The Florida Department of Health in Bay County advises private well owners affected by floodwaters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.
One of the following methods is recommended as a precaution:
- Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula; or
- Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.; or
- Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain unscented household bleach (4 to 6%) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.
After the flooding subsides:
- Disinfect your well using the procedures available from the Florida Department of Health in Bay County or provided on the Department of Health at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/manual/floodinf.htm; and
- Have your water tested by the Florida Department of Health in Bay County or by a laboratory certified by the State to perform a drinking water analysis for coliform bacteria.
- Continue to use bottled/boiled/disinfected water until lab tests confirm that it is safe.
For further information, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Bay County (850) 872-4660 ext 1224 or visit www.doh.state.fl.us or www.FloridaDisaster.org.