How to Shock & Chlorinate a Well, & Bleach

If you have a well, that’s fantastic! You may enjoy its numerous benefits, including an almost limitless supply of water. It is also the most practical and economical means of transporting it to your home. Wells have a long life expectancy of 30-50 years. Furthermore, they are a fantastic way of collecting water in almost any setting. 

But the fact that the water comes right from the ground, may include impurities that might alter its flavor or make you sick. But it isn’t so much of a worry; there are various viable remedies to such pollutants. Here’s your guide on how to shock & chlorinate a well, including with bleach.

water coming from the ground

Why Do You Need to Shock It?

Water from this source is absolutely safe to ingest as long as it is cleaned and suitably maintained. It might just exude a flavor and scent that is different from what you’re used to, yet, it is safe!

However, the water becomes contaminated over time, particularly after severe rains and storms. As a result, it is advised to do a quality test. Total coliform bacteria, nitrates, dissolved solids, pH levels, and other suspected contaminants in your well should be tested at least once a year. However, since it will be significantly costly, you might first identify any possible issues to save money.

When you need to destroy germs, pour bleach and let it sanitize. This process is known as shock chlorination. It is the technique of disinfecting domestic systems such as wells with household liquid bleach or chlorine. It is now the most widely used method for treating bacterial contamination in any supply. 

Alternatively, treatment tablets can remove potentially hazardous minerals and contaminants. After you’ve done the treatment, it’ll be safe to drink!

How Often Should You Chlorinate It?

Several factors determine it. One key factor is the well’s location. If you live in a high-risk area, you should conduct quality tests regularly. Following periods of severe rain, debris from the surface may have been transported into the well.

A quality test is advised once a year under normal conditions. If contamination is confirmed, it is crucial to examine the source. And, if it is still necessary, proceed to intensive chlorination with the assistance of skilled personnel.

If the contaminants are still growing, it is preferable to have a treatment on the surface with continual chlorine addition. Professionals’ help is also required in this instance.

How Much Bleach is Used to Shock 

First, get reliable information from authorities. They will inform you of the level of impurities in your well.

Basically, it all depends on your well, its depth, GPM, and your test results. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Before bleach, the only method to cleanse water was to rest for six weeks. It would become brown, and the bugs would die and sink to the bottom. Sometimes sunlight was required or kept dark. I believe the water at the surface is safe to drink, and adding too much bleach may harm the well by destroying the “good bacteria” in it.

According to experts, the standard dose to make water biologically drinkable is 3 parts per million (PPM) – it doesn’t take much. Chlorine is a vaporous chemical that will ultimately evaporate, maybe within a day or two. Too much-chlorinated water will taste strange to dreadful. Still, unless the concentration is hundreds of times the 3ppm standard, it will do nothing more than give you a bit of gas and only for a short period. 

However too much of it, your water will have a more pungent odor. There isn’t much going on. You only need to run a little more through your system to remove any traces of taste or smell. You have a little bottle of bleach, and your well contains hundreds or thousands of liters of water. The end result is really weak.

Bleaching Instructions

Yes, having a well does supply you with a source of freshwater. However, it might get polluted with germs and other hazardous organisms over time. Adding bleach to the well water is an excellent remedy for this, as it kills the germs. Remember that the procedure takes a day or two, so might as well plan on using as little water as possible.

Time needed: 5 days.

How to shock & chlorinate a well

  1. Preparation

    First, you must know when it is necessary to bleach your well. It’s a good idea to do it once a year, ideally in the spring. Aside from that, consider the many conditions in which it may be required.

    The preferences are:
    Yearly test results reveal the presence of microorganisms.
    Changing color, smell, or taste.
    If the well has recently been repaired or new pipes have been installed.
    If the ground gets muddy or flooded as a result of heavy rain.

  2. Gather the materials needed

    Chlorine: High test hypochlorite or HTH tablets or granules can be used. Still, a 5% solution or higher of regular household bleach is preferred. Make sure to pick an unscented kind. You may need up to 10 gallons (37.9 L) of bleach, depending on the volume of water and the strength of the bleach.
    Chemical Test Kit: It is required to precisely measure and monitors the level.
    Hosepipe: To recirculate the water, a garden hose is required. Any size will work, although a bigger hose will provide better flow. Make a sharp cut at the male end of the hose.

  3. Measure the volume

    Determine how much bleach you will need for disinfection by calculating the volume of water it contains. To do so, multiply the column by the gallons per linear foot depending on the casing’s diameter.

    To find the distance from the bottom:

    Use a fishing line.

    Gently lower the fishing line till it touches the bottom.
    Retrieve it once it reaches the bottom. The wet portion of the line may now be used to measure depths.

    Once you’ve got the depth of the water (in feet) and the quantity per linear foot, multiply these figures together to determine the total volume. You’ll need 3 pints of 5% chlorine bleach for every 100 gallons of water, plus an extra 3 pints for final disinfection.

    Take note: chlorination takes time, generally one to two days. You will be unable to use water during this period, so make your plans appropriately. A perfect opportunity to chlorinate is shortly before leaving for a weekend break or a vacation.

  4. Shock chlorination process

    Turn the circuit breaker off.
    Pour the chlorine into the vent pipe.
    Put on safety gloves and goggles, and pour the appropriate amount of chlorine.
    Connect the hose to the well and turn it on.
    Recirculate it for at least one hour to properly distribute the bleach.
    Conduct a chemical test to determine the presence of chlorine coming from the well. If it comes up negative and there is no odor, continue recirculating for another 15 minutes and check again.
    However, when chlorine is detected, use a hose to gently swirl it around to wash away residue from the casing and pipes.
    Next, test all interior faucets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
    Finally, wait 1–2 days before using the source. Allow the chlorine to dissolve for at least 24 hours.

