Why should we chlorinate our well?

Chlorination Systems

Chlorine is an excellent germicidal agent that is inexpensive and readily available.  It kills many germs such as E. Coli, Coliform, iron bacteria, etc. Due to the effectiveness of chlorine as a microbial cleansing agent, it is recommended by the EPA for use by municipalities for the treatment of their water. 

What are the different methods of chlorinating water?

If you have municipal water, your water is chlorinated at the water plant and comes out of your tap.  If you have a well, you should be periodically disinfecting your water with chlorine.  There are 3 different methods of chlorinating your well.

1) "Shocking" the Well
            The first method of chlorinating your well is by "shocking" it.  Shocking your well
            is an involved process which requires that you treat your well with chlorine, run
            every water-using appliance and fixture in your house until the chlorine reaches
            them.  You then need to let the chlorine sit in you pipes for a day (or two) 
            before you flush the chlorine out and are able to use your water again.

            BENEFITS
                       Inexpensive
                       Requires no additional equipment
            DOWNFALLS
                       Large margin for error
                       Labor Intensive
                       Disinfects only the water in the well at the moment of disinfection and
                       not the water that comes into the well after you've used the existing
                       water.

2) At the Well Chlorination System
            A pellet dropper is tied into your well and routinely drops chlorine pellets into 
            you well.  Pellets get dropped in every time your well pump runs (every time you
            use water), which ensures continual disinfection of your water.  The amount of
            pellets dropped in will depend on your rate of water usage and static well
            depth.

            BENEFITS
                       Continual disinfection of your water
                       Minimal labor--keeping a supply of pellets in the pellet dropper
                       Removes sulfur from your water
                       Requires no storage tank as all disinfection occurs in the well

***In order to have an At-the-Well Chlorination System, your well must NOT be a running well (spring fed, lake fed, etc.) and it must contain at least 75' of water at all times.

3) Liquid Chlorination
             Like at the well chlorination systems, a liquid chlorination system ensures
             disinfection of all water that enters your home.  With this system, you will have
             a large holding tank (usually in your basement) with a chlorinating system
             attached to it.  Water comes from your well into this holding tank where it is
             disinfected with chlorine.  Once the water is disinfected, it will go to your
             taps.

              BENEFITS
                         Continual disinfection of your water
                         Minimal labor--you only have to put liquid chlorine in the system
                         Removes sulfur from your water

What are the expenses related to chlorination systems?

  • Price of original unit and installation varies with each household based on water usage
  • Annual maintenance approximately $75, depending on contractor and service needs
            *Annual maintenance consists of checking valves, pipes, fittings, etc.
  • Annual chlorine approximately $150, varying according to water usage
  • Price of additional equipment (see "carbon filtration systems") to remove chlorine from drinking water