Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant that is often used to kill bacteria and disease-causing organisms in private wells and city water supplies. Local governments make it mandatory to chlorinate a new well or after you repair the well casing or replace the well pump.
Chlorinating your well, also known as shock chlorination, adds chlorine taste and smell to water. Moreover, chlorine requires some time to disinfect water. Hence, it is advised not to use well water after chlorinating for some time.
In this article, we will discuss how long you should wait water after chlorinating a well. How can you remove excess chlorine after chlorination, and how to ensure that chlorine levels are below MCL (maximum contaminant level)?
How Long Should You Wait To Use Water After You Chlorinate A Well?
It is recommended to wait 8-24 hours before you can start using water after chlorinating your well. The wait time depends on two factors.
- The volume of water in your well
- How much chlorine is used
A Pro Tip: Store sufficient water for 24 hours for your family’s needs. You can use bottled water for drinking or boil water to kill bacteria.
When can you start Drinking Water after Chlorinating a Well?
The University of Georgia recommends waiting 7-14 days before drinking water after shock chlorination. However, many water filter experts suggest that you can start drinking water after 24-48 hours if you have a RO filter or carbon filter installed in your home.
How can you Remove Excess Chlorine after Chlorination?
The next step after chlorination is to remove chlorine taste and smell from the water. You can do this by opening all taps in your home, so the chlorinated water in pipes flows out. Stop the taps once you notice the chlorine smell has stopped.
You must also backwash all filters and water softeners and regenerate any water treatment units. Open outside spigots, flush household appliances and toilet tanks.
It can take 30 minutes to 24 hours or more to flush all of the chlorine from the well.
How to ensure that Chlorine Levels are below MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level?
The EPA has set MCL for chlorine at 4.0 mg/L. Chlorine above this limit can cause eye/nose irritation and headaches.
The biggest symptom of chlorine’s presence in water is its taste and smell. You cannot rely only on it. The best way to ensure that chlorine is below MCL is to test your water. You can test water at home or send a sample to a certified laboratory for analysis.
Which is the best Chlorine Test Strip?
Pool and Spa Test Strips from JNW are best for testing chlorine levels in the water. You immerse the strip in the water, and it shows chlorine levels after some time. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions while performing the test.
How to Chlorinate a Water Well?
You can chlorinate your water if you know how much bleach and water must be mixed to obtain the right amount of chlorine to disinfect your well water. You’ll have to consider the well casing diameter, the volume of water in the well, and bleach needed per 1 foot of water in your well.
You have to disinfect the distribution system as well. You can do this by opening every hot and cold water faucet in your home, starting from the farthest, and letting it run until the water coming out has a chlorine-like odor. Close the tap immediately after you smell chlorine in the water. Moreover, flush the toilets, unfinished plumbing, and outside spigots. Household appliances connected to water supply, like washing machines, dishwashers, and ice makers, must be disinfected.
Get your well water tested after 7 days to see if chlorination has worked.
How long before I can Shower after Chlorinating a Well?
It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before showering after chlorinating a well. It will be better if you can wait 1-2 days more. Chlorine levels in well water go down after freshwater replaces chlorinated water.
Is there any Alternative to Shock Chlorination?
Yes. You can install a chlorinator (chlorine injecting system), a UV purifier, and an RO system to remove bacteria from water. UV purifiers and RO systems are recommended for treating potable water.
How often should you Chlorinate a Well?
Private well contractors recommend chlorinating your well every 3-5 years. You may need to chlorinate your well sooner if your well’s water source is contaminated by industrial waste, agricultural run-off, or floods.