PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS
If you are on a Public Water System (PWS), your municipality, water utility, or system owner will notify you of any unsafe drinking water conditions in the system and provide directions on what you can do to prevent exposure. Please contact your service provider directly for any questions or concerns. The (PWS) may include subdivisions, trailer parks, apartment homes, duplexes, townhomes or condos and etc.
PRIVATE WATER WELLS
Private drinking water wells in flooded areas should always be considered contaminated.
WARNING! DO NOT TURN ON THE PUMP until you are sure it’s safe to do so.
There is danger of electrical shock and damage to your well or pump if they have been flooded
WARNING! DO NOT DRINK OR WASH WITH WELL WATER
People drinking or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded will risk getting sick.
If your well or the area around it was flooded:
STOP USING THE WATER FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION AND CONTACT.
Use only bottled or boiled water as an alternative source for drinking, cooking (including washing food you eat raw), and bathing until you can disinfect your well and have a sample tested.
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for human consumption (including washing food you eat raw) and contact (bathing, brushing teeth, and washing hands) should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
If your well or the ground around it flooded, FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW
After the flood waters recede:
- Disinfect the well according the directions provided by your local health department or TCEQ (see below)
- Obtain an approved bottle and submission form an accredited lab or a health department official.
- Collect a sample from the well and have it tested by an accredited lab.
- If your lab reports show NO Coliform/E. coli bacteria wait a few days and sample it again.
- If you get a second report with NO Coliform/E. coli bacteria, your water should be bacteriologically safe to use.
- Continue to periodically test your well so you will be aware of any recontamination that might occur.
Houston Health Department Well sampling and disinfection instructions
EPA After the Flood
TCEQ Disinfecting Your Private Well