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Caring for your Water Well After a Flood

Caring for your Water Well After a Flood

Spring is a good time to have your well water tested for bacteria. Melting snow and heavy rains may affect the safety of your drinking water. Testing your well water will alert you to any changes in the quality of your drinking water. The presence of bacteria in your water may act as an early warning sign of health risks associated with drinking contaminated well water. The Health Unit recommends that you test your well water at least three times a year.

Water wells can become polluted by flooding. Sometimes bad water has a nasty taste, odour, or cloudiness. Other times it tastes, smells and looks the same as clean water.

During a flood, dirty water may get directly into the water table through the well itself, through an old well or some other opening in the ground nearby. In this way it bypasses the natural purifying action of the earth.

Water wells may not be affected by floods. However, homeowners are urged to test all wells in the flooded area for bacteria.

Until tests show the water to be drinkable, all water for drinking should be boiled. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs. For more information follow this link to Renfrew County & District Health Unit website

If you think or are told that your well water is unsafe because of chemicals, then boiling will make the problem worse. Instead, use another source of water such as store bought bottled water.

You can contact the Renfrew County and District Health Unit at 613-735-8654 or 1-800-267-1097 extension 555 for further information about how to disinfect a well.