BARTOW - The Florida Department of Health (DOH) advises private well owners affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.
DOH recommends one of the following:
- Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking, or other purposes; 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; or...
- Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
After the flooding subsides:
- Disinfect your well using the procedures available from your local health department or provided on the Department of Health website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/manual/floodinf.htm; and
- Have your water tested by your local health department or by a laboratory certified by the State to perform a drinking water analysis.
For more information, please contact your local county health department, or visit www.doh.state.fl.us or www.FloridaDisaster.org.