Wells are an often neglected part of a water treatment regime.
The Osorno well rehabilitation method removes scaling, iron deposits, and persistent bacteria (e.g. iron bacteria or bacteria hidden in biofilms). Osorno's method is more efficient and safer than commonly used methods such as concentrated acid (commonly hydrochloric or "muriatic" acid) or shock chlorination.
Osorno discourages shock chlorination because:
- Chlorination produces chlorinated organic compounds that are persistent in the environment, and harmful to animals and humans as many of them are carcinogenic;
- The high pH of hypochlorite solution ("bleach", "liquid chlorine") causes precipitation of calcium ions in the form of lime which can shield bacteria from the disinfectant. This is obviously counterproductive.
Osorno discourages the use of concentrated acid because:
- Its fumes are easily inhaled by the operator, thus posing a significant health risk;
- It is highly corrosive, even with stainless steel;
- Scale in wells usually contains deposited manganese oxide that can react with the acid to form dangerous and corrosive chlorine gas.