Published: September 11, 2017

    How to Ensure Your Water is Safe to Drink After a Flood

    Massive floods, frightening earthquakes, and enormous hurricanes have the power to decimate communities. In the aftermath of extreme flooding, septic issues, piping damage, and structural destruction can compromise the quality of the water supply. In these situations, there’s water everywhere but not a drop to drink.

    If you live in coastal areas prone to flooding and hurricanes, the integrity of your tap water can be compromised at a moment’s notice. Here’s what you should do to ensure your water is safe to drink.

    Use Stored Water

    If you have space in your home, you should store enough water to last your family seven days in an emergency. After a flood, use this supply of water in your home for drinking and cooking until you can verify that your tap water is safe. Power outages after the flood can affect the cleanliness of your water.

    Test Your Well Water

    Well owners are responsible for the repair and the treatment of their wells. Flooding can cause a host of problems with well water. Agricultural runoff, sewage, bacteria, and chemicals can make their way into your well and must be identified before treatment. Washout in your neighborhood from the flood means anything could be lurking in your well.

    If you own a well, contact your local county health department to inquire about free testing. Get information regarding the waiting period. If your county officials are overwhelmed with demand and your well cannot be tested right away, consider ordering a well testing kit from Pelican Water.

    The 16-Point Pelican Rapid Water Test allows you to detect contaminants like coliform bacteria and tannins that may have entered your well. Once you’ve discovered what contaminants are in your well, call Pelican Water to install the appropriate filter system.

    Disinfect Your Water Filter

    A water filter system installed in your home does not guarantee that your water will be safe to drink after a natural disaster. The systems could be infected or compromised due to extreme flooding.

    Read our guide to learn how to disinfect your water filter systems, whether you own a water softener, carbon-based filter, or a reverse osmosis filter system. Do not assume your water filter is properly working until you have disinfected the unit.

    Heed Boil Water Alerts

    After pipelines are damaged, local municipalities often issue a boil water alert. Take these alerts seriously to avoid major health problems stemming from contaminated drinking water.

    When an alert is issued, always boil your water before using it for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth. Microbe-related boil water alerts are on the rise in balmier summer months and areas with substantial storm damage.

    Once the water level has lowered, you and your family should avoid drinking water from your tap until the water’s cleanliness has been verified. The Water Quality Association recommends that homeowners protect themselves by installing a water filter system.

    A Whole House Water Filter with UV Protection represents a comprehensive and safe way to treat your water in the aftermath of a flood. The ultraviolet light inactivates the DNA of harmful microorganisms like E. Coli and cryptosporidium. Even with a treatment system that includes UV protection, always disinfect your filter after a flood to ensure your home has drinkable water.