Household Water Treatment – A Traditional Approach

Wells and homes go hand in hand, especially in new residential areas outside towns and cities where owner rely on the phreatic layer for the running water source. For this very reason, household water treatment is very important, especially when water is used for human consumption and not solely for washing. The prophylactic disinfection of home wells is done after either construction or repair works are finalized and then every year after the well is cleaned.

The simple and efficient way to treat the home water is by using chemical disinfectants such as chlorine or chlorine dioxide. You can also rely on other means such as filtration systems, water softener, distillation systems, ultraviolet rays systems and ozone based disinfection. In the first case, the simplest, you have to start by emptying the well, either by using electric or manual pumps, and then cleaning the inside by removing all the sediments. Next is allowing the water to accumulate again till it reaches the normal level and then proceed to the disinfection step. Use about 100 grams chlorine for every cubic meter. Dissolve the necessary chlorine quantity in a small volume of water and then mix till it becomes uniform. The solution is then poured into the well and stirred with a long clean stick.

Close the well for about six hours during which water shall not be consumed. After the six hours have passed, assess the level of the residual chlorine by smell and, if there’s no specific odor, then add another quarter or even a third of the initial chlorine and wait for four more hours. Take a water sample to a local laboratory to test for bacteria and residual chlorine level which should not exceed 0.5 mg/l.

A classic alternative to chlorine is the quick lime. In this case, use 500 grams of quick like for every cubic meter of water. The necessary quantity is slaked and then mic with water to make a solution which is then poured into the water and mixed by continuous stirring.

Wells that are not currently being used, but might be used in the future, must be continuously maintained like a working well. Wells that are no longer in use must be plugged in order to protect ground water from surface contamination, protect vertical movement of water between aquifers and eliminate a potential safety hazard for humans and wildlife.


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