Alert to Private Well Owners in Flooded Areas
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:
- Disinfect your well using the procedures provided at http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/private-well-testing/_documents/Flooded_Well_Broc.pdf. You may also visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website for instructions: http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/whatdo.cfm.
- If available, have your water tested through your county health department or by a laboratory certified by the state to perform a drinking water analysis for coliform bacteria.