
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I have a aquifer well. Had it checkd for potential health issues per county rules. Its about 7 yrs old. Its over 100ft deep. County requires a well be no less then 75ft deep. Had some sand issues one summer, but never once has the well company or county said anything about shocking it. Never heard that term even on my parents property.
My well water is run thru pre filters for sand, then osmosis filters for iron,then filtered at kitchen sink to remove salt ect.
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Old 03-19-2013, 19:09   #20
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Lived in a house with a 500' well for 9 years. Tested water quality twice a year, never an issue and never shocked it.

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Old 03-19-2013, 19:44   #21
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Depends on where you live I guess . My well in suburban Miami is spectacular. I have it tested regularly . I got one response once that said my well is the one Ponce De Leon was looking for . People pay good money for water with the mineral content that comes out of the ground underneath my house .. The well has been running since 1950 , zero defects . Except a new holding tank and a new pump .
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Old 03-19-2013, 20:42   #22
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I've been on shallow wells since 1992. We, nor anyone I know (everyone I know is also on a shallow well) has ever done something of the sort. We're all still alive. We pour the salt into the container and do the pitt tabs about once a month - that's it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 20:53   #23
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We haven't been on a well since '96. That was the year one of my idiot neighbors decided to bury a horse in his yard against county regulations and took out the entire aquafier supplying the subdivision. HH
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Old 03-19-2013, 22:55   #24
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We haven't been on a well since '96. That was the year one of my idiot neighbors decided to bury a horse in his yard against county regulations and took out the entire aquafier supplying the subdivision. HH
I've heard lore about that - how long does that supposedly last? I've heard for years but it rang BS to me.
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Old 03-19-2013, 23:22   #25
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As others have already stated, water levels and well depths will vary in different parts of the country.
Our well is less than 60' deep and we've never experienced any problems since we've lived in this house.

Water that is supplied via a well constantly circulates through the ground and even though we have filters for sediments, taste and odor, my wife has noticed a slight mineral odor (once or twice in 13 years) that usually only lasts a few days.

I'd like to have access to a municipal water supply, but I'd never give up my own well.
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