Wells & Septic

Wells and Sewage Systems During Flooding

  • If flood water goes over well, water is NOT safe to drink (or brush teeth, shower, or wash with)
  • Flood waters usually contain fecal material and other contaminants from overflowing septic systems, agri run-off, or industry by-products,
  • Common illnesses with exposure to flood water:
    • Skin tissue infections following cuts, scratches, abrasions, or insect bites
    • Deep tissue infections following puncture wounds or trauma
    • Diarrhea following ingestion of contaminated water

When To Test a Flooded Well:

  • Anytime water has gone over well
  • Water not over well but has sudden change in look (cloudy, silty), taste, or smell

After Water Recedes:

With help of certified well driller or contractor,

  • Inspect for well defects from flood damage
  • Pump well until water is clear
  • Shock chlorinate the well and distribution system
  • When it no longer smells of chlorine, test drinking water for Total Coliforms and E. coli.

Before you begin flood clean-up or the shock chlorination process, dress in appropriate safety clothing and equipment. Wear goggles to avoid contact with eyes, a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands and rubber boots, as well as a waterproof suit, coveralls or a full-length apron to prevent discoloration of your clothing. These are the recommended procedures and guidelines only. If you are not comfortable performing this procedure personally, please call a licensed contractor to shock chlorinate your well for you.