Cleaning a Well?

Discussion in 'General Survival Discussion' started by shellyann36, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. shellyann36

    shellyann36 Member

    We are currently renting a place but are seriously considering trying to buy it. Now the property was annexed into the county water system (big bunch of junk to get more $) a few years ago & the house is now hooked up to the water meter. There is a standing well on the property. It is fairly nicely set up. The platform around it is cement with the huge cement pipe coming out of the ground and when you look down into it you can see the water level. The lid for the pipe was broken prior to us moving here so I can also see debree in the well. My SO built a small old fashioned well house to cover it. This prevents people from hitting it... had several UPS trucks and even a contractor for the realestate agent run it over before the well house, and it keeps the debree out. Now I know we need to get it tested and barring any sort of major contamination what would you folks suggest to do to actually clean it out and make it usable? Also I would be interested in sitting up some sort of hand pump operation on the well in order to make it easier to use in the future. I could also use the old well bucket/chain just like my Granny did for many years as well. Ideas, suggestions and experience is much appreciated!
  2. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    Depending upon the diameter of the well you can try bailing out any surface (floating) debris. For sub-surface debris you'll just have to pump it until the water clears. After that dump some chlorine bleach down the well and then pump water until the bleach smell goes away (and for a while longer). After that seal it up from surface contaminants and put it to use. Do not leave hoses attached unless you're using them. Contaminants can back-feed into the system. Have it tested for contaminants after the bleach treatment.

    Your health department can tell you how much bleach to use.

  3. shellyann36

    shellyann36 Member


    Thanks! Yes we figured we would use a bucket cleaning to start with to try to get the debris out. Even if we don't buy the place it would be nice to have just as a back up.
  4. Centraltn

    Centraltn Well-Known Member

    You can also get a well guy to "blow it out" He can also determine how much water you have in your well and how long it takes the well to refill
  5. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

    In these parts well people don't want to repair they want drill a new one,for $1000's .
  6. Dove150

    Dove150 Well-Known Member

    If your location is in old farm country you really need to get the water checked.

    I know of an old and small farming community in the South where just about everyone who lived there most of their lives all died of various kinds of cancer. All of the old pesticides that leeched into their well water was the suspect. Sometimes city water is the safer choice.
  7. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

    Never had the flood problem but we clean ours by pumping it out, then let it refill, then a bleach treatment. I would imagine it's the same for flooded wells.
  8. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Not that my well has ever been contaminated, but just because some one told me I should, I did pump mine down once , and then pour a pint of bleach down it and let it refill the casing and sit for 2 days , then pumped approx a hundred gals out , and it was fine.

    Same as before I did it...:dunno::coffee:

    I'd be interested in others ideas on this also.

    My well is about 120 ft deep, and water is at 60 ft, pump is at about 100ft.

  9. JustCliff

    JustCliff Supporting Member

    I would like some answers too.
    I have a bore well, (24" diameter) i'm not sure how deep.
    When the water system was switched over to city water and sewer, a moron, diverted the kitchen sink gray water into the old well. I do have an idea that I came up with. I might try to use my gold dredge pump so suck the junk off the bottom. The nozzle works like a jet pump, a venturi, where water is pumped down to the nozzle and does a 180 deg turn in the nozzle and shoots the water and junk up the hose and out.
    That's the best I can come up with.
  10. hiwall

    hiwall Just walking at the edge of my grave

    There really is no "cleaning" a well. A well screen that has become partially plugged can sometimes be opened up by running clean water backward through the well to blow out the screen and restore its function, at least for awhile.
    A contaminated well can be chlorinated to kill the bacteria and other living organisms. Well drillers use a more concentrated chlorine than common people can buy. When this is done it sometimes works and sometimes needs to be repeated. If the chlorination does work there is no guarantee that the living organisms won't come back in a day or a week or a year.
    Many people do use unscented chlorine bleach to try and do this themselves. Sometimes it works and does the job intended. You can purchase water test kits that can be done on-site or send the water samples away to a test lab and wait for the results.
  11. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

    Ya that's a good plan, you will have alot of soap in there. That's too bad they did that....
  12. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

    My well is around 125 ft deep. The water table is around 20 ft down. Pump is at 50 ft.
    I had mine tested a few years ago and was told to dump a gallon of bleach down the well then turn on all faucets until we smelled the bleach.
    Let it sit as long as we could then turn the faucets back on till no smell.
    Had it retested and it was OK.
    Had the pump replaced a few years later and the pump guys dropped some sort of pellets down the well.
    I pay to have mine tested every few years just to be safe.
  13. crabapple

    crabapple I sold my soul to the internet

    I will take two!!!!
    Wells in South Carolina are from $3500.00 to $5000.00 with submersible pumps.
    Jet pumps are a waste of money & time in my HO.
  14. crabapple

    crabapple I sold my soul to the internet

    I would run the pump for a hour( you can do that with a submersible pump & not hurt it).
    Then draw off one gallon & have it tested, the test will cover what red beard was saying & the flood, too.
    One should have they well tested once a year, at least ever five years.
    Just like a soil test.
  15. kd4ulw

    kd4ulw Active Member

    Just to add on to the bleach method, do not use scented or the 'no splash' bleach. Regular and concentrated is ok.
  16. capt.

    capt. Well-Known Member

    Use food grade, lab grade or pool grade chlorine powder or tablets. You can find it on line, it is stronger then. Store is like 5-10 % depends. We have a well guy here that uses hydrogen peroxcide 30% he buys at the farm supply store , food grade about 25 bucks a gallon.