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Alert for All Private Well Owners in Flooded Areas

By Patricia Roberts

September 17, 2020

Contact:
Patti Roberts, PIO
Patricia.Roberts@flhealth.gov
850-401-6353
DeFuniak Springs, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton)
advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flood waters to take precautions
against disease-
causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.
DOH-Walton recommends ONE of the following:
1. Boil tap water and hold it at a rolling boil for at least one minute. Let it cool before using it
for drinking, brushing teeth, washing food, cooking or washing dishes.
2. Disinfect tap water by adding eight drops of plain, unscented household bleach (four to
six percent strength), which is about one eighth teaspoon or a dime sized puddle, per
gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25% strength), only add seven
drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy
after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure one time.
Note: Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water for
drinking. This will prevent contamination. In addition, containers for water should be
rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon bleach per gallon of water before reusing
them.
3. Use commercially-available bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
After the flooding subsides:
Disinfect your private well using the procedures available from DOH-Walton or visit the
Florida Department of Health website:
FloridaHealth.gov/environmental-health/privatewell-testing/index.html. You may also visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
(US EPA) website for instructions:
water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/whatdo.cfm.
To find out if your water is safe, have it tested by a certified laboratory for coliform
bacteria. To find a certified laboratory, visit the following website:
fldeploc.dep.state.fl.us/aams/index.asp.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to
protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county
and community efforts.
Follow us on
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the
Florida Department of Health please visit
www.FloridaHealth.gov.
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