Do you have your own water well on your property? If you do, you are not alone. More than 15 million households in the United States rely on these private, household wells for all of their water needs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Moreover, every year the National Ground Water Association estimates that nearly 500,000 are put in by well drilling companies every year. This work is completed by about eight thousand well drilling contractors using more than 18,000 drilling machines. Water well services companies are helpful to a lot of people who have their own wells. They offer the following tips for residential well maintenance.
Pay attention to your well. The more observant you are to your well, the more you will be able to tell when something changes or is just not right. Visible changes may include the appearance of rust, you may notice leaking or damage to the well cap. Another sign there is problem with your well and will need to call the well services company is that you hear strange sounds from our pump or notice chattering pressure. Of course, if you notice your water starting to taste bad, that is a clear sign that there is a problem that needs the attention of your well services company.
Have your well inspected regularly. You should check over your well often but periodically having someone out from the water well services company is a good idea. They will look over the well to make sure your sanitary seals are in the appropriate condition and that the physical shape of the well is good. They will look at the joint seals, pumping equipment, pressure relief valves and all the connections. They should also test the pump and the electrical system and make sure the valves are in the right shape. Every step of the inspection should be clearly documented. This is important for your records.
Know when you need to clean your well. If you notice cloudy water, a change in the amount of water that the pump can get to the system per minute or notice that your water has a bad smell or taste, it is time for a cleaning. Of course if you test for bacteria and find it, you need to clean your well. People often confuse adding chlorine to cleaning the well but the chlorine acts as a disinfectant, not a cleaner. Anytime you have lots of incrustation and/or debris, you run the risk of encouraging bacterial growth because it makes the disinfecting process harder. If you have some of the problems listed above, you may want to call in the water well services experts to check out your well.
Steps to Disinfect Your Well:
- Open the well. Measure out the amount of bleach that you need. Pour it down the well. You can get this amount from your water well services company. They should know the size and condition of your well.
- Use your garden hose to clean out the well. Attach one end to your tap and place the other end down your well. Turn on the water to the hose. You will want to make sure the chlorinated water from the hose gets all over the surface of the well. You will need to leave the water on for at least four hours and many people just leave it on all night. Make sure you bypass any filters that may clog.
- Run all the taps in your home, individually, until you smell chlorine. This step is one of the ways you know the system has been disinfected.
- Close your well back up and do not use the water for at least 12 hours. If you can wait a full 48 hours before yuo start to use it, that is the best thing you can do.
- Run your water to waste into something other than the septic system. Do this for a few hours. You will know you are done with this step when you can no longer taste chlorine in the water.
- Test your water for bacteria a week after you disinfect your well.