We all know the importance of water in a single human life. Without food, one might survive for a longer period of time, and without water, it is only a matter of 3 days or so, until the body dehydrates completely.
But only drinking water every day is not enough. The essential part is: whether the water is pure or contaminated.
The primary source of our water is rain although we don’t drink water directly using the rain right? Then how does it reach us? Well, the answer lies in its very source from where the water comes in the first place.
For our daily essential uses like cooking and drinking, we mainly use surface water or groundwater.
But during old times/ancient times, a lot of people used one source that would provide them water and that is Well! Even in the modern era, a large number of people still use Well water for their daily use.
But if we can’t drink Well water directly then what are the methods that we can apply to purify it? Before understanding these steps let’s first know a bit about well water and how it gets polluted!
How Does Well Water Work?
The first Well that came into the picture was at least eight thousand years ago! At that time, there were no technologies, so people used to literally dig a hole inside the ground with their hands.
This water comes from directly inside the ground that is from aquifers, into the Well that is groundwater.
And these Aquifers are nothing but small pores of the water-soil layer through which water flows. After this process, people would build a low-quality/inexpensive wall or lining around it to store that water in one place.
Once that deep ring is filled with water, the traditional method to get that water was by using simple buckets. People would either use their hands or a rope, tied to a bucket.
But today we have invented many machines. Technologies like machine drilling or perforated pipe can easily pull out the water and an installed pump can easily help to store them.
These wells come in different types like Drilled Wells, Driven Wells & Dug Wells.
Now before starting water purification, there are certain things that need to be considered or questions to ask yourself.
The very first and most important question is, where exactly is your well located, and what kind of well is it? That’s right, well’s type is also a considerable factor and not only in terms of drilled, driven, or dug wells that were mentioned earlier but also artesian, rotary or cable.
Another thing to consider is the depth of your Well. Do check how deep your well is and since its construction have you noticed any change in its size.
This is important to know as many techniques are going to be dependent on the depth too.
Next thing is to notice and analyze the change in the quality of taste, odor, or color and when this change began to happen.
Do observe if there was any change in the water flow and also, and if water quantity is changing in any terms.
How Well Water Gets Contaminated?
Well, water comes directly from an already shallow hole and most people also believe it is a natural purifier. But still, there are so many reasons that can easily make Well water impure.
For example, if wells are not deep enough, water coming from the ground eventually gets mixed with the surface.
Large amounts of impurities are already present on the surface ground which are sufficient to make the water contaminated. This contamination can lead to harmful diseases and viruses.
In many cases, these deadly bacteria and viruses come from living beings around the area. One more common reason for well water contamination is chemical usage.
Chemicals that come from factories, fuel, fertilizers, or other natural-artificial sources can harm the water instantly. Even old pipes are enough for the contamination process to start.
This and so many reasons are out there that can turn natural well water into contaminated one! But with that, we also have some methods that can help us to purify it and make it drinkable.
How to Purify Well Water for Drinking
1. Putting Aluminium Sulphate Directly Into the Well Water.
Putting Aluminum Sulphate or what we often call, a solution of Alum, directly into the open Well helps to purify water. Mainly, the solution not only helps to settle the pollutant for the clarification process but also helps with Well water filtration.
2. Water Softener for Well Water
Another effective step to reduce the impurity level of Well water is bypassing water softener.
Basically, the water softener removes the problem-causing minerals from the water by reducing the hardness level of Well water.
If not fully contaminated free water, this method surely helps to reduce the contamination process. Read Best water softener for well water.
3. Sanitize With Well Water Treatment Tablet
No matter if your Well is old or new, it is important to sanitize the water, especially the bottom of the Well often.
There are tablets and granules which are specially made for Well water sanitization and you can use them according to the amount of water the Well stores.
But if you don’t want to use these methods there are some other techniques that can disinfect Well water perfectly! One of the most popular and standard treatments to purify the water is shock chlorination.
This process is the most effective method to disinfect the Well water and springs using household liquid bleach or what we call chlorine.
It is highly effective to remove bacterial contamination in-home water systems and that is why it is the most preferable method in many places. But the method should be done the most safely and in the proper manner.
When can we use the Shock Chlorination method?
- In the case of unused Well or completion of new Well
- Well has been opened for some repair or installation
- Well has been covered with floodwaters
- Annual water test results show the bacteria
- Well water seems muddy or tastes muddy
- Changed watercolor after the rain
- If well water shows symptoms like a bad or rotten smell.
Steps To Purify Well Water using Shock Chlorination Process
It’s important to lose debris from the Well house. After turning the pump circuit breaker off, remove the Well cover.
