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10 Facts To Know When Using Chlorine Pellet Feeders On Well Water Systems

As a fixture of residential water treatment here in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas since 1955, we believe we have a pretty good grasp on how to help our customers love their tap water. Treatment options for residents on both municipal and private well water supplies are available and built-to-order here at our main facility.

Designing a water system for residents on a well water supply is typically more elaborate than a system designed for someone with city water. Municipalities remove groundwater contaminants commonly found here in South Florida before the water reaches any of its residents. People with a private well do not have the same luxury. The homeowner responsible for properly treating the well water in order to avoid common issues such as iron staining, scale build-up, rotten egg odor, or even potential health concerns.

With that being said, we want to shed some light on a well water treatment option (one that we do not advocate or even service) that is commonly used here in our area – chlorine pellet erosion feeders.

Chlorine Pellet Feeder1) How does a chlorine pellet feeder work?

The chlorine pellet feeder works on the erosion principal. As water flows through and over the chlorine pellets held in the feeder they slowly dissolve and add chlorine to the water.

2) How often should the chlorine pellet feeder be refilled?

The rate at which the chlorine pellets dissolve is based on water usage and flow rate through the feeder. The faster the flow of water, the more quickly the pellets dissolve.

3) Is there a time when I can have too much chlorine in my water?

Yes, for example, overnight when there is little or no flow through the feeder. At this time water sits in the feeder dissolving the chlorine pellets. As the time of no flow increases more chlorine is added to the water. In the morning, water with a very high concentration of chlorine will be pumped into the home’s plumbing system. This is why a carbon filter is often installed after your feeder. This excess “dumping” of chlorine causes shortened filter life.

4) Does the size or type of chlorine pellet used matter?

Generally, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the size or type of the chlorine pellet. Chlorine is manufactured pellet, pillow, and tablet (hockey puck) form.

5) Can I use pool chlorine pellets in my pellet feeder?

No, pool chlorine pellets are normally stabilized with a cyanurate compound. This compound is not acceptable for drinking water. Never use “stabilized chlorine” in your feeder.

6) Can I mix chlorine pellets with liquid chlorine?

No, by mixing pellets with liquid chlorine, pressure can build up in the feeder, causing an explosion.

7) Are there health problems associated with chlorine pellets or chlorine? Should I be concerned for my family’s health?

Yes. Chlorine and its ability to disinfect water and protect us from disease are well documented. On the other hand, the health effects of chlorine when combined with tannins (yellow, tea color in the water) commonly found in well water is known to produce Trihalomethanes (THM’s). Trihalomethanes are potential human carcinogens, and are regulated under the USEPA Safe Drinking Water Act for this reason.

8) Why are THM’s not regulated for my well water?

The Safe Drinking Water Act only applies to the public water supplies.

9) What should I do if I currently have a chlorine pellet feeder?

If chlorine is used for oxidizing non-health related substances such as iron, sulfur, or color you should consider alternative treatment to accomplish the same results.

10) Does my chlorine feeder kill bacteria?

Most chlorine feeder systems installed today do not address bacteria. When there is bacterial contamination, chlorine feed systems are installed with large retention tank(s) to ensure a 20-minute (at minimum) contact time required by public health authorities to kill bacteria. However there are alternative treatment options for bacteria as well, such as Ultraviolet disinfection and ozonation.

When it comes down to it, inexpensive chlorine pellet feeders that are unable to regulate how much chlorine is introduced into the water supply are just not an ideal form of treatment in our area. To find out what it will take to upgrade your current well water system and get away from the chlorine pellet feeder, contact us at 561-683-0101.