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Without well maintenance, Lakemoor water pours like crude oil

Mon, Jul 24 2017 03 PM
black water from Lakemoor well
That's water coming out of that pipe. It's
so black that it looks like crude oil but
it's not - it's water from a Lakemoor
well that is grossly overdue for well
chlorination and maintenance.
No, that is not “bubbling crude” coming up where “Old Uncle Jed was shooting at some food;” that’s well water coming out of a Lakemoor well. The water looks like “Black Gold, Texas Tea” because no one has bothered to maintain this well since …, well, probably since this well was drilled.

Few Lakemoor wells get this bad. Even if maintenance isn’t done as often as it should be, the wells are maintained well enough that, at the worst, the water is a little off color when next it is chlorinated. Unfortunately, the color of the water is not the real problem, though it is hardly palatable. The problem is what’s in the water.

Water that black, coming from a well that was seldom chlorinated, is very likely to contain viruses, bacteria and parasites. That’s possible even if the water comes out of the well nice and clear. But, the likelihood of contaminated water increases when a well is as neglected as this well was.

The well technician chlorinating this well said that the water ran black for 20 minutes. It then ran brown for another 20 minutes. And, after all that, when he moved the pump a little in the well, bumping the casing, the water turned black all over again.

With a well this bad, it’s necessary to brush and descale the well before flushing again and chlorinating. Brushing and descaling is a process where a special liquid is added to the well and then agitated. Then, it’s left to sit for 24 hours before it’s pumped off.

In the case of this Lakemoor well, the well technician said it was a darn good thing that he decided to pump the water over the top rather than flushing it through the plumbing in the house. If he had done the latter, he’d have spread that much throughout the plumbing.

While few wells, in Lakemoor or elsewhere, get this bad, a well this bad offers a stark lesson for everyone with a private well. If you let your well go for 10 or 15 years, your well water may be as black as this. But, even if you don’t, the process that turned this water black has already started. It’s just a question of how long you’ll let it go.

Well technicians, even health departments, recommend that you chlorinate your well annually. Looking at this picture, it seems like a very good idea.

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