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The Gradual Death of a Well is Industry Wide: How to Finally Stop Hurting Your Wells

What You Should Know about Water Wells and how to finally achieve Water Wellness

  1. The main culprits to water well plugging are mineral scale, iron corrosion products, and microbial colonization by bacteria and possibly coliforms and e-Coli.

  2. Chlorine is a disinfectant – used to disinfect soluble and light amounts of microbes. Bio-dispersants are not effective at mitigating microbes. Biocides should be used to effectively mitigate water well type microbiology.

  3. CFU’s – Organisms are measured by colony forming units because they multiply and grow. Water wells get colonized by bacteria and coliforms. Improper cleaning procedures, processes and chemistry increase microbes rate and reach of colonization.

  4. STOP brushing your water well without having adequate biocidal protection in place, to prevent the spread of colony forming microbes.

  5. Acids, bio-dispersants and disinfectants do NOT mitigate biomatter, i.e. polysaccharide, a mucus like gelatinous material produced by microbes for protection. Biocides can mitigate biomatter.

Inner skeletal structure protected by biofilm

  1. Gravity Feed, Disinfection Techniques – Concrete poured down a water well will only go down about 100 ft. below the static water level due to hydrostatic water pressure. Treatment chemistry like chlorine, biocides and descalers are the same way. Products must be placed into the treatment zones or drawn down by the pump, if the water level is greater than 100 ft. Therefore, disinfectant should be pre-blended above ground with water and drawn down into the well with the pump, or spotted/tremied if feasible.

  2. There are significant difference in descalers for the rate, volume and types of scale that can be dissolved. The wells gradient water flow can impact chemistry retention. Carbonate scale can dissolve quickly (8 hours), oxide based scale usually requires 72 hours soak time.

  3. Sulfate Reducing Bacteria – black, also known as SRB and MIC, produces acid and hydrogen sulfide gas. SRB degrades mild steel at the rate of ¼ in. every 10 years.

  1. Too much chlorine can cause an impermeable sheath.

  2. pH is NOT a valid indicator of an acids ability to dissolve scale. pH is not a catch-all indicator of the corrosivity of a solution.

  3. Downhole passivation with soda water is essential for mild steel casing and well screens.

  4. When is a water well a life threatening situation and potentially flammable – Always – H2SO4.

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