Bleach in Well Water

Discussion in 'Water Filtering & Storage' started by Murrel-Maher, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Murrel-Maher

    Murrel-Maher Guest

    I have heard that you can add a few drops of bleach to your well water to kill bacteria. Is this true? Would you recommend it?
  2. Jack

    Jack ExCommunicated

    Simple answer DONT!!!!!

    yes it will kill bacteria but you need some bacteria to allow the well to stary fresh killing all bacteria will make the water deplete of oxygen fast.

    then it become anoxic and then you have real problems.

    1/2 a cup of hydrated lime will kill 95% of the bad stuff but the good stuff will eat this and benifit you if you live in a area of limestone this is the best water.

    if you can get a big chunk of limestone hollow out a section and let the water fillter through this its slow and needs filling every so often but this will remove all bad stuff and drip a constant supply of clean poure water regardless of what goes in

    but chemicals are a no no

    they go through too

    chlorine is another no no its ok for government to say its ok like flouride but they have a veru complex process that is hard to recreate on a small scale and they add it in gaseous form which is very diufferent to pool chlorine

    stay natural where you can and stay healthy and safe



  3. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Chlorine v. Iodine for Chemical Sterilization of Water

    This information comes from Virginia Cooperative Extension

    It is becoming increasingly accepted by the scientific community that chlorine dioxide technologies are more effective than iodine and chlorine for reducing the pathogenicity of dirty (soil-laden) waters containing bacteria, and waters containing cysts. Part of the reason is that chlorine dioxide is more effective than iodine at penetrating microbial biofilms attached to soil particles that can harbor large quantities of pathogenic microorganisms.

    Water purification using common household chemicals

    The most common chemical water purification in the home is done with either chlorine bleach or iodine. If used properly, the water will not be toxic after the use of these chemicals, but may have an odor or taste.

    A. Household chemicals used

    1. Chlorine Bleach. There are many different types of bleach on the market. Read the label to be sure that sodium hypochlorite is the only active ingredient. Do not use bleach solutions that contain detergents or other chemical components (e.g., scented bleach). If the container has a label warning "not for personal use" it should not be used. Fresh, unopened, liquid laundry bleach contains 5.25% sodium hypochlorite. However, a bottle of bleach which has been open for an extended period of time may lose some of its strength, especially if the container is only partially full.

    2. Iodine. Iodine tablets and liquid iodine (Tincture of Iodine) can also be used to purify water. Again, read the label for recommended procedures. Tincture of Iodine usually contains 2.0% U.S.P. iodine. However, there is some variation in this product. In general, iodine has the disadvantage (compared to chlorine) in that it is not as effective over a wide range of pathogens and it imparts taste and a brown tint to the water. Thus, it should be used only when chlorine is not available.

    B. Purification Procedure

    1. Add the recommended level of the chemical (Table 1) using a clean, uncontaminated medicine dropper or suitable utensil.The following conversions may be helpful in determining the correct amount:

    8 drops = 1/8 teaspoon
    16 drops = 1/4 teaspoon
    32 drops = 1/2 teaspoon
    64 drops = 1 teaspoon
    192 drops = 1 tablespoon
    384 drops = 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup)

    3. Stir the chemical thoroughly into the water.
    If the water does not have a faint chemical smell after the 30 minute waiting period, add another dose and let it sit for an additional 15 minutes.

    4. Allow the water to stand for 30 minutes.
    If the water is cloudy, repeat the procedure.

    5. Dispense into a clean, sanitized, and tightly capped container, which has been appropriately labeled to indicate its contents.

    Table 1. Recommended concentrations of chlorine bleach or iodine products for water purification.

    Volume of Water to Be Purified_______Recommended Amount of Chemical

    ____________Chlorine*(bleach)___Iodine# Tablets____Tincture of Iodine##

    1 quart (1 liter)____4 drops__________2 tablets_________½ drop

    ½ gallon (2 liter)___8 (1/8 teaspoon)__4 tablets_________1 drop

    1 gallon (4 liter)___16drops(¼ teasp)__8 tablets_________2 drops

    *Fresh, unscented laundry bleach containing 5.25% hypochlorite. If the bleach has been opened for a period of time or is less concentrated, increase the amount added. If the water is cloudy in appearance repeat the procedure.

