Eliminating Bacteria

Steps to Remove Bacteria 

Learn how to remove bacteria from your Drinking 

There are TWO OPTIONS that you can take to 
Eliminate Bacteria in your water:

(It is important to think about any time requirements 
that you might have when choosing which option is best for you.) 




OPTION 1: Shock and Resample your Water 

OPTION 1 - STEP 1: If possible, Identify and Eliminate the Source of Contamination. (2-3 weeks) 

If you are able to find the source of contamination you may be able to stop the cause and then eliminate the bacteria from your well and home plumbing.  

The presence of Total Coliform bacteria in well water is a result of surface water infiltration or seepage from a septic system. Drinking water should not contain more than 10 total Coliform bacteria per 100 ml.

*E. coli appears in water samples contaminated by fecal matter; thus, they indicate the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or protozoa.

Corrective action should be taken immediately!

The maximum acceptable concentration of E. coli is "0" per 100 ml of water.*   
* = Information taken from Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.   

OPTION 1 -  STEP 2: Shock the Well and Plumbing Systems to Disinfect your Water. (12-24 hours)

Weather you could identify the source of the infection or not, the well and plumbing systems should be shocked in order to disinfect the entire system - you can do this by using unscented household bleach.

When shocking the well you MUST use the proper quantity of bleach required to properly disinfect new and existing wells and plumbing systems.   


Steps for Chlorine Disinfection

    1. Add the amount of unscented bleach (determined in the Table) to the bottom of the Well and then agitate the water. Connect a garden hose to a nearby tap and wash down the inside wall of the Well. This will ensure thorough mixing of the chlorine and the water throughout the Well.  

    2. Start the pump and bleed air from the pressure tank. Open each tap and allow the water to run through all taps until a smell of chlorine is detected, then turn off the taps. 
    If a strong smell is not detected, add more bleach to the Well.  

    3. Allow the water to sit in the system for 12-24 hours.  

    4. Start the pump and run water through the outside hose away from grass and shrubbery until the strong smell of chlorine disappears. Make certain that the water does not enter any watercourse (channel that a flowing body of water follows). 
    Finally, open the indoor taps until the system is completely flushed.


Table 1: Disinfection of Well Water with Unscented Household Bleach (Approximately 5.2% Hypochlorite) 



Doing so can damage skin and other tissue.


Remember that bacteria can continue to grow from any source; hot water tank, fridge water dispenser, ice-maker, dishwasher, and clothes washer, as well as any dead end piping in the plumbing system.

Shocking the well does not guarantee that the bacteria has been eliminated. Retest after 2 to 4 months.

OPTION 1 - STEP 3: Resampling your Water (2-3 weeks)

After shocking your well wait 48 hours, then resample your water with your local Health Unit or available Lab. In the meantime, find another source of water, or boil the water before drinking.

    Positive "Safe" Tests

    Two consecutive "Safe" tests performed on samples obtained over a period of 1-3 weeks will probably indicate that the treatment has been effective.

    1. If the shock treatment solves the problem, then repeat bacteriological testing in three to four months.

    2. If the above steps do not alleviate the problem, then it is recommended that the source of the ongoing contamination be determined and corrected, possibly with professional help. If remediation is not possible a permanent alternative solution, such as a new well or a drinking water disinfection device, should be considered. 





OPTION 2: Shock and Resample your Water

OPTION 2 - STEP 1: Water Treatment System (approx. 1 week)

Sometimes the only solution is to install a water treatment system. 

Clean Water Solutions is here to help!

Our Water Operator Specialists’ understand your deadlines, we can work around your schedule.


OPTION 2 - STEP 2: Resampling your Water (2-3 weeks) 

You will need to resample your water with your local Health Unit or available Lab (this will give you verification that your house is up to Water Quality Standards) after we (a) install your UV System and any Pre-treatment system(s) that you might need, and (b) disinfect your plumbing system.

Ultimately, the best approach to ensure complete disinfection of water intended for human use and consumption is a multi-barrier one, consisting of collecting water from the cleanest source possible, followed by filtration and disinfection.   


It should be stated that in most cases the quality of the water may require pretreatment in order for the disinfection system to effectively kill all microorganisms.

For the proper selection of Water Treatment Equipment - Contact a licensed Water Treatment Specialist.

Clean Water Solutions can help you understand how to treat your problem water and help you select the best water treatment equipment.


unless you boil it at a rolling boil for AT LEAST 1 minute.


For assistance with everything that is water, feel free to contact us. 

One of our a licensed a water specialist would be happy to assist you to your Clean Water Solution!

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