What you need to know when there’s a flood…
The County Public Health Services’ Epidemiol-ogy Department has information available on what you need to know when there is a flood.
This includes: before you evacuate; on the road safety; cleaning up after the flood; standing water concerns; cleaners and disinfectants; approved drinking water; excess moisture and air quality; and well contamination.
When a well gets flooded or suspected contaminated, the water must be disinfected at the well before using it for washing and at the tap before drinking and cooking.
Procedure for Disinfecting a Well
Run water until clear, using an outdoor faucet closest to the well or pressure tank.
Mix two quarts household bleach containing about 5% chlorine in 10 gallons of water in a large pail in the area of the well casing.
Turn electrical power off to the well pump. Carefully remove the well cap and well seal if necessary. Set aside.
Place hose connected to outdoor faucet inside well casing. Turn electrical power back on to the well pump and turn water on to run the pump.
Carefully pour the water and bleach mixture from the bucket down the open well casing. At the same time, continue to run the water from the hose placed inside the well casing.
At each indoor and outdoor faucet, run the water until a chlorine odor is present, and then shut each faucet off.
Continue running water through the hose inside the well casing to recirculate the chlorine treated water. Use the hose to also wash down the inside of the well casing.
After one hour of recirculating the water, shut all faucets off to stop the pump.
Disconnect power supply to pump. Remove recirculator hose from well. Mix two more quarts of bleach in 10 gallons of water and pour mixture down the well casing. Disinfect the well cap and seal by rinsing with a chlorine solution, replace well seal and cap. Do not use well for at least eight hours and preferably 12 to 24 hours.
After the well has idled for the recommended time, turn the pump on and run the water using an outdoor faucet and garden hose in an area away from grass and shrubbery until the odor of chlorine disappears. Run all indoor faucets until the odor and taste of chlorine disappears.
After disinfecting the well, the water must be tested to determine if all bacterial contamination has been removed. Test again in several days to be sure that all the chlorine has been flushed from the water system. To learn more: www.nyhealth.gov