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Alert to Private Well Owners in Flooded Areas

By DOH-Escambia

May 01, 2014

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (DOH-Escambia) advises private well owners affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make water unsafe to drink.

DOH-Escambia recommends any of the following strategies to ensure the safety of water used in the household:

  • Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, washing food, cooking, or washing dishes.
  • Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain, unscented household bleach (4 to 6 percent active ingredient) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.
  • Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.

After the flooding subsides:

For more information, please contact the DOH-Escambia’s Environmental Health division at 850-595-6700 or visit or