Hi – I have a question about bacteria and my Fleck water softener. We are on our own well which was tested and it tested positive for coliform bacteria. We have a whole house water filtration system that removes chlorine and chemicals as well as our water softener. We have a reverse osmosis system at our sink.
I shocked my well with chlorine and I am going to get it re-tested, but I wonder: how I should sanitize or kill bacteria in my softener and filter system? Will the chlorine in the well water do the job? We don’t smell any chlorine in the house water.
This is a good question. It is very important to sanitize your water softener, whole house water filtration system and your interior pipes as well. Coliform and other bacteria can remain trapped in water softeners and
filters and grow and multiply. You can easily have a situation where
the water coming from the well is no longer contaminated, but the water
becomes contaminated after passing through the water softener or filter.
To sanitize your water softener, add ½ cup of unscented chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water and pour into the brine tank. Start a manual regeneration and allow the softener to go through its cycles.
For your whole house water treatment system it is best to remove the filter media and dispose of it. Wash the inside of the tank with a chlorine bleach solution (1/2 cup to 1 gallon of water). Then add new media and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
It is very important as well to sanitize the household pipes and water heater. For more information see this article on how to sanitize the well and piping.
After the chlorine sanitizer has been flushed out and no chlorine residual remains, test the water at the well and also inside the home after the treatment equipment to make sure there is no bacteria remaining.