Using a strong chlorine solution (½ gallon chlorine bleach per 5 gallons of clean water), scrub the interior surface of the Well. Don’t forget to remove the sanitary cap if it is not in a good condition to avoid further contamination.
2. The calculation is Important.
Per 100 gallons of water pour only 3 pints of chlorine bleach. Then add 3 pints into your Well.
Attach a clean garden hose to the outdoor faucet nearest the Well. Then place the end of the hose inside the Well.
After turning the faucet on, turn the pump back on and until you smell chlorine that is coming out of the hose let the water run. Now, for about 15 minutes, use the hose to wash down the interior surface of the well and close the outdoor faucet.
Give some time for the solution to circulate properly throughout the system. First outside, start opening each faucet (hot/cold) one at a time. Then inside the faucet, repeat the process.
Once you detect a strong chlorine smell, start closing each faucet. Flush the toilet one at a time.
But if you are not detecting any strong odor at each faucet or toilet then pour an additional 3 pints of bleach into the Well and try again.
5. Flush and Finish
After turning the pump circuit breaker off, put the cover back in place. Let the chlorinated water remain in the system for 12-24 hours.
Turn the pump circuit breaker on and rid the system of the remaining chlorine by turning on the outside faucet, one at a time. Let the faucets run until you no longer smell chlorine.
In the final step, run the indoor faucets one at a time until the water is clean with no smell inside.
Flush the toilet. Do not run more than 100 gallons of chlorinated water into your septic system through a drainage ditch.
Once the chlorine dissipates, you can start conserving the water into a storage tank and use it to water vegetation.
Before applying any method DO check the proper amount of chlorine bleach and solutions. Handle the entire method with utmost caution and precautions as you will be dealing with a lot of chemicals.
Precautions to be taken:
- Use proper clothing like goggles, a protective apron, rubber gloves, and boots as the chlorine solutions will be concentrated.
- Avoid using drinking tap water for some time as the chlorine level will remain high immediate aftershock chlorination
- Don’t use the water until 12 to 24 hours of treatment as the process takes time to kill the entire bacteria.
- Don’t forget to turn the pump circuit breaker off(step3) and to prevent any electric shock from the water pump.
- Protect the components of water supply or treatment devices by checking with component manufacturers before shock chlorination your water supply system and to determine how to bypass it.
- Wait for at least two weeks after shock chlorinating the water supply system to retest for total coliform and E. coli bacteria. Only after the test result shows the absence of coliform bacteria, the water is safe to drink.
Is Shock Chlorination Always Effective?
Aftershock chlorination, there is still a chance of recurrence of bacterial contamination. Especially, if a source of contamination persists.
For example, a nearby malfunctioning septic system or a pathway for surface water entry for a well like an improper well location, absence of a Well cap, or a cracked well casing.
That is why shock chlorination is NOT a recommended method for treating bacteria problems that occur repeatedly.
Such sources should be identified and eliminated by a licensed Well driller/contractor. You can also install a continuous disinfection treatment system.
- How much bleach should we add to Well?
The process of adding bleach depends upon the level or amount of water the well is holding. 4 quarts of a gallon or 1 quart of laundry bleach per 50 gallons of water will be sufficient for the Well water.
Avoid overuse of bleach or use a scent/chlorine test kit to measure the level of chlorine in the water.
2. How much bleach to purify water?
Even for adding chlorine in general to purify water, it is important to check the volume of water. Never add bleach with assumption or without measure. Take the reference of 1 quart of laundry bleach per 50 gallons of water.
3. What are the best well water purification/filtration Systems?
Amazon offers a wide range of water filtration systems. Some of the most popular water filtration systems are Springwell, Aquasana EQ- Well, Pelican, etc.
4. Is it safe to use Chlorine bleach on water?
With proper measurements and precautions, it is always safe to use chlorine bleach on water.
However, Chlorine bleach forms after the conduction of electricity through the salty water. So, we cannot say it is not completely harmful.
Therefore, information from good resources is always recommended before using any chemical substance.
5. Which is the best way to purify Well water?
There is no one way to purify Well water. In the modern era, we are provided with so many water purification systems like using softener, Well water sanitization, or adding Aluminum Sulphate into the Well water.
In the end, it depends on what type suits you best for the Well.
Water is the most essential and important source of our life and that alone is enough to not take problems like well water contamination for granted.
Such problems can even cause the spread of deadly diseases and viruses.
That is why it is always advisable to purify the Wells and Well water often. There are many established methods that provide steps to improve the hygienic quality of water.
Choose the right method, techniques, and technologies that are suitable for your well and perform them with correct steps and caution.