How often should a well be disinfected?
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Whenever a home has been unoccupied for an extended period of time we recommend disinfecting the well, especially if the electricity has been turned off at any time during that period. This is a situation we see often in country houses and mobile homes in our North Central Florida area that are for sale and have sat empty on the market for a while. The culprit you are trying to eliminate is E Coli bacteria.
Yes, you can test the water first for bacteria, but the time and expense of testing is more trouble than if you just went ahead and disinfected the well. Plus, the odds are high that the test will be positive.
Other situations that indicate well disinfection may be necessary are:
- After well or pump repairs.
- When the well has been flooded or near flood waters.
- When the water tastes different or has a strange odor.
- After doing plumbing repairs or the addition of piping or fixtures.
- Testing once a year is recommended if your well has had a previous history of bacterial contamination.
When the contamination is coming from a source underground, such as a nearby septic tank, the bacteria will likely return and you must deal with the source of the contamination to fix the problem. Improper plumbing installation that allows a cross connection is another way that bacteria can reoccur. Also, disinfection does not eliminate non-bacterial contaminations such as arsenic, radon, nitrates, or pesticides.
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