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How to Disinfect Your Existing Water Filter System After a Hurricane or Flood


In the aftermath of extreme storms and flooding like Houston and Florida have experienced during Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma thousands of victims and their families are in dire need of safe, clean drinking water. If your home is still intact and your plumbing system is still functional there are still many contaminants that may be compromising your water quality.

If you own a water filter or treatment system from Pelican Water you may believe that you can start drinking your water immediately, but this is not the case. All water filter systems must be disinfected after an event like Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma, as any part of the system or the water inside it may have become contaminated with refuse, chemicals, or microorganisms.

For detailed instructions on disinfecting your water filter system read this guide from the Water Quality Association.

First Steps

Regardless of what filter systems or appliances you are disinfecting you should drain all the water from your water heater and appliances, ensuring that the power to these products is turned off.

Remove any dirt, mud, or other debris on the outer section of your water filter, and clean the inside and outside surfaces with a disinfectant like Lysol. Verify in your user manual that the cleaning product you choose is compatible with your Pelican Water filter.

Ensure that all electrical components, if they exist, are completely dry before continuing. Handle all disinfectants with care and proceed to instructions for your filter. For thorough preparation instructions click here and navigate to page 4.

Water Softeners

Flush your water softener repeatedly with drinkable water until the water emitted is clear. Remove the brine well covers and the tank. Remove the water currently in the brine tank after noting the level of water remaining. Thoroughly clean the inside of the brine tank with disinfectant.

Mix three teaspoons of household bleach per gallon of water to make chlorinated water. Add this chlorinated water to your tank to reach the amount it contained previously. Pour about 2 teaspoons of household bleach (per cubic feet of resin) straight into the brine well.

Replace all covers and start a regeneration cycle. For more detailed instructions read page 4 of the WQA guide.

Carbon Filters

Systems like our whole house water filter use carbon media to treat water. For carbon filters and similar types of filters, first remove the filter that was in place during the flood and discard it. Clean the head and sump with bleach and detergent before inserting a new carbon filter.

For the whole house filter you’ll want to empty the mineral bed. Clean the entirety of the unit with a combination of water and bleach. Always use proper precaution when cleaning with bleach. For more information click here and read page 5 of the WQA guide.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

For reverse osmosis filter systems the method of disinfection will vary based on the degree of contamination. You must determine if the actual product water is contaminated with microorganisms. When in doubt, order a testing kit and verify your suspicions.

The procedures for disinfecting a reverse osmosis filter when the water is contaminated with microbes are too lengthy to fully list here. You will need to introduce a chlorinated water solution into the system and wash it in stages. Read the entire process on page 5 of the WQA guide.

While the procedures vary if the water in the product has not been contaminated, disinfecting a reverse osmosis filter is still a complicated process. Click here and navigate to page 6 to read the step-by-step instructions.

Of course, not every Pelican Water filter system is listed here. Ensuring your drinking water is safe after a flooding disaster is a top priority. If you need instructions for disinfecting your specific model of water filter don’t hesitate to call Pelican Water today at 877-842-1635.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter