Private water well owners should test after flood

Sept. 5, 2017 at 10:06 p.m.
Updated Sept. 6, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Private water well owners whose wells flooded from the recent rains should assume their well water is contaminated.

Until a certified laboratory says otherwise, they should not use the well water for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing their teeth or even bathing, said Diane Boellstorff, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service water resource specialist. Boellstorff said the well water could contain manure, sewage and other contaminants from upstream.

To make the water safe, bring it to a rolling boil for at least one minute and allow it to cool, said Drew Gholson, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Texas Well Owner Network coordinator. If boiling is not possible, disinfect the water with regular, unscented household bleach.

"Add one-eighth teaspoon, about eight drops, per gallon of water, stir well and let stand for 30 minutes before using," Gholson said.

Gholson also recommended a qualified electrician, well driller and pump installer check the wiring system and other well components once the floodwaters recede.


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