NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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May 9, 2011 Agriculture Column


Rain, Rain go away.  The weather does not sound good for us through Wednesday and in fact through the week with cooler temperatures.  I am writing this on Monday and just returned on Sunday afternoon from a wonderful day of shooting sports activities with our county shooting sports kids.  They did tremendous.  The whole journey to and from Washburn saw very little field activity.  Those that were in the field were leaving approximately 20-30 percent from either water or wet areas.  The most of the activity was around Rugby in the sand and again around the Washburn through Anamoose area.  We have many problems in our area with water and roads and added to the problem has been the addition of Muskrats smoking off the edges of the roads with their tunneling.  I am asking all of you to take extra precautions this spring in being careful.  For those of you nonfarm friends traveling the country roads please pay attention to farm equipment being moved.  If you see someone moving farm equipment please pull off to an approach sufficiently to allow tractors and all down the roads.   They will not be able to pull off of the edge this year leaving many dangerous situations.  PLEASE GIVE THE FARMERS PLENTY OF ROOM THIS SPRING AS THEY FINALLY GET INTO THE FIELD.  THE PRESSURE IS GROWING AS WE GET LATER AND LATER AND FIELD WORK HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED. 


Shock Treatment for Contaminated Wells

    We all know we have too  much water and many wells have been completely covered by water but if you would have a well that has been flooded chances are it will be contaminated.  If your well is salvageable the following steps are should be considered.  First step is to have the well tested.  Water bottles for testing are available at the Griggs County Extension office.  Testing should be done late in the day and early in the week so that the sample will not sit in post office over the weekend.  The following is the steps to take in shock treating a well.

  1.  Disconnect or shut of values to water heaters, water softeners or other appliances.  You want to discharge water only through outside faucets, bathtubs and sinks.
  2. Turn of the electricity off to the pump, clean the well cap and outside casing with a solution of 1oz laundry bleach in 2 gallons of water.
  3. Turn on the pump and pump the well until clear water is discharged from all water faucets.  Take a sample in a bucket and look for sediment and check for any odors.
  4. Check the size and depth of the water column to determine the amount of chlorine bleach is to be used.  The minimum chlorine level is 200 ppm.  If your well is 3 to 4 inches in diameter with about 50 feet of water, mix 2qts of bleach with 10 gallons of water and pour into the well.  For a well 5 to 6 inches in diameter with 50 feet of water, mix 1 gallon of bleach with 10 gallons of water and pour into the well.  Household bleach is about 6% chlorine, doubling the amount will not do any harm.
  5. When pouring the solution into the well, avoid pouring directly onto the pump wiring.
  6. Connect a garden house to a faucet and place on top of the well.  Turn on the pump and circulate the treated water for 15 minutes.  Let the solution sit in the well for at least an hour.
  7. One at a time, open every water outlet on the system and run the water until you can smell the chlorine then turn of.  Flush toilets, refill the water heater and allow the chlorine to be in the system for at least four hours.
  8. Purge the chlorine from the system by opening the nearest hydrant and work back to the farthest faucet or hydrant until you can not smell chlorine. 
  9. Re-test the well.  Sometimes wells need to be shock treated more than once.  

    For more information on cleaning flooded wells go to the following links. 

NDSU Flood Information Page
"Drinking Water Quality:  Testing and Interpreting Your Results"



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