After the Event
Private Water Wells
- Do not drink the water after a storm until you know it is safe.
- Know who your water service provider is. If a “Boil Water Order” is issued, it will be announced in the media. You should stay tuned to local radio and television station for updates or call the Hurricane Hotline at 954-831-4000 or 311 (TTY 954-831-3940).
- Generally, a boil water order applies to drinking water. This means you should not give water from the faucet to pets, or use it for washing, cleaning, cooking, brushing teeth, making ice or making formula. You are safe showering under a boil water order, but should keep water out of the eyes and mouth.
- Restrict use of running water after the storm until power is restored to all areas. During power outages, lift stations that normally pump raw sewage/wastewater may not be operating if they are not powered by a generator. In these cases, the system can eventually back up into your street, or showers, toilets and sink drains inside your home.
- Listen to local news bulletins following the storm to determine if there is a boil water order in effect for your area.
- Engage in safe hygiene practices to sanitize hands, etc.
- If the quality of water is questionable, there are three ways to disinfect it:
- Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute to kill infectious organisms.
- Use water purifying tablets (generally available from the local pharmacy), according to package directions.
- Use unscented household bleach. Add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) household bleach per gallon of water. Mix thoroughly. Let stand for 30 minutes. If water is cloudy, repeat the dosage and let stand 30 minutes. The water will not be toxic, although it will have a chlorine odor and taste.
- Remove the plug or cap from the tops of the well casing.
- Pour two quarts bleach into the well.
- Replace plug or cap.
- Open all outlets on the system and allow water to run until the chlorine odor is noticeable.
- Allow chlorine to remain in the system at least six hours but preferably overnight, then run water from all outlets until the system is free of chlorine.
Update July 2013