4 Signs That You Need to Shock Chlorinate Your Well


Having your own well means maintaining the quality of your own water. If you don’t keep your water clean and safe for drinking, you expose yourself to potentially harmful bacteria which can make you sick or destroy your well. While they’re not hazardous to health, perhaps the most damaging bacteria to your well are iron bacteria and sulphate-reducing bacteria. Once these two forms of bacteria start to reproduce in your well system, there’s only one method which can be used to eliminate them: shock chlorination.


What is shock chlorination?

To put it simply, shock chlorination is the most common and effective way to disinfect a water well. But, let’s expand on that a little. When iron bacteria and sulphate-reducing bacteria start to reproduce at rapid rates in your well system, they can cause problems for you, and also your well itself. Shock chlorination needs to be done in able to eliminate these bacteria.


This involves distributing household bleach or chlorine into the well system so that it can slowly kill off all harmful bacteria. While it’s possible to perform shock chlorination yourself, it’s recommended that you seek the help of a professional. A professional will ensure that the chlorination is done in a safe, controlled, and effective manner.


So, what are the signs that harmful bacteria are running rampant in your well system?


1.  Slime Growth

Though it might not be the first thing you notice, something to look out for is a slime substance which grows on the inside of your toilet tank. This slime forms as a result of a bevy of iron bacteria building up in one spot. When these bacteria all congregate to one area, such as the inside of a toilet tank, they appear as a slime.


To check for slime in your toilet tank, simply remove its upper lid and give it a look. If slime is present, a shock chlorination is probably in order.


2.  Laundry Staining

One of the first things that might alert you to a bacteria-ridden well system is stained laundry. Laundry which has been exposed to excess bacteria has a tendency to take on a pale orange color. This staining is not only highly annoying, but capable of ruining clothes, towels, and other linens.


However, it should be noted that laundry staining can also be caused by rusty pipes. That’s why you must consider several signs before making an infected water diagnosis.


3.  Blocked Pipes

Another sign of iron bacteria water contamination is blocked up and clogged pipes. If your water is sputtering or coming out inconsistently, there’s a decent chance that your pipes are clogged. Bacteria clogs pipes by building up on their sides, congregating thickly and keeping water from pushing through adequately.


In order to unclog your pipes, it is necessary to remove any and all iron bacteria which may be present in your well system. This will typically require a shock chlorination.


4.  Foul Odor

You might notice a foul, egg-smelling odor coming from your water. If this is the case, you might very well have an excess of bacteria in your well system. This smell is caused by sulfate-reducing bacteria. When iron bacteria build up and congregate, they create a slime which is then eaten by the sulfate-reducing bacteria.


Foul-smelling water is almost a sure sign of bacterial buildup in your well system. Don’t hesitate to perform a shock chlorination so that you can clear it out.


In Summary

When iron and sulfate-reducing bacteria are allowed to run rampant in your well system, they will reproduce, congregate, and stick to many components of your well. This congregation will result in many negative consequences for your well, from slime buildup, to foul odor emissions, to clogged pipes, to stained laundry, and more.


If you want to destroy these harmful bacteria, the quickest and easiest way to do so is with a shock chlorination. Shock chlorinations should be performed regularly to ensure that your well water is always pure and safe for use.



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4 Signs That You Need to Shock Chlorinate Your Well