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If your source of water is from a rural well, then you should be having your water tested regularly to monitor for any harmful bacteria that may form and contaminate your well. Well water is effected by the surrounding surface and ground water supply and for this reason bacteria can end up in your house and drinking water. Some bacteria is not harmful and will not make you sick, but occasionally the bacteria can be extremely harmful! E.coli and Coliform can make anyone who consumes that water very sick. Aside from having your water tested regularly, an important part of maintain a safe well is to disinfect it.

Below is a simplified version on how to disinfect your residential well system;


  1. Make sure you have enough water stored to meet your household needs for 12 hours.
  2. By-pass any filtration within your home. High levels of chlorine may damage the media in the units. Check with the manufacturer or company who installed the unit for appropriate disinfection protocols.
  3. Turn off hot water tank
  4. Use this helpful link to help determine how much chlorine you will need to use for your specific well:
  5. Mix the amount of chlorine that was calculated in the previous step with 25 liters of water
  6. Empty the mixture into your well
  7. Start your pump and open all water taps one at a time both cold and hot water. Allow the water to run until a chlorine smell is detected from each faucet and then turn off each tap.
  8. If for some reason there is no chlorine smell detected return to step 5 but this time only adding half the amount of chlorine than originally calculated for.
  9. Once all taps have the chlorine odour detected and are shut off, allow the water to sit in the lines for 12 to 24 hours.
  10. Once the chlorine has sat in the system for the allotted amount of time, turn on an outside tap that will not allow any chlorine into your septic system as this is harmful. When the chlorine smell has disappeared from the exterior tap, you are now safe to turn on the taps inside.
  11. After the disinfection process has been completed, wait 48 hours of normal water usage to re test for any bacteria.

Note: There is no guarantee that this method will solve the bacterial issue in your well, if you continue to have ongoing bacteria issues you will have to find a more permanent solution i.e. Ultraviolet Disinfection system.

Disclaimer: Although this method is proven safe by Public Health Ontario, as The Water Guys North LTD, we are not liable for any harm or damage this method may cause someone directly, indirectly, or a third party.