Chlorinating Your Well

The entire water system… well, pump, and storage tank should be included in the disinfecting process.

Steps to Follow

  1. Add two gallons of any standard bleach to three gallons of water (adding more chlorine is not beneficial)
  2. Remove the cap of the well casing. Pour the entire five gallons of solution into the well.
  3. With a garden hose, re-circulate this solution back into the well washing down the sides of the casing for approximately ten minutes. Turn on all faucets connected from the well throughout the house and outside the house, including the hot water faucets. Make sure to turn on faucets that rarely or never get used, especially yard hydrants and outside spigots. Run the water until the chlorine smell is detected. Bypass all water treatment units during the chlorination process to avoid damage to the resin bed. The resin bed of the water softener can provide a place for bacteria to grow, and must be chlorinated at lower concentrations.
  4. Reseal the cap of the well.
  5. Once the odor of chlorine is detected in all water lines, shut off the faucets and let the water sit in the plumbing for at least 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours have elapsed, run the water to waste until the entire odor of chlorine is gone. This will take a while depending on the volume of the well and the plumbing. Do not run the water into your septic system as this will cause the system to become overloaded.
  7. Note: This process is only a temporary method of disinfection.

Note: The health department cannot test a well for at least 48 hours after the process is completed. We will test for the presence of chlorine at the time of sampling, if chlorine is present we cannot test the water. The only exception would be if you have a continuous chlorination disinfection system.

After chlorinating your well, call the Health Department at 419-734-6800 or toll-free in Ottawa County at 800-788-8803 for a test of the water.