« Sliding downhill on Father’s Day | Main | Barack up. Lars down. A good day. »

June 18, 2008


Great post.

It's good that you were specific about the coliforms, they are indicators not pathogenic species themselves.

Also, E. Coli (italics) is in our gut all the time, and only certain strains under certain conditions go pathogenic -- which I find fascinating. It's like a truce in our gut LOL.


I lived in Oregon for years and owned three wells there. I rented a house with a well when I first arrived.

Being from the city I knew nothing about wells. There was a reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink. The well was in a field where horses and other critters had grazed(and shat)for decades. Red flag.

Occasionally I would drink water from the hose I used to water my horses. I was not bright enough to put two and two together..reverse osmosis under the sink + animals shitting around well can = bad water.

One night I got real sick with nausea, systemic pain and malaise. I ended up in the hospital. The doctors could not diagnose my symptoms. I ended up doing all these tests with barium to see what was wrong with my gut. They were looking for cancer, but instead found a healthy intestine.

"The good news sir is your intestine looks entirely normal. The bad news is, we don't know what's wrong with you".

Not being totally devoid of intelligence despite my willingness to drink out of a horse hose, I suggested to the doctors to check for parasites.

"No, that couldn't be it. Your symptoms don't match that."

I consulted with an alternative practitioner who was quickly able to diagnose a parasitic infection similar to giardia and my recurring attacks of this mystery illness abated with his treatment.

Moral of the story.. Don't assume water coming out of a hose is fit to drink, or that the diploma on your doctor's wall is proof he is competent.

Have your well tested regularly not only for bacteria and protozoa but toxic metals and chemicals also. Groundwater flow patterns shift and can move through strata with pollutants not previously detected. You never know when Farmer John or Meth-cooker Bill up the road has decided to turn his property into a toxic waste dump spoiling the ground water for miles around.

not treating the whole system (house and garden pipes) leaves the coliform in the pipe system. You need to run the clorine up to each faucet and let sit for 24 hrs.
some clorine will get into the septic. after a week or so start the yeast treatment to be sure your septic gets going again in case it was harmed.
Great post

Interesting. We have had coliform bacteria in our wells (2) for at least 3 years. It only started after a farmer started using natural fertilizer on the top of the hill. Anyway, I noticed from research I did, none state anything about the septic system. Good to know and thank you. We tried digging a shallow well (one is 130 feet only 3 years old,and one is 132 feet deep 40 years old)in another part of our yard, but that was even worse.

We are getting an ultraviolet light as we feel the Clorox treatment won't help us much.We have been hauling water from a spring a few miles away (yes, we tested it and it was good water)but not being spring chickens, we feel the light would be easiest for us. Our water is also hard as a rock, so we need a softener system too. (Our bodies can't take the beatings from our water anymore. LOL)

Very nice to know that coliforms are food in our drinking water and thus how it will be treated.

Excellent information, and I thank you for taking the time to detail all this. I just got test results back and was told that our well has coliform bacteria in it (scared the crap out of me - pun intended).

I was going to try to do the bleaching myself, but I will follow your recommendation and contact the well company that installed it for us.

Again, thank you for the info, actually makes me feel better and not be so freaked out over it.

Great article, thank you for sharing, we're in the process of purchasing a home and the water test came back with coliform in it, good info to know.



Nice blog! I have a friend that has been looking for a local company to do some bacteria testing in Monterey.

I have a shallow well - 18'- located at 9700 feet elevation that we use for our cabin. we use an external well pump that goes into our cabin with a pressure bladder tank. the well is a cistern style configuration about 10' in diameter and about 20' deep with a 10" perforated pipe surrounded by 3/4" washed sewer rock. It is filled by an aquifer at about the 14' level. the standing water level in the pipe is about 4' deep. Water testing shows some coliform bacteria present so we do not drink it. What is the best way to purify the water so that we could drink it safely?

Thanks for posting in such detail. Very helpful.

I know this is an old post, but I didn't read anything about a filter pack behind the casing.(liner) Filter pack does just that through gravel or in the case of your well a fine sand covering AT LEAST the screen. 1/8" slits in the casing is rather large for silt. Putting a filter pack behind the casing may not be possible NOW. Maybe putting it INSIDE the casing (pump temp. removed) completely covering the casings 1/8" slits should help. Also slowing the pump down so its not pulling so much silt and water in should help. Then, finally, after putting the filter pack IN the casing dont hang the pump all the way down on the filter pack. This is all -IF- you have a generous, high volume well. If not-- i guess slow the pump down. Don't suck the water out/silt in so hard.

I live in Maryland and was getting ready to sell my house. The lender required water testing well from inside hometo see if water was acceptable. Home Land Environmental came out (which also has their own lab ) tested it and it failed. They reported that cap needed replaced and clorination needed and 80% sure all would be fine--- after I paid them $525 dolllars

I waited 24 hours to then drained chlorine out of pipes. They retested and said it failed again. Need another chlorination, which 50% it would fix it, and recommended a UV light to be installed at main water area.

Little did they know I chlorinated it once before they came the 1st and ran the chlorine out hoping all would be no problem. So to chlorinate it a 3rd time Im not so sure about.

So many systems out there to rectify bacteria but so costly. Any recommendations on the problem?


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Strange Up Salem

Welcome to HinesSight

  • Salem Political Snark
    My local political rants are now made on this badass blog. Check it out. Dirty politics, outrageous actions, sleaze, backroom deals — we’re on it. 

  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • Church of the Churchless
    Visit my other weblog, Church of the Churchless, where the gospel of spiritual independence is preached.

  • Welcome to HinesSight. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.