    #Dry iodine tablets.

    ##Liquid iodine solution. Label concentration of 2.0% iodine. If a tincture of iodine is used with a different stated iodine concentration, the usage level may be calculated as follows: Drops/gal = 80 divided by the % iodine in the concentrated solution.
  4. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    This is simply a reprint of what I wrote on the other well water treatment threads...

    Treating water in the well is like pouring water in the ocean.

    The water flows into, AND OUT OF wells all the time...
    A well is nothing more than a deep spot on an underground stream, and if you pour the bleach in the well, it will be migrated out almost immediately and replaced with 'Raw' water.

    It's much easier and more convent (not to mention using a bunch less 'Bleach' or whatever!) to have a large reserve tank, and when the tank is refilled from the well, add the bleach.
    Since you know exactly were the pump comes on and when the pump goes off, you know how much water (within a few gallons) has been replaced in the tank, and most places with a 'Bad Well' have automatic cycling treatment tanks anyway...

    When the tank gets full, it looks like a toilet tank float that administers a metered amount of disinfectant into the water... every time the tank is refilled...

    Regular chlorine bleach will work in well water, but since the volume in the well usually isn't known, it's usually better to treat the water in a container of known size so the dosages are correct.

    When we had a well, I used plain old 'Clorox' bleach.
    None of the 'Smell Good' or 'Color' they like to put in things now.
    Later we used the water treatment chemical power like they use in swimming pools and water treatment plants.
    Cheaper and didn't take as much work to get the smell out.

    To take the chlorine smell/taste out, simply aerate the water.
    Chlorine is volatile and will evaporate/evacuate the water simply pouring it back and forth from one container to another.

    There are several chemical filters on the market that will take chlorine out of water also, they are cheap, easy to install in a pressurized water system, and they are nearly 100% effective.
  5. rockwellmj

    rockwellmj Guest

    I drill wells for a living and we are reqired by the state to shock a new well with chlorine. As for your well you can do the same depending on what type of well it is. what is the reason for chlorinating your well? Have you had the water tested and it is positive for bacteria? If you are only doing to get rid of the smell you can do this with a carbon filter. Or you can install a chlorinator that will inject a little chlorine only when the pump is on and then it will have time in the water setting in the tank, then you can install the carbon filter to remove the chlorine from the water. Any questions please feel free to ask.
  6. StillStanding

    StillStanding ...despite the fall

    Yes you can and should chlorinate wells when they have a bacteria problem.

    Due to the "pouring water in the ocean" problem described upthread you have to use concentrated chlorine, a lot of it.

    I recently shock chlorinated my well using 4 gallons of pool-grade liquid bleach that has five times the chlorine concentration of laundry bleach. 20 gallons of bleach from the grocery store would have been more expensive and unwieldy.

    There are also powered products available from pool places and industrial supply places that get the job done if used properly.

    Dangerous stuff to work with unless you know what you're doing though.
  7. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    we used to go out once a year and scrub down our well tiles and put bleach in the well. It was a fast moving shallow well, and we didn't have much of a problem.
  8. BurtB

    BurtB Guest

    It does not sound good to me to use pool cleaning chemicals in your well but I am no expert.

    Scrubbing down the tiles every once in a while sounds like a good idea but also like tons of work. Eh : /
  9. rediranch

    rediranch New Member

    We have been told by our county and other land owners, that if your property sits for a while, dump a gallon of bleach into your well, run water in each faucet in the house until you smell bleach from it, and then run the bleach out of the well via hose to avoid your septic.

    This is to kill bacteria not in the well, but in the pipes.

    Some land owners do this yearly to avoid bacteria growing in the pipes.
  10. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

    Bleach is often used to 'shock' a well. Especially, if as Rediranch points out, the well isn't used much. My wife and I are buying a house that the current owner was using as a storage place, and where he did his honey extraction (he was a beekeeper). So the well was rarely used.

    Well is approx. 125ft deep, 6" diameter.

    Initial water test came back with 10 total coliform... limit is 5. We shocked the well. At the same time, the pump and control box started to fail, so the current owner replaced it. Next test came back at 88 total coliform! The lady on the phone was in a panic when she called! The simple act of pulling the pipe/pump, replacing the pump, and putting it back in.... dragging the hose all over the lawn... had generated that much bacteria growth.

