Drilled well hasn't been used in 15 years. I turned pump on 2 years ago by mistake and a bit of water came out of the black PE pipe. I figure at least the water in the well is stale and I should drain a few times.

Well is 138 feet from top of casing, 128.76 Gal of water in well, pump is 10 feet from bottom of well and water is 50 feet from top of casing. Put in 1998, stopped use 2004.

  • 1
    Acknowledged... yes it's poly. That's what I get for posting when I wake up :)
    – House DiY
    May 10, 2019 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


Pump it out for a while. If the pump controller does not have a "low pressure cutoff" pay attention so you don't leave the pump on if you manage to pump it dry.

Common to "shock treat" (chorinate, recirculate, let sit, then flush out) on general principles. If the cap has been in place these 15 years there really isn't anything that should have gotten in, but general principles...

Depending what you are doing (such as drinking the water) might also be advisable to test the water (generally after flushing out quite thorughly and over several days, if you did shock-treat it), to be sure there are no issues with water safety from bacteria or other contaminants.

If your state (or other local authority) has a registration program you may be able to find data about your well from them (as well as, or instead of your well driller) - check to see if there's a plate or something with a registration number for the well on it.

  • Won't be drinking it. Showers only. Was thinking of shocking, let sit few days, turn pump on and wait for chlorine to come at house. Well is over 100 feet away from house. Just difficult to recirculate.
    – House DiY
    May 10, 2019 at 12:38
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    Garden hose is pretty simple to arrrange for going back 100 feet. Days is far too long for shock-treating, it's just going to end up chlorinating the aquifer. Water does not so much "sit in your well" as "flow around the general vicinity of your well" underground. Recirculating is needed to mix the chlorine evenly, and also lets you wash down the walls of the well casing above waterline. You want to chlorinate, recirculate, and right then and there run all the fixtures in the house to get chlorine smell at each one. Sit for a few hours (not days) and then flush (onto the ground surface.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 10, 2019 at 12:47
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    If it's not blatanly foul, the price of a water test might be chepaer than buying and easier than hauling (even if you can get it free) drinking water in relatively short order.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 10, 2019 at 13:00
  • Is there a limit or concern with no pressure tank and chlorinating as discussed above? All I will have soon is spigot and breaker. Not expecting blatantly foul water, just maybe stale. Cabin is reasonably in the middle of nowhere. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/157662/… diy.stackexchange.com/questions/157671/…
    – House DiY
    May 11, 2019 at 4:34
  • Operating without a pressure tank and pressure switch (or some other pressure control means that's generally more expensive) is generally problematic, because of excessive pressure. If the pump is on and valves are closed, you may find a weak point in the system, depending how much pressure the pump develops. Bare minimum would be to put in a pressure relief valve that blows off somewhere it won't be a problem to have a bunch of water dumped. The water in the aquifer moves, so the water in the well today hasn't been sitting there for 15 years. Sounds like you might have a new question to ask.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 11, 2019 at 13:46

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