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Florida Department of Health in Lee - Alert to Private Well Owners in Flooded Areas

By Angela Smith

September 21, 2017

Contact: Angela Smith, Administrator
Florida Department of Health in Lee County
Angela.Smith2@flhealth.gov
239-461-6150

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.

DOH-Lee recommends ONE of the following:

1. Boil tap water and holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute. Let it cool before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, washing food, cooking, or washing dishes;

2. OR disinfect tap water by adding 8 drops of plain unscented household bleach (4 to 6% strength), which is about 1/8 tsp or a dime sized puddle, per gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25% strength), only add 7 drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once.

Note: Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination. In addition, containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon bleach per gallon of water before reusing them.

3. OR use commercially-available bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.

After the flooding subsides:

DOH-Lee will be offering free bacteriological testing for private wells through Thursday, September 28 in response to Hurricane Irma.

For further information, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov or contact DOH-Lee at (239) 274-2200.

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