As a water testing laboratory in Santa Rosa, California, we are not strangers to the impacts of flooding. When a substantial amount of flooding occurs around your home or business, water sources from private well systems might not be safe to consume.

Flood water can contain human and livestock waste, hazardous waste from medical and industrial companies, coal ash waste that could contain chromium, mercury, or arsenic, and many other contaminants that could lead to illness.

If you own a private system, flood water can easily contaminate your water source by flowing from the surface into groundwater when there are large amounts of rainfall. Here is how you can prevent drinking water contamination during flooding:

Make Sure Your Well is Tightly Sealed

If you are aware that a storm is on its way, make sure your well is tightly sealed and protected from sediment and surface water that can affect the quality of your drinking water. Besides bacteria, you don’t want sand and other debris to get inside your system, where damage to the piping, well head, and electrical system can occur.

This can also help prevent septic tanks, agricultural operations, and chemicals from contaminating your water supply. It’s important to note that if your well is older than 10 years and less than 50 ft. deep, it has a greater risk of contamination. You should consult a pump and well service for an inspection.

Where to Have Your Water Supply Tested

If you do get flooded, it’s best to contact Brelje and Race Laboratories for advice about the type of testing you will need to assure your well water safety. The professionals at the lab should know exactly which contaminants to test wells for when taking a recent flood into consideration.

How Do I Know if it’s Safe to Drink My Water?

If your well has been inundated by flood water, it is best not to consume any water from the well until you get it tested by professionals. If, at any time, you notice a strange color or taste associated with your water, contact the lab for advice.

If you have questions on whether or not you are a candidate for well water testing, take a look at this blog post. Make sure to contact Brelje & Race Laboratories if you think your private well system could be contaminated due to flooding.