Shock Chlorination for Water Wells
By Stephen Madden, Agricultural Water Specialist, Alberta Agriculture
If you have a well and happen to notice increased staining in your laundry or perhaps a rotten egg smell emitting from your taps, it may be bacteria growing in your well. There are different types of bacteria that cause problems in well water, but the more common types are sulphate-reducing bacteria and iron bacteria. Although these forms of bacteria are not a cause of health problems for humans, they can cause headaches for your water systems. The easiest way to identify iron bacteria is to check the inside surface of your toilet flush tank. If you notice slime or growth, chances are iron bacteria are present in your well. If you notice a rotten egg odor you probably have a sulphate reducing bacteria problem.
One of the easiest ways to treat this problem is by shock chlorination. In order for this to be effective the treatment should contact the entire well depth, the formation around the bottom of the well, and the pressure system.
When preparing to shock chlorinate your well remember to store sufficient water to meet your needs for 8 to 48 hours. If you have any water treatment devices, contact the supplier to ensure safety of the equipment.
For further information on shock chlorination please call me at (780)835-2291 or contact your local Alberta Agriculture office for your free copy of Water Wells That Last for Generations.
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