A recent article from the Michigan State University Extension provided important advice about food safety along with handling food items which have been exposed to flood waters. Yet what about residential and private water wells? The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has said that floodwater contains viruses and bacteria absorbed from organic debris, sewage systems, and the soil, along with pesticides, fertilizers and any other type of chemical contaminant. The MDEQ also states that if your well on your residential property has been flooded you should refrain immediately from using this water.
FloodSmart.gov, states that floods happen to be the number 1 natural disaster within the US. Unfortunately, there are a number of homes situated in the flood plains, which are areas that lie adjacent to the waterways that store and receive excess water naturally over the periods that involve snowmelt, intense precipitation, or the coastal storm surges. Development in the flood plains has resulted in pavements, rooftops and other impervious surfaces which restrict the absorption, infiltration, the storage and the gradual release of these flood waters in the natural flood plains. As developments continue in these higher-risk areas, the properties that are not mapped officially in these flood plains may also be risked.
So how will you know whether flood water has contaminated your well? It is always better to be cautious. If any flood waters have contacted the well-pit or wellhead, it is very possible that this water has seeped down to around the casing of the well and may have infiltrated your groundwater, which is the drinking water that comes out of your well. To make sure you and your family are protected from bacteria, illnesses, and viruses, you need to have the well tested. Boil your water or buy bottled water while you are waiting for the results of the test. Information about the procedures used to test the water and how to boil your water can be found from the latest news releases from MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality). The MDEQ fact sheet provides other information about how to care for a well after floods. Your health department should also be a viable source of information when it comes to residential wells along with flooding.
The residents who are supplied with drinking water by the Community Public Water Supply system which is in some cases known as City Water should be following the directives on how to boil water from their respective water suppliers during a flood event. The suppliers of community water are responsible when it comes to water testing and to notify their customers of any potential issues. Wells Inc. can provide a well solution for you. Contact us today!