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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    6

    Default Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    I'm getting ready to visit my cabin that's been unused for about 5yrs so I'm sure my water tank and pipes have some stagnant water in them. I'm wondering how I should clean them out.

    Here's a list of what needs to be flushed out. The water supply is a spring with a 20 gallon collection tub, this will remain as is since it always has running water in it. There's a 1 inch plastic pipe that's buried 3ft and goes from the spring, down the canyon for 1/2 mile and the other side for another half mile, emptying into a 2,000 gallon tank that sits about 20ft below the level of the spring, so it's gravity feed. At the bottom of the canyon are a set of valves so I can clean out the sediment that collects in the pipe line. From the 2k gallon holding tank it goes to a pump/softener and then to my house.

    I'd like to clean all these pipes out. I'm sure the water 1 mile of pipe has been sitting there for over 4 yrs since the sediment blocks the pipe after 1 yr or so. So I'm thinking that once I get the water flowing again and fill up the holding tank, I should run clean water through all the pipes. But I'm also thinking I should put a couple gallons of chlorine bleach in the holding tank, water softener, all the pipes in the house, and the 1 mile of buried pipe and let it sit for 12 hours. My only concerns are that the chlorine might not be good for my septic tank and when I drain the 2k gallon holding tank, all that chlorine would go down the hillside which probably isn't that great for the environment. Is there something safer I can use than chlorine or should I not even worry about doing that, just run fresh water through the pipes and forget about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    I don't think you will have any problems with a couple of gallons of bleach in that large a volume of water. Just running water through the system will not kill built up bacteria. Chlorine injection systems are commonly used in well supplied water systems.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 05-17-2009 at 10:38 AM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    West Jordan, Utah
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    If the spring box is open to the atmosphere and it has been five years since the water system has been used you should flush the system and then chlorinate it. You may want to sample the water for bacteria after you have completed the flush and chlorination.

    I would not recommend that you put the water into your septic tank, two gallons of 5.25% chlorine bleach in 2,000 gallons of water will result in a 50mg/l dose, this concentration will kill the bacteria in your septic tank. After you dose your water system, you should dechlorinate the water before you put it in your septic tank or on the ground. You should be able to get chemicals to dechlorinate the water at a Pool & Spa supply house.
    Last edited by Blake; 05-17-2009 at 08:53 PM.
    Slow The Flow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    Blake I believe your calculations are a bit high and over cautious. First the 2000 gals of water will be dumped into a septic tank that has water in it diluting the concentration, as the water is being pumped out more water is running into the tank diluting the exiting mix further. The bacterial concentration in a septic tank is in the solids in the bottom of the tank, clear water running in will be mostly exiting the tank into the leach field. Antichlors contain salts which would be even harder to remove and acid neutralizers should never be used indoors because it creates chlorine gas. Two gallons of bleach are commonly required to be dumped into wells before a health department will run potability tests.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 05-17-2009 at 11:13 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    West Jordan, Utah
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    Jack, Two gallons of 5.25% bleach in 2000 gallons of water calculates to be approximately 53 ppm, if you put concentrations higher than 1 ppm in a septic tank it can cause problems with the bacteria in the tank. You would need to follow the chlorinated water with unchlorinated water to insure that all of the chlorine has passed through the tank.
    Slow The Flow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Cleaning 5 yr old water in system

    Now that I reread my post maybe I should clarify something. The 2k gallons of chlorinated water wouldn't all go directly into the septic system. The holding tank has a pipe coming out of it so it can be drained directly down the hillside. This was installed so the tank can be emptied and cleaned. The only chlorinated water that would go into the septic system would be 60 gallons from the hot water heater, 60 gallons from pressure tank, and probably another 10 gallons from the 200 ft of water lines that run from the holding tank to the house. I forget exactly how many gallons the septic tank is, but from my calculations it's around 1500 gallons.
    Do you know what the name of the chemical is to dechlorinate the water so I can do some research on it. And do you know how much chlorine I should add per gallon of water?
    Thanks for all the help.

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