Flooding has been in the headlines across American and the world lately, but little attention has been paid to how flooding can affect groundwater for people not on municipal water lines. Since groundwater is in a delicate balance under the earth, it is important to understand how flooding can affect your water supply, especially if you rely on well water for your daily life or business.

Groundwater May Become Undrinkable

One of the most important changes that can happen to your groundwater supply after flooding is that it can make your water undrinkable. Dramatic shifts underground in the water table can expose your normally clean water supply to different contaminants, including bacteria and chemicals.

Periods of prolonged rainfall and flooding may also cause surface water to overflow into a well. Needless to say, this is extremely problematic as refuse from surface water can contaminate your entire well.

If you have experienced flooding (or excessive rainfall), use bottled water until a water test confirms that your well water is safe to drink.

Credit: Joseph Thomas from Pixabay

Your Well May be Damaged

Even if your water supply is found to be free of bacteria and chemicals, you will need to assess any potential damage to your well due to the flooding. Rocks and debris can press up against your well water system, causing major damage.

Err on the side of caution when it comes to your drinking water and have your well professional inspected to ensure it is in safe, working condition.

Four Recommended Steps

According to the New York State Department of Health, there are four steps you should take if you source water from a private well and there has been flooding in your region:

  1. Assess the damage: after turning off the power supply, check for debris, mud, damaged electrical, etc. However, if you cannot safely access the well, call a professional.
  2. Repair the well: the level of repair will, of course, depend on the severity of the damage. This is not an area where procrastination is an option. For every minute your well’s seal, casing, motor or electrical system is damaged, your risk of contaminated water grows.
  3. Disinfection: Please note that disinfecting your well is very important but disinfectant will not remove heavy metals, pesticides and other common contaminates that typically wash into a well after flooding. The only way to know what is in your water is to do a water test.
  4. Testing: Once you have inspected, repaired and cleaned the well, get a water test. Until the results come back, use bottled or sterilized water. Many contaminates do not have a visible presence or odor, making them impossible to detect without testing.AquaKnow can Help
  5. Working with a network of labs from coast to coast, AquaKnow provides affordable, fast, reliable, and efficient water testing for individuals, businesses, municipalities, developers, and institutions. If flooding has been a problem where you live, contact us today.