Levy County Flooded Wells

For Immediate Release                                                                    Contact: Levy County

August
3, 2015                                                                                                Health
Department

ESF 8 Levy
County Emergency
Management 352-486-5300

 

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN Levy COUNTY  REMINDS RESIDENTS OF DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH
FLOODED Private  WELLS

 

Levy County, Florida  Recent heavy rains may have impacted your
private well and made your water unsafe. If your well casing has been submerged
by flood water
, either use bottled water, or boil or disinfect all the
water you use for drinking, making beverages, cooking, brushing your teeth,
washing dishes, and washing areas of the skin that have been cut or injured.

 

Common unscented
household bleach (4 to 6%) can be used effectively as a chlorine disinfectant.
Add 8 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) of unscented household bleach per gallon of
water, then let stand for 30 minutes, repeating the procedure if the water is
still cloudy. An alternative disinfecting method involves bringing water to a
rolling boil for one minute.

If your well has
been flooded, please call the Levy County Health Department for information on
how to sample your water and where to bring the sample for bacteriological
testing. If the test reveals bacteria, the well and water system need to be
disinfected.

It is important to disinfect both well and plumbing water with unscented
household bleach to ensure that all
infectious agents are destroyed. If you have water treatment devices, remove
all membranes, cartridges, and filters and replace them after the chlorination
process is completed. The amount of
chlorine
determines the length
of time
you allow the bleach to remain in your system.

DOH recommends the
following steps to disinfect a contaminated well:

  • If the water is discolored before adding
    the bleach, run the water until it is clear for up to 10 minutes.
  • Turn off and then drain your hot
    water heater— bleach is not effective in water above 105 degrees.
  • Remove and replace charcoal
    filters after the disinfecting process is completed.
  • To avoid adding contamination to the well
    during disinfection, clean the work area around the top of the well. Then
    remove grease and mineral deposits from accessible parts of the well head
    and flush the outside surfaces with 1/2 cup of unscented household bleach
    in 5 gallons of water.
  • Turn off the pump. Remove
    the cap or the well plug on the rubber seal. There are many types of well
    caps and plugs. If you have questions, you should contact a licensed well
    driller. If you have a submersible pump, you may also want to contact a
    licensed well driller for advice on disinfection procedures. 
     

  • Consult the bleach chart and pour the
    recommended amount of unscented bleach (4 to 6%) solution into the
    well.  Try to coat the sides of the
    casing as you pour. If you get bleach on the pump or wiring, flush it
    thoroughly with fresh water to prevent later corrosion.

 

BLEACH CHART                                                                                                     

 

Well Depth in Feet         
      Well Diameter in Inches

2”            4”           5”           6”

Amount
of Bleach to Use

20’                                           1 cup      1 cup     1 cup     
1 cup

30’                                           1 cup      1 cup     1 cup     
2 cups

40’                                           1 cup      1 cup     2 cups   
2 cups

50’                                           1 cup      2 cups   2 cups   
3 cups

80’                                           1 cup      2 cups   1 qt      
  1 qt

100’                                         1 cup      3 cups   1 qt        
1.5 qts

150’                                         2 cups                1 qt        2 qts       2.5 qts

200’                                         3 cups                1.5 qts   2.5 qts   
3 qts

 

Conversions 8 oz = 1 cup /16 oz = 1 pint = 2 cups

24 oz = 3 cups / 32 oz = 1 quart / 48 oz = 1.5 quarts

64 oz = 2 quarts / 80 oz = 2.5 quarts / 96 oz = 3 quarts

                                                                                                                                   

 

  • Re-cap or plug the well opening and
    wait 30 minutes.
  • Turn on and, if needed, re-prime the
    pump.
    Open all of the faucets on the system one at a time. Allow the
    water to run until there is a noticeable smell of bleach. You may also
    want to flush the toilets. If you have outside faucets, you may want to
    direct the water away from sensitive plants. If you cannot detect a bleach
    odor, repeat the disinfecting process.
  • Turn off all of the faucets and allow the
    bleach to remain in the system for at least eight hours.
  • Backwash water softeners, sand
    filters, and iron removal filters with bleach water.
  • Again, open all the faucets and run the
    water until there is no bleach smell—for up to
    15 minutes.

After disinfecting
your well, the water needs to be tested to verify that it is safe to drink.
Although unscented household bleach is effective against microorganisms, it
will not remove chemical contamination that may have gotten into your well.
Contact the Levy County Health Department at 352-486-5300 for sampling
instructions to get your water tested for chemicals if you are concerned. Chemical sampling fees have not been waived
at this time
.
For further
information, please visit
www.doh.state.fl.us
or
www.FloridaDisaster.org.

The Florida Emergency
Information Line: 1-800-342-3557

Public Information
Emergency Support Function: 850-921-0384

 
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