    Shocked it again.... Zero coliform.

    I'm doing another test soon.

    And to put it into perspective... 5 total coliform... is roughly the equivalent of:

    Take an olympic size swimming pool. Now take all the chlorine out so it's just fresh water. Now have someone gently wipe their butt with some toilet paper (we're talking a basically clean wipe... not a smear ;) )... now drop that piece into the pool. That's 5 total coliform.

    If you have soluable iron in your water (comes out clear, but your toilets/shower/sink/washing machine end up stained), the bleach will react with the soluable iron, causing it to oxidize, and turn your water rusty for a period of time.
  11. LittleFire

    LittleFire Well-Known Member

    I have used bleach for my well to kill bacteria which was recommended by the Health Unit where I bring my water to be tested at least once a month. Especially during the spring where the snow melts and we have lots of rain, it is safer to do this than to get sick. Once I put bleach in, I run all my faucets to clean it up. Works wonders!
  12. rediranch

    rediranch New Member

    The post I put out there was prior to us purchasing our current house, which had sat for about 5 months with no usage.

    We poured 1 ga of bleach in the well, then ran it though the pipes until we smelled the bleach.

    The problem we ran into was that we couldnt get the bleach out! For more than a month we had to deal with bleach smell and taste, and running a hose for hours still didnt work.

    We did not get rid of it all until I got fed up and ran every hose connection, even the one off the water heater, and the faucet in our barn - for hours.

    I'm not saying it was a mistake to do - just telling you that you may have to pump a LOT of water, all at the same time, to get rid of it.
  13. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

    once a year I used to dump 1 gallon of regular bleach down our well and let it set over night. we would not use any water. then the next day I would turn on all the faucet until i smelled bleach and we would let it sit like this for another day. Then the next day i would open all the faucets until the smell went away and we would be set for another year. This cleaned the entire system. Worked for us.
  14. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    My approach is similar. I dump the bleach and run it to the faucets, then stop.
    Next day, do a load of white laundry so the bleach water gets used instead of directly dumping it.
  15. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    I bleach my 5000gal water storage tanks once a year, one gallon standard bleach in each, then run all faucets, including my gravity system to the garden and trees. Because I do not have any above ground PVC pipe in the system, there is a very small chance of algae growth, none the less can't be to careful.
    Make sure you open all hot water faucets as well.
    Only once did I have to treat the well with bleach, it began to smell like rotten eggs, sulfur dioxide, one treatment of pool shock down the well did the trick, no recurrence of problem since.
  16. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    It takes a flush of the HW tank if you do that. Just running clean water through it takes forever since it just mixes with the bleach solution in the tank.
  17. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Adding one gallon of bleach to 5000gal of water isn't that strong, smell gone in a few days even in the hot water. By the way I have a tank-less water heater and only a small 30gal elect that is heated from the unused power from my solar/wind system. Once the batteries are at full charge it 'dumps' any excess power through the heating element in that water heater, thus preheating the water prior to the tank-less one.
  18. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    I said that as it relates to a traditional system (shock the well).
    I can see where that problem isn't an issue in your setup.
  19. dantaddei

    dantaddei Captain

    Respectfully, I've been adding bleach to my water for over 20 years. It IS what you do to avoid getting sick. It work and is safe. If you add to much its a bad thing but a little kills the bad stuff and prevents many illnesses.

    What you need to know is there is a formula for how much to add. I believe most bleach bottles have it printed right on the bottle.

    To make the water taste good again, all you need to do is run your drinking water through a $4 charcol water filter. On my sailboat, in the tropics, a filter lasts 3 months in the winter and one in the summer. It dies from slime. On my ship (I'm a captain) we treat our tanks with chlorine tablets, use thousands of gallons a week and change the same type of $4 charcole/carbon filters once a week.

    Chorine bleach IS the way to clean up questionable water. I've taken on dock water from every county in central and coastal south America as well as many Asian ports without a single instance of disintary or any other water born illness.
    And- Flouride is what you use to make nerve gas. Chlorine just kills germs.

    If you respond and don't hear back from me it's because I'm only in port for a few hours- not because I'm being rude.