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Renfrew County and District Health Unit Media Release on April 26, 2019 - Reminder to make sure your drinking water well is safe before using in flooded areas


Renfrew County and District Health Unit

"Optimal Health for All in Renfrew County and District"

For Immediate Release

(Pembroke, Ontario, April 26, 2019)

Renfrew County and District is currently experiencing localized flooding due to a combination of heavy rains and runoff from melting snow. Rising water levels pose a threat to the health and safety of residents. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has issued a Flood Warning for Pembroke District and Bancroft District; this includes Renfrew County, Township of South Algonquin and Algonquin Park.

Flood water and water ponding around wells can affect the safety of your drinking water. Renfrew County and District Health Unit is recommending residents with wells that are being affected by flood conditions:

1. boil your water for one minute at a rolling boil before drinking, food preparation or brushing teeth with the water,

2. use bottled water or,

3. use water from an alternate potable water source.

Have your well water tested for bacteria when flood waters recede. Water sample bottles can be picked up and dropped off at the Renfrew County and District Health Unit. For more locations, visit

During heavy rains and floods, the ground can become saturated, preventing proper operation of your septic system. If you septic system has been affected reduce the amount of water used by limiting toilet flushing, dishwashing, washing clothes, and showering.

Do not pump your septic system when the ground around it is still saturated. High ground water levels may cause an empty septic tank to float out of the ground, and damage the inlet and outlet fittings.

Flood waters can be contaminated with sewage so be aware these waters can cause illness.

The following tips will help protect your family during flooding events:

• Keep your family safe by keeping family members and pets away from and out of the flood water.

• DO NOT enter areas where electrical systems have been affected by flood water as you may be electrocuted. Always wait for clearance from the electrical authority before entering these areas.

• Building materials, clothing and furniture exposed to flood waters are likely contaminated with sewage and can support the growth of mould. Some items can be cleaned and disinfected; others may need to be thrown out.

For more information visit or call 1-800-276-1097 X 555.

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For more information:

Melissa Botz, R. Kin

Coordinator, Communications and Emergency Preparedness

Renfrew County and District Health Unit

Tel: 613 735-8654 Ext. 599

Cell: 613-432-0584

Fax: 613-735-3067