In the event of water well flooding due to Hurricane Sandy, owners of household wells should take precautions to make sure their well is in good operating condition and the water is safe.First, if you see any downed lines, always treat them as electric lines that are live and contact your power company.Inspect the well cap and well casing to make sure neither was damaged from fallen trees, tree limbs, or other flying debris.If there is debris around the well casing — the vertical pipe extending above the ground’s surface that provides access to the well through the well cap on top — it should be removed carefully so as not to damage the casing or the cap. Also be careful not to bump the well casing with vehicles or equipment — or with the debris being removed.Visually inspect the well cap and casing to make sure neither is loose, cracked, or bent. If there is any sign of such damage — or if the well casing is topped by floodwater meaning the well has been flooded — contact a qualified water well contractor to inspect your well as surface contamination such as bacteria, chemicals, or other pollutants may have entered into the well.A less obvious concern is electrical shock if a nonsubmersible pump or any part of the well electrical system is flooded.After such flooding:
Water wells are specialized systems that require knowledge and expertise to repair, clean, and disinfect. If your well has been flooded, use bottled water until a qualified water well system contractor can check out your well system. You also can boil water to kill any bacteria, but boiling water may not remove other types of contamination that entered your well due to flooding.To learn more, visit NGWA’s Web site, Wellowner.org.
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National Ground Water Association
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Westerville, OH 43081
(614 898.7791 outside the US)
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