Well Chlorination Pros & Cons

Any of you provide this service for wells with high bacteria? What do you see as the liability (besides making someone sick or killing them)?

Is it worth the risk? What would you charge if you did it? Would you have a separate contract?

I offer the service, but sure don’t push it! Its several trips + an additional sample. I typically charge $ 250.00 ±, but try to get out of doing it.
I don’t see any huge liability, and in the 50 or so wells I’ve done, I’ve never had an issue. I have had to chlorinate a second time to get a good test, and I have learned to check for a K-packer ( sealed bushing near top of well casing ) before dumping chlorine in!

What is the signifigance of a K-packer?

Does it provide an opening for the chlorine, or
Don’t get the chlorine on it?


Hydrogen Peroxide is a better alternative. A six percent solution if you can find it in quantity.

Joe, contact SC DHEC and they can give you the specs they recommend for disinfecting a well. It depends what kind of well, bored or drilled, the static level, and the total depth.

Not hard to do. Just make sure you follow DHEC’s guidelines.

Larry, my question wasn’t HOW to do it, it was “what do you see as the liability” if you do it.

But thanks anyway.

Hi to all,

Joe, surely this would fall under the SOP as offering to perform additional services and or repair on a previously inspected property. Plus there is a huge ammount of potential liability connected to the potability of water supply.




Chlorination of a well is Outside of the SOP and does not fall under the category of Performing Work as the Area is not one that is addressed as an Inspected Element.

Joe, I would have to disagree with you while well testing and treatment falls outside of the SOP, an inspector must have done water testing to know that the well needs Chlorination, therefore it is work performed on an inspected system.

Your milage may vary, I do see your point though I have always taken the narrowest of views on performing additional work.



Joe, I have to agree with Gerry. You tested the well in the first place to determine if bacteria was present. It is now part of your home inspection. I think it would now be like anything else found in your inspection. Recommend an expert to correct it, and be willing to do a follow up bacteria sample to check to see if it is corrected.
I don’t see any difference between this and anything else you find that you might be able to fix for them.

Just my opinion. As far as liability, the lab should be the one stating the water is free from bacteria, so that should cover you on taking the tests.

You can agree. You are basing your agreement upon assumptions that may not be valid.

Employees of the Company, providing a contracted service, collect samples on site. Laboratories determine the presence of bacteria and report their findings.

Collecting a water sample is not part of a Home Inspection. It can not arguably be made as included if not provided by the IOA.

Contracted Ancillary services (Septic, Radon, WDI, etc…) should be provided independent of the Inspection with separate Contracts specifying their own terms and conditions.

I don’t see the problem with taking a well sample. Some have indicated that this is a conflict, but I don’t see it and will continue to do so as a service when asked (I live in a rural area and there is a demand for this). It is very common for home inspectors in this part of the country to take well samples.

But, after reading the comments I don’t think I’ll do the chlorination part of it. I’ll leave that to others and then offer to re-test if they want that done. Thanks to all.

Joe, I also see no problem with takng well samples, when I lived in New England it was rare for me to do a home on a well and not take a water sample for testing, my personal issue would be with the additional work and liabilities associated with Chlorination.




When you performed the service of Drawing Water samples…were they contracted under the IOA or were they contracted under a separate contractual agreement providing the Ancillary Service?

My assumption is also that your Company was properly Incorporated as a separate business entity …


Joe, any and all sampling was done within the inspection contract signed by the client, my issue was and is with the additional service side and in the case of well Chlorination the liabilities attached to it.



I too take well samples and send them to the lab for results. I just do not do the chlorination of the well if needed. I will re-sample once the chlorination is completed.

I actually have another company, where I am a licensed well driller, licensed plumber, and licensed water and distribution systems operator. With that company, I have taken many samples and chlorinated many wells. I just won’t do it for a house I have inspected. Same as I won’t do any plumbing repair work on a house I inspect.

If you do choose to do the chlorination, watch out for steel casings. We have a state certified water lab now and do our own in house water testing. Chlorination starts at $175 and we don’t do the steel casing types because once you add the chlorine, it tends to knock down a lot of rust and may clog up the lines and cease the pump.

I don’t do well chlorinations but the rust clogging and pump failure potential has me curious. Is there a “best” way to deal with steel casing wells that may need chlorination?

Just curious, but all the drilled wells in my area are steel casing. How do you chlorinate a drilled well with steel casing? I have been told that when you chlorinate you should wash down the interior casing.

I have found that Hydrogen Peroxide 6 percent solution works much better then chlorine, and breaks down much better.