John Branch, Bankston, Jr., Joseph D.
Disinfecting a well can sometimes be done by the well owner. However, for some wells, it can be difficult to get the disinfectant into the well or other parts of the system. Hiring a well contractor to disinfect the well for you is recommended. If professional help is not available, follow these procedures:
These steps will usually result in adequate reduction of bacterial contamination, but some conditions could interfere with the disinfecting. It is best to test the water and not use it for drinking until test results show it to be free of bacterial contamination. Testing again after 10 days is recommended. You can discuss the final lab results with your lab or local parish health unit.
Testing for Bacteria
The parish sanitarian, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, can test your water for bacterial contamination. For a fee of $75, trained sanitarians collect the water sample from your home and deliver it to a state laboratory, where the sample is analyzed for coliform bacteria ONLY. The test results are sent to the well owner. If the test is positive for coliform bacteria, the sanitarian will contact you with suggestions for correcting the problem. The well should be resampled until a negative test result is obtained. Any necessary resampling is included in the initial fee.
For more detailed information on how to protect your well from biological and chemical contamination, read the AgCenter Farm*A*Syst well protection fact sheet.