  5. Flush off the chlorine

    Your water is now wholly treated after 1 or 2 days. After that, you may begin the process of eliminating chlorine.
    Connect as many hoses as you have in your outdoor faucets and tie the ends over a tree or fence about three feet off the ground to monitor the flow easily.
    Turn on all of the faucets and run it as hard as you can (full force).
    Run a final test until you can’t detect even the slightest amount of bleach. 

Best Well Treatment Tablets (Top 3)

Fortunately, the marketplace has a myriad of treatment tablets to make your system purification as simple as possible. These are our top picks that are perfect for your need.

1. Well Safe Well Sanitizer Kit

Sanitizer kit
Very popular system that kills bacteria and eliminates rotten egg smell.

The Well Safe Well Sanitizer Kit is ideal for sanitizing your well at least twice a year or after doing any system maintenance, such as pump repair or replacement. It is used to clean wells, storage tanks, and reservoirs. The first half of the treatment involves the use of pellets. And the second consists of the use of granular chlorine sorbent. For proper disinfection, a concentration of 100 ppm is recommended.

The package includes a complete set of instructions. It is efficient for killing germs and removing undesirable odors such as sulfur odor and prolongs pump life. Finally, it has all you require to treat your entire well. Such a great DIY sanitizer.

2. BWI C21044 Pellets

This bag will be plenty for years to come.

A clean flowing source to drink, cook with, and bathe in is made possible by BWI. Fits comfortably down the well’s plug. Six pills did the work, and one bag will last for years. You can just quickly drop the pellets down the well, and it gets down to the bottom quickly. Depending on the test results, you can drop pellets every 3 to 6 months. Definitely good quality pellets that fit any system. 

3. Star Bite Aqua Treatment For RVs and And Tanks

Preserving freshwater fresh may be difficult, which is why Star Brite experts have developed the most excellent line of treatments and conditioners in the business. It has everything you need to keep your household system’s potable water tasting and smelling great. To safely and quickly remove awful taste or odor and create a barrier to odors or taste from tank and pipes. It maintains first-rate drinking quality or thoroughly deodorizes, sanitizes the entire system, especially after long-term storage.

What happens if you put too much bleach?

Typically, it’s less commonly understood that chlorine isn’t always chlorine. Chlorine is toxic to all life. It dissipates and leaves the environment. Chloramine, on the other hand, does not. Contamination that has been chlorinated with chloramine does not dissipate sooner. It remains in the water longer than chlorine. 

Thus too much bleach isn’t effective. Do not use more bleach than is indicated since it is unnecessary and will necessitate further flushing before domestic usage. When using regular laundry bleach, 3 quarts per 100 gallons is recommended.

water well

How long does it take to get the chlorine out?

Depending on the initial quantity of chlorine and the total volume of water, it might take nearly 5 days for it to evaporate completely. Chlorine at a concentration of 2ppm in 10 gallons of water might take up to 110 hours to completely disappear.

Keep in mind that removing it from your source can take time. It is a lengthy process, so don’t be shocked if you have chlorinated water for two or three days. If necessary, repeat the procedure of opening all the faucets in your house so that freshwater replaces treated water. Replace the cartridge in the filter as well if required.

How long should you wait after chlorinating?

Wait one to two weeks after shock chlorinating your system before running a chemical re-test. If the test results reveal no coliform bacteria present, before it is safe to drink. Suppose test results confirm the presence of coliform bacteria. In that case, the source of contamination should be eradicated, or a continuous disinfection treatment should be performed.

water well in a garden

Brown water after shocking 

The brown color represents iron in the body of water that has reacted due to chlorination. Iron is usually in ion form. It does not show up until it reacts with oxygen and creates common rust, which adds the reddish-brown colors.

When can I shower after shock chlorination?

Only once freshwater dilutes and replaces bleached water will the chlorine levels in the well decrease. And the procedure might take anything from a few days duration.


What is the best way to shock a well?

You can use specific tablets for the purpose. It’s by far the easiest way.

If your well has been swamped or otherwise contaminated by microorganisms, it may be necessary to sanitize it. Granules, tablets, or liquid chlorine in the form of home bleach can all be used. The good news is that Amazon sells various well-water treatment items to make your life easier.

Can you shock your own well?

In the event of a flood, storm, or another natural disaster, you will require clean drinking water far before the time needed to shock chlorinate your well. It is better to keep bottled stuff on hand in an emergency. Boiling it is another method for destroying some disease-causing organisms present after a natural catastrophe, although it is not always optimal.

For more immediate usage, household bleach will do the disinfecting. Simply look at the percentages to the amount specified on the bleach-water mixture:

How long do you shock a well for?

Depending on the amount of water and the size of well you have. Normally, the actual process will take many hours. Allow 6-12 hours for the chlorine to take effect before flushing the water from your well and pipes. 

Shock chlorination employs concentrations that are 100 to 400 times higher than those found in water sources. The highly chlorinated liquid is retained in your system’s pipes until it is cleaned out and the system is suitable for use again.

How much does it cost to shock a well?

If you can do it yourself, I’m confident it won’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars rather than employing professionals. It simply costs you the cost of the treatment products, materials, and safety supplies.

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