Silver Lake resident Andrew Jarvey holds a well test kit and disinfection instructions at the former Silver Lake Hall Saturday (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Red Cross returns for another day to help all residents

By Jason Arndt
Editor

During the recent floods in Western Kenosha County, several residents have seen their wells get submerged with potentially contaminated water, but testing kits are available for those needing assurance at the former Silver Lake Village Hall Sunday.

The former Silver Lake Village Hall, open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, is located at 113 First St. in Silver Lake.

Once residents fill the empty bottles, they can return the samples to several locations, including the Kenosha County Center on highways 45 and 50, Kenosha County Job Center or the Salem Lakes Village Hall, 9814 Antioch Road.

The Salem Lakes Village Hall operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“Samples will be tested by the Kenosha County Division of Health for free,” according to a news release.

In addition to test kits, the American Red Cross plans to return to the former Silver Lake Hall, according to a Kenosha County press release.

Salem Lakes’ Village Administrator Pat Casey, who reports clean-up kits have been in high demand, said Red Cross workers offer guidance to residents affected by the flooding.

“Caseworkers have been here to help residents, and understand what their needs are, and try to assist them in any way they can,” Casey said on Saturday.

Although the Red Cross is at the former Silver Lake Village Hall, assistance is not limited to residents within the Village of Salem Lakes, Casey states.

“They are welcome to come, and talk to the Red Cross, and get clean-up kits, it doesn’t matter where they are from,” Casey said. “If they have had a disaster at their homes, then they should come here.”

Meanwhile, officials at the Village of Salem Lakes continues to see flood clean-up kits in high demand, Casey states.

Clean-up kits contain essential items related to decontaminating some surfaces affected by floodwaters.

“We have had a lot of clean-up kits that were passed out, which included brushes, brooms, cleaning materials, gloves, things like that,” Casey said.

Along with cleaning surfaces and other items within the home, Kenosha County officials suggest disinfecting submerged wells, the release states.

“If you know that your well was submerged, you can simply disinfect your well – it will need it,” the release wrote.

Residents who pick up a test kit receive instructions from the Department of Natural Resources, as stated below:

Disinfection Procedure

New wells and wells that produce bacteriologically unsafe water should be disinfected according to the following instructions:

1. Close gate valves so the chlorine solution will bypass your water softener and any other water treatment equipment. A strong chlorine solution can damage this equipment. You can disinfect these devices separately using the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Calculate the volume of water standing within your well according to the following: Volume of water standing within a well = Length of water column multiplied by the ‘Volume factor’ for your well. (‘Volume factors’ are listed below for given well diameters).

Note: Length of standing water column = Total well depth minus depth to the static water level.

‘Volume factors’ – based on well diameter:
• 2-inch diameter = ¾ quart water for each foot of water standing in the well.
• 4-inch diameter = ½ gallon water for each foot of water standing in the well.
• 5-inch diameter = 1 gallon water for each foot of water standing in the well.
• 6-inch diameter = 1½ gallons water for each foot of water standing in the well.
• 8-inch diameter = 2½ gallons water for each foot of water standing in the well.
• 10-inch diameter = 4 gallons water for each foot of water standing in the well.

Example: Calculate the volume of water standing within a 6-inch diameter well, 80 feet deep with a static water level of 15 feet.
First there are (80’- 15’) = 65 feet of water standing within the well.
The volume of the water standing within this well will then be: [‘Volume factor’ X (80’ – 15’) —> [1.5 gal./ft. X 65 ft.] = 97.5 gallons of water standing within well.

3. Using water from a known safe and uncontaminated source, add a volume of water – at least as great as the volume of water standing in the well – into clean new garbage cans or other comparable containers.

4. Using the table below calculate the volume of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) necessary to produce the desired chlorine concentration to disinfect the well and water system. Generally, for most water systems, a concentration of anywhere from 100 to 300 parts per million (ppm) will be adequate to disinfect the well and the plumbing system. (Most household bleaches contain between 5% and 6% available chlorine.) The bleach must be free of additives like ‘fresh scent,’ algaecides or thickening agents that can chemically contaminate your well.

Note: For severe bacterial infestations perhaps involving a biofilm, like an iron or sulfate reducing bacterial slime, more aggressive approaches may be necessary. These approaches include a more concentrated chlorine solution, measures to control the pH of the solution, or the addition of salt (NaCl) or other department approved products. Sometimes it is also necessary to scrub the inside of the well with a chimney brush to help remove slime or mineral buildup that can harbor the bacteria. Contact a Licensed Well Driller or Pump Installer for these more difficult situations.

Volume of Bleach Approximate To Water Chlorine
Mix Ratio Concentration
¾ quart bleach per 100 gallons water 100 ppm
1½ quarts bleach per 100 gallons water 200 ppm
2 quarts bleach per 100 gallons water 300 ppm

5. Using this water and the calculated volume of bleach, prepare a chlorine solution that equals or exceeds the volume of water standing within the well. Add the bleach to the water-filled containers at a site upwind and close to the well so you are less likely to breathe the fumes and so you won’t have to carry the solution too far.

6. Remove your well cap or seal and add about a halfcup to a cup of department-approved chlorine granules or tablets (calcium hypochlorite) down the well. (These products must also be free of additives.) The granules will disinfect the column of water standing within the well and prevent bacteria from being forced out into the aquifer when you add the large volume of liquid chlorine solution.

7. Turn off the electrical power and, while wearing eye protection, rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes, remove the well cap. Make sure you examine pump wires for chafed insulation or missing wire nuts. Have any necessary repairs made to the electrical system.

8. Pour or siphon the chlorine solution down the well, as rapidly as possible, in one continuous pour

9. Connect a new clean hose to a nearby hose bib (faucet) and turn the electrical power back on. Turn the water on and recirculate the chlorinated solution through the hose and back to the well making sure you rinse the entire inside surface of the casing, all the way down to the water table.

10. Again turn off the electrical power and drain both the pressure tank and water heater. (Doing this will subsequently allow the water from these tanks to be totally replaced by the chlorinated solution.)

11. Turn the electrical power to the pump back on and let the well water refill the pressure tank and water heater.

12. Open every one of your water faucets throughout your plumbing system, both inside and outside, until you can smell the chlorine solution at each one.

Note: For cartridge water filters, replace the cartridge after you have completed the chlorination process and completely flushed the system.

13. Turn all water taps off completely and allow the chlorine solution to remain in your well and plumbing system at least overnight, but preferably for 24 hours.

14. Flush the chlorine solution from the entire water system by using a hose connected to one of your outside faucets. Run the solution to a location away from your lawn and landscaping because it can damage them. Also make sure the chlorine solution does not get into a stream, river or lake. Chlorine, even in small doses, can kill aquatic life. Do not run the chlorinated solution into your septic system because it may kill the bacteria that 12″ Check Valve in Well Pitless Adapter To Pump Pipe must be kept under pressure Conduit Electric Cable Basement Pressure Tank Distribution System Sample Faucet biologically breakdown the waste. The extra volume of the solution can also hydraulically overload the system. The flushing process can take a long time. Keep running the water until you can no longer notice a smell of chlorine from any of your faucets or taps.

15. After the chlorine solution has been completely flushed from the system, wait about a week and resample your water to make sure it is bacteriologically safe to drink.

 
 

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