how do I correct high coliform? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

My backup water suply is an old, out of service , dug well which used to supply the water to this house. We got a new, drilled well only because the dug well gave too few gals per min. So, after i hooked up a hand pump to it i was shocked that a test showed the water to be too high in coliform bacteria to be potable. Can anyone tell me how to correct for this after the water is pumped up? Thanks for any help you can give me. God bless , good luck to all.

-- Bob (, November 14, 1999


hi Bob, I am getting water tested this week and if there is bacteria in my well I will use a water filter,bought a PUR,and or boil it first. I also need to know if you can bleach a well that you have a hand pump on. When we bleach our normal well we have to run all faucets untill we no longer smell chlorine.Many many gallons.Way too much to hand pump. I am going to find out tomorrow about how to do this. I do know that the well guy can bring in a truck and blast water into your well after it's been chlorinated but don't know how much $$ it would be.I will check back in a few days when I get more info.

-- Tress (, November 14, 1999.

does anyone know of an anonymous water testing service or purchasable test? Our county would shut down if they get the chance.

-- b (not, November 14, 1999.

Bleach, iodine, microfiltration, boiling, ozone, UV treatment all of these can be used to sterilize water. Considering the hazards of getting ill if prompt medical treatment is not available in thenear future, maybe it would be a good idea to treat ALL water, even water from assumed safe wells as suspect? A small text, bleach.txt can be found at

-- Ken Seger (, November 14, 1999.

I don't know how it is now days, but it used to be that the coliform tests showed whether or not that your water could be served to the in an eatery. So question the lab. A little coliform isn't going to kill you. If you have been drinking it all along, its not likely that the count was real high or you would have been sick. If you don't let a few bugs into your systems you will have no immunity what so ever.


-- Taz (, November 14, 1999.

There are several points you should consider:

First, coliform are NOT disease causing --- they indicate bacteria is somehow getting into your water supply or the sample. The drilled well is MUCH safer than the dug one, so don't give up on the drilled one. Have it resampled by a reliable professional as samplng error is the most common cause of a positive coliform result. Also handpumps are notorious for giving coliform results: the pumps mechanisms provide a good surface for the critters to grow on --- it won't hurt you unless there are some actual disease causing organisims in your well, which is extremely unlikely if it is properly constructed.

You can disinfect your well with chlorine and pump it out the handpump --- the main cause of your problem is probably the pump itself, so if that gets disinfected you probably won't need to worry about pumping a lot of water out.

Thers more you could do, but hopefully you get the idea. Dug wells are easily contaminated by surface drainage/insects/snakes --- a drilled well is protected from those things and is much safer (worth the time to correct any problem).

And don't worry to much, when you put your water in a cup or glass you are contaminating it with thousands or millions of coliforms anyway --- coliform in well water is an indicator to check out your water supply, NOT that its unhealthy (neccessarily).

-- Jon Johnson (, November 14, 1999.

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