Treating a household or private well can be done with some common store-purchased bleach. "Shocking" a well with bleach should be performed when any form of construction has been done on or near the well site. Area flooding can also be cause for treating the water well. The overall time frame for treating a well is approximately 24 hours. The treated water must sit in all pipes and water tanks for this length of time. During this treatment period, everyone should be warned not to use or consume the bleach-treated water.

Step 1

Pour ½ gallon of the bleach into the 5-gallon bucket and fill with water from the garden hose. Take the scrub brush and clean all reachable interior areas of the well and water tanks using the bleach solution. Wear rubber gloves if you are sensitive to bleach.

Step 2

Pour a pre-measured amount of the household bleach into the well. Follow a basic formula of 3 pints to 100 gallons of stored well water. Use a table to calculate the amount of water in your particular application (see link in Resources). Attach the garden hose to the nearest outdoors spigot and run the water back into the well. Run the water until a distinct bleach smell is observed. Shut the water off after 5 to 10 minutes of mixing.

Step 3

Flush all toilets and run all indoor faucets until the same heavy bleach smell is noticed. Allow the water to sit for a minimum of 8 hours. Usually, 24 hours is optimum for the bleach to do its job. Flush the water system by opening all outdoors spigots and allow the water to flow. Keep flushing until the bleach smell has dissipated. Run all indoor water faucets until the bleach smell has abated.