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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

Natural Resources

THE WATERWHEEL: A series dedicated to one of our most treasured resources - Water

THE WATERWHEEL - Shock Chlorination of Domestic Water Supplies

by Don Janssen, UNL Extension Educator

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Water WheelOne of the most common contaminants found in private domestic water supplies is bacteria. If a water test confirms bacteria is present, shock chlorination is the preferred method of treatment. Shock chlorination is also recommended on completion of a new well, when the pipeline is opened for repair, following contamination by flood water, and to help control sulfur or iron bacteria.

Two steps are needed for a successful chlorination process. First, identify and eliminate the source of bacteria. A shock chlorination is of limited value if recontamination occurs.

Second, when conducting the shock chlorination, add enough chlorine to create a 200 part per million solution throughout the water distribution system. Test the water again after a week or two and monthly for the next 2-3 months. If the problem persists, contact a licensed water well contractor or your local department of health office.

This article appeared in the NEBLINE Newsletter.


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PHOTO Credit: Rita Shelley

Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68528 | 402-441-7180



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