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Wells & Septic Systems Before and After Flooding ☘ Hoey Team ☘ eXp Realty
Dated: August 30 2019
Wells — Well Water Safety
Did you know heavy rainfall from a tropical storm or hurricane can make your well water unsafe to use?
If you are unsure what impact flooding has had on your well water, don’t use it for drinking, making beverages, cooking, washing dishes, brushing your teeth, and washing areas of your body that may have been cut or injured until you’ve done one of the following:
• Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute; cool before use.
• Disinfect water using unscented house¬hold bleach (4-6% active ingredients); add 8 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) per gallon of water, stir and let it stand for 30 minutes.
If the water is cloudy, repeat the procedure.
If your well has been flooded, call the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) — Collier County, Environmental Health Division (239-252-5530) for information on how to get a sample of your well water and where to bring it for bacteriological testing.
If the post flooding well water test reveals bacteria, both the well and water system need to be disinfected to ensure all unhealthy agents are destroyed.
FDOH – Collier County has step by step instructions on how to conduct well disinfection at their web site . Click on Environmental Health — Limited Use Water Monitoring – Post Flooding Well Disinfection.
After well disinfection efforts are complete, the water needs to be tested again to verify it is safe to drink.
Serious Health Risks
Disease producing microorganisms in contaminated water pose serious health risks to you and your family.
These micro-organisms include viruses, bacteria, cysts, and parasites with health effects that can range from gastrointestinal infection to death.
Don’t take a chance on well safety. Be sure your well is properly constructed and maintained.
FDOH – Collier County recommends that all wells be tested annually and after heavy rains or flooding.
Preparing your septic system for flooding
Did you know that empty septic tanks are buoyant and can “pop” out of the ground during flooding?
During Florida’s tropical storm /hurricane season (June to November) make sure your septic tanks are full of liquid – don’t have them pumped during this time.
That’s a simple precaution that can help your septic system survive flooding.
Saturated drain fields can be a health hazard
When flooding or saturated soil conditions persist, a private septic system cannot function properly.
In fact, organisms such as viruses and bacteria can enter the groundwater and potentially contaminate your drinking water supply.
Again, don’t drink your well water until it is tested and proven safe!
Whenever the water table is high, there is also a risk that sewage could back up into your home.
The only way to help prevent this problem is to relieve pressure on the system by using it less, or if possible, not at all.
Do not do laundry or operate the dish washer, and consider renting a portable toilet until the drain fields dry out.
After the Floodwater recedes
Once the floodwaters have receded, homeowners need to be aware of the following information as they check their septic systems:
1. If you have a sewage lift pump in the house or in a pump chamber, shut off the power before inspecting area to prevent electrical shock.
2. Do not have the septic tank or drain field repaired until the ground has dried. Often systems are completely functional when the soil is no longer saturated.
3. If you suspect your system is damaged, have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced immediately.
4. Only trained, state licensed specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases.
5. All repairs must be permitted and inspected by FDOH – Collier County. Evacuation
If you need to evacuate your home because of flooding or hurricane threat, place the following items in a plastic bag and bring them with you.
• Your children’s immunization and other important health and insurance records.
• Your insurance/ Medicare/ Medicaid cards, Driver’s license or photo I.D.
• Each family member’s medications, along with dosage information and physician’s contact information.
If you are in an area prone to flooding and evacuation, you may want to gather critical documents in advance and keep them in a plastic bag.
If the order to evacuate is given, having everything ready to go at a moments notice will save important time.
Article content from Collier County Government; Southwest Florida and from our personal experiences. In 2017 we had Hurricane Irma come through; Barry & Kim encountered a large amount of damage at the time as the eye passed over us, it was the worst recorded hurricane in history, at the time, then Michael hit the Panhandle, where building codes were not as strengent and where we witnessed more damage than we had in SWFL. Now we have Hurricane Dorian coming to Floridas East Coast probably as a catagory 4.
Also; please check out the other blogs, and tabs to many other Links, Updates, Reports & Stats that we have here on our informational website. ☘
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