Well Disinfection

How To Clean It Up

How Do I Do It

How Do I know I need it?

Health BC and Health Canada recommend regular testing for water quality.  Well disinfection can eliminate or reduce many different kinds dangerous bacteria, viruses and even harmless bacteria which can cause unpleasant taste and odors.  Coliform levels can change over time when there is the potential of contamination or an improper/exposed well structure.  Homeowners are encouraged to test at least one a year for coliforms in their drinking water.

Disinfection (shocking) requires some calculation to determine the amount of chlorination necessary for bacteria removal.  Not enough bleach and your bacteria will continue to thrive.  Too much bleach and you run the risk of damage to well and aquifer.  Refer to the BC Government instructions contained in the link below to calculate your requirements.  ABC Water Systems would be happy to assist should you prefer to have us complete the disinfection for you.   Please note that disinfection will not correct water problems caused by chemical contamination from nitrate, fuels, pesticides, or other substances. The first step to take is to look for the following:

  • Are there any potential contamination sources near the well, such as manure or compost piles, septic disposal fields, or hazardous materials storage?
  • Does the ground slope promote drainage of surface water toward the well or ponding of water around the well?
  • Is the well cap missing, cracked or damaged?
  • Does the well cap allow water or vermin to enter into the well?
  • Does the well casing stick up less than 30 cm (12 inches) from the ground surface (see Figure 1) or the floor of the pump house? Can surface or standing water easily flood over the top of the well casing?
  • Is there an unfilled space or gap between the well casing and the ground around the well e.g. the surface seal is missing or incomplete?
  • Is the well finished below grade?
  • Are there noticeable cracks in the surface seal around the well casing?

If you answered “yes”  to any of the above questions, fix the problem before proceeding with disinfection. Otherwise the well will continue to be vulnerable to contamination.

For information on the treatment of wells that are hard to disinfect  read the literature from the B.C. Provincial Government Site at the link below.

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