What You Should Know About Clean Water if Your Home Has Been Flooded
Thousands of homes have been inundated with flood water after hurricanes and tropical storms lashed the Southeast.
In the rush to rebuild, it's so tempting to move in and start living at home again.
Before homeowners start using their home water for drinking, cooking or bathing, there are some things you should keep in mind. Flood waters may have contaminated water softeners and filters with bacteria.
Water treatment systems, water softeners and point of use water purifiers may need to be replaced or disinfected before being put back into use.
Talk with local officials about the quality of your systems. Some areas may be under boil water advisories as officials tackle water treatment systems contaminated in the floods.
The Water Quality Association offers comprehensive information. Visit Water Quality Association’s website for the Associations Flooding Facts and Resources.
Five Important Things to Know After Your Area Has Been Flooded
1. WQA recommends residents affected by flooding use bottled water for drinking and cooking until they know for sure that their tap water is safe. The safety of a home’s water supply, either private or municipal, may be affected by power outages.
2. Well owners affected by the storm are encouraged to test their systems and seek appropriate remedies as soon as possible. During and after flooding, water can become contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria, sewage, heating oil, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals and other substances that can cause serious illness.
3. Be alert for local boil water orders. Flooding can cause disruptions with a municipal water source, prompting officials to issue boil water orders in many communities. A WQA guide to boil water order notices can be found here.
4. Existing water treatment equipment should be inspected for possible contamination.
5. Residents should consider protecting their tap water either with a whole house system or at the tap treatment with a certified water treatment product depending upon the results of a water test. To have your water tested contact a water treatment professional or state certified lab.
Read more about home water filtration systems.