Saturday, September 18, 2010

Water Test

One of my daughters nagged me to get my well water tested. It was tested years ago, was fine, so I forgot about it. She kept on my case about it and even dropped off a testing kit from the state lab. Finally, to shut her up, I sent samples to be tested.

The state sent me a quick reply that there was bacteria in the water and the well should be sterilized. I felt pretty silly about that. Went right out and bought a jug of bleach to do the job. Pumped out the well this morning and bleached the heck out of it. Ran bleach water through all the plumbing and let it set for the day. Added a filter for drinking water. It'll be days before all the bleach is flushed out of the system.

There's a lesson for me here. I shouldn't take something like that for granted. Doesn't matter that year after year the well tested fine. Sometimes things change. I used to sterilize the well every spring. Since the well always tested fine before, I got out of the habit. Also never liked the bleach smell that took a few days to clear.

Now it wasn't a serious problem. No one's been getting sick from it. However, it wasn't going to get better on it's own. What contaminated the well? I don't really know. It could be surface water from a heavy rain. That would be my guess.

From now on, I'm not going to take my well for granted. Spring bleaching and regular water testing is back on the schedule.



  1. I detest the bleach odor as well, I now use food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide, it does not have an odor or taste (especially once it's diluted), it will not hurt you (once it's diluted), it will kill out nasty bugs, and it's even healthy for you. :)


  2. I'm guessing you have a dug well and not a pipe driven well because you pumped it out. I'd be interested to know the procedure for sterilizing a well? Could you explain the process for us?

  3. Wreatha: good idea. Where do you get your hydrogen peroxide?

    Yukon: Yes, it's a dug well. The State of NH environmental division recommends that you pump the well down. Add 1 gallon bleach to every 500 gallons of water.

    I made sure to wash down the insides of the well with bleach. Then I ran all my faucets to make sure the bleach water was in all the pipes. Let it set for a day.

  4. My shop teacher used to say "familiarity breeds contempt". True statement if there ever was one. Brings us things like the woman I saw putting on makeup while on the cell phone doing 80 MPH in the hammer lane. I want to know what part(s) were doing the steering! Heh heh heh...