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Protect Rural Water Before Flood

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The Johnson County Public Health Department is reminding rural residents they should take steps to protect their water supply before flood waters reach their homes.   Below is the information they provided today in a release....

Iowa City, IA - Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) officials are reminding County residents
who have private wells on their property that might be in danger of being flooded, to take
precautions now to protect their wells.
If your well is in a low-lying spot or otherwise might be close to flood waters, take action now to
protect the well head. Create a barrier around the well head with sand bags or a berm. The berm
or sand bags should not be in contact with the well head, but should be constructed in a 3 to 4 foot
radius around it.
If flood waters reach the well head, STOP using your well water immediately. Using your well
when floodwaters are near the well head may actually pull contaminated water into your well.
If your well head comes in contact with floodwaters, obtain water known to be safe from another
source or use bottled water. DO NOT boil your flood-contaminated well water. Boiling floodcontaminated
well water will concentrate any chemicals that may be in the water.
After flood waters have receded and it is safe to check your well, it is important to shock
chlorinate your well with bleach. Information on the chlorination process can be found at
Two days after chlorination has occurred, the water in the well must be tested by a laboratory to
ensure its safety. To obtain a well test kit, call Johnson County Public Health at 319-356-6040.
Continue to use bottled water or a safe water supply for drinking, cooking, laundry and bathing
until a laboratory has verified that your well water is safe to drink.
Well owners in areas at risk of flooding should take some precautions now to protect their well
heads, said James Lacina, Environmental Health Coordinator. Being aware of possible risks
and taking a few measures now will help protect the groundwater and save the homeowner
expense and additional frustration down the road.
If well owners have additional questions about protecting their wells or safe water supplies, they
should call Johnson County Public Health at 319-356-6040 and ask to speak with an
Environmental Health Specialist.
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