MILROY, Ind. – The Anderson Township Regional Sewer District needed two clear tests before they could put a recently-cleaned water well back into service, except the test result showed signs of fecal coliform bacteria. Assistance from the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water helped disinfect the well and bring it back on-line.
“They just had a well cleaned and they need two consecutive clear Bac-T tests before they could put it back on-line,” explained Gordon Meyer, an Alliance Circuit Rider who provides training and technical assistance to small communities.
The community had tested the well but, the results came back showing the presence of bacteria. Meyer advised Water Superintendent Joe Christmas to super chlorinate the well and allowing it to sit for 24 hours. Once the excess chlorine was flushed from the well, the community could sample and test again. Christmas followed the procedure, but the test again showed signs of bacteria.
Meyer visited the system and started evaluating the well and the community’s testing procedures. He learned that the well had been left uncapped after the cleaning, and the well may have been contaminated.
“I supervised while a contracted mixed another solution to super chlorinate the well and properly replaced the well cap,” Meyer said.
The chlorine solution would need to be in contact with the well for at least 24 hours to be effective. Meyer and Christmas reviewed Anderson’s sampling procedures to ensure they were getting accurate results from their tests.
“I asked if he had sprayed the sampling tap with chlorine and how long he let the water run before taking a sample,” Meyer explained. “We sprayed the sampling tap and I advised Joe to let the water run for a few minutes before taking a sample.”
Disinfecting the sampling tap ensures that no outside bacteria have contaminated the sample. Letting the water run helps ensure that the sample is coming from the well and not water that may be left in the line prior to the disinfection process.
“After 24 hours, they tested and this time it came back negative for fecal coliform,” Meyer said. “I told them to wait 24 hours and sample again.”
After the second test came back clear, Anderson Township was able to put the second well back on-line. Meyer has remained in contact with the system.
“They have two wells that require different levels of chlorination,” Meyer said. “Right know they are trying to balance each well, but everything else it is going good.”