Test well water
Due to flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Health encourages individuals to boil water and have water wells tested.
The notice targets mainly those with flooded water wells to take precautions against contaminated water. If your well has been covered with flood water, your water may contain disease-causing organisms and may not be safe to drink.
The department recommends one of the following:
• Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes.
• Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain unscented household bleach (4 to 6 percent strength) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once. If high strength bleach is used (8.25 percent strength), add seven drops.
• Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking.
• Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
Once floodwaters are completely gone, wells should be tested for possible contamination and disinfected.
Use the following guidelines:
• Disinfect your well using the procedures available from your county health department or provided on the Florida Department of Health Private Well Testing webpage at http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/private-well-testing/i....
• Have your water tested by your county health department or by a laboratory certified by the State of Florida to perform a drinking water analysis for coliform bacteria.
The health department office on Mickler Street in Callahan has well collection bags available. The cost for analysis is $30, though the county was working to have the fee waived as of press time. Call 904-557-9150, option 1, to learn more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.