Flooding of Private Water Supplies

Due to heavy rains, property owners with private water supplies may find their wells under flood waters. This condition poses a serious public health threat. Wells that have been inundated by floodwater should not be used until they have been tested. Wells that have been submerged may be seriously contaminated with chemicals, bacteria, oils and other substances detrimental to your health.

The Health Department offers the following recommendations to residents who may have a private water supply that has been submerged by flooding:
  • Do not drink the water from your well at this time. Use bottled water instead.
  • If you must use water from the flooded well, boil the water for 2-5 minutes. Allow the water to cool sufficiently before use to avoid scalding.
  • Do not use the well water for washing, bathing, oral hygiene, or ice-making.
  • Once the floodwaters have receded, inspect your well to ensure that it has not been damaged. If there is damage, contact a well drilling contractor and continue to drink bottled water until the well is repaired.
  • If the well is not damaged, run the water from an outside garden hose spigot until the water runs clear and free of mud and sediments.
  • Contact a professional well driller or plumbing contractor and have your well disinfected by chlorination, or refer to the Instructions for Disinfecting a Water Supply. The well must stand, unused for 8 to 24 hours once this has been done. After that time, run the water until the chlorine is out of the system, per the instructions.
  • Wait several days after chlorination and have the water tested (PA DEP Certified Water Testing Laboratories in Chester County). Do not drink the water until it has been tested and show to be suitable for consumption. A total coliform test is recommended.
For more information call 610-344-6526.