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Flooded water wells require care before using agai

Flooded water wells require care before using again

After a flood, the owners of household wells should take precautions to make sure their water is safe and their wells are in good operating condition, according to the National Ground Water Association.

An obvious concern is that floodwater loaded with bacteria, chemicals, or other pollutants may have gotten into the well, said Cliff Treyens, NGWA public awareness director. A less obvious concern is electrical shock if a nonsubmersible pump or any part of the well electrical system is flooded.

After a flood one should:
1. Stay away from the well pump while it's flooded to avoid electrical shock
2. Not drink the water from the well or use it for washing to avoid becoming sick
3. Get help from a qualified water well contractor or pump installer to:
  a.   Clean and turn on the pump
  b.   Flush the well
  c.    Disinfect the well
  d.    Perform any other necessary maintenance.

Check with local health or environmental health authorities about other substances to test in well water following a flood, as there may be pollutants of local concern. Use a qualified drinking water testing lab to advise you on how the sample should be taken to analyze the results, Treyens said.

Learn more about water testing and water well maintenance by visiting

As water wells are specialized systems that require knowledge and expertise to repair and disinfect, use bottled water or boil your water until a qualified water well system contractor can check out your well system, Treyens said.



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