According to Michael Schnieders, PG, PH-GW, there are several categories of wells are susceptible to flooding or contamination issues, as follows:
- Old wells built in areas that are now floodplain territories
- Wells with incomplete casing above the high-water level
- Wells without proper capping or sealing, or older ones with extremely thin and ineffective grout
- Wells built in areas that don’t have a stable ground structure, with evidence of erosion or land sliding
- Wells that are simply unlucky.
Any well that has been flooded should be carefully tested and evaluated, in order to assess the quality of its water.
How can I protect my well and avoid health issues due to contaminated drinking water?
Most floods bring bacterial contamination of drinking water. By making sure that you repair the wellhead and you perform adequate disinfection, you eliminate the risk of drinking unsafe water. In case of rising water levels, you may have to elevate your well or even to relocate it. Here are a few steps the NGWA recommends before and after flooding to keep you on the safe side:
- Don’t drink water from your well and don’t use it for washing; use bottled water until you get a chance to test your well water
- Don’t get close to the well pump in case you see it is flooded, as you may get electrocuted
- Hire a qualified water well contractor to do the following:
- Flush and disinfect your well
- Perform maintenance tasks whenever needed
also, check with your local authorities about any guides regarding specific contamination risks you should know about in case of area flooding or other environment conditions and threats.