Friday, June 24, 2011

The well water

We started thinking our well water was tasting poorly a month or so ago. I inspected our 30 inch round shallow well and all seemed ok. I cleaned the well using bleach. The water never did taste of bleach as it must have all dissipated or been diluted too much by our reservoir. The taste improved but was not as it should be.

So this time, two weeks later, I dug down a foot to the 1000 gallon reservoir lid and inspected the reservoir. All seemed clean and the water was nice and clear. It has been 11 years since I have looked inside the reservoir.

I dumped 4 cups of bleach in the full reservoir and 2 cups of bleach in the full well. Then I closed the valve between the well and reservoir and started draining both using both pumps dumping the water through 5/8 hoses without any nozzle. The well was drained to the upper shutoff float after 20 minutes. I added another 1.5 cups of bleach and hosed down the walls of the well real good with the bleached well water.

The well is quite slow in recovery but always has water. At one time it had a recovery of 1.3 gallons a minute. This equals more than 60 gallons an hour and with the reservoir the well provides plenty of water for our home.

After 2 hours and 20 minutes the reservoir was down to maybe a foot of water remaining. I don’t want to drain it below the water pickup pipe or the system would loose the pump prime. The way the plumbing is configured if it looses a prime you almost need to wait until the reservoir is half full before you can start the priming process. In the last 20 years I don’t think we have ever lost a prime. We did loose it a couple times early on when the float switches were being adjusted.

I added two cups of bleach to both the well and reservoir and washed down the reservoir with the hose using the bleached reservoir water. This water turned almost muddy brown much to my surprise!

I opened the valve between the well and reservoir and now am just waiting for the particulates to settle out. I could have emptied the reservoir one more time but we have been gone some. If I would have emptied the well it would have cleaned the particulates out earlier.

Now 3 days later barely can smell the bleach in the house water and there is a slight turbidity in the water. Hopefully the taste will be back to its usual quality which I believe to be superior to the bottled water that is purchased at the store.

The water is purified by an Ultra Violet lamp so as long as the turbidity is gone the water is good as far as bacteria is concerned.

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