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Floodwaters and Your Water Supply

Thursday, June 25th


House surrounded by floodwaters

Owning a home near a lake or river certainly has its perks. You have the luxury of watching a breathtaking sunset right from your patio or launching your boat and kayaks right from your property. That luxury may also come with the inconvenience of living in a flood zone. This could mean dealing with seasonal flooding which can cause devastating property and infrastructure damage, affecting your well and household water quality

One thing you may not have considered is that your well or water treatment systems may experience damage and contamination. If not addressed at the earliest possible time, floodwaters can impact water quality and water well operation for many years resulting in a substantial dent in your savings account.

Women looking at glass of waterPrivate Well Damage & Contamination

No one wants to hear the words “biological contaminants” when it comes to the water in our homes. Refuge such as sewage and animal waste could find its way into your water supply during abnormally rapid increases to the water level. Floodwaters may change the chemistry and microbiology of your water supply increasing the risk of e.coli bacteria, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues and possibly other communicable diseases.

During flooding, the shifting earth and debris carried by floodwaters can damage the structural integrity of the well casing, well cap, and its seal. This can be an avenue for contaminated water to enter the good water supply inside. Since the microscopic bacteria can travel through the smallest cracks, it doesn’t take much to contaminate a well. Be sure to inspect any exposed components of your well for damage on a regular basis.

Even if your well’s structure is solid, cavities can develop around the casing allowing dirty surface water to flow down to the aquifer.

What’s an aquifer?  It is a water-bearing area of rock that contains the groundwater that travels to your well. This layer of earth can be contaminated by events that occur near the surface either by natural or man-made events. If disturbed by floodwaters, it can cause another issue by allowing increased sediment to enter the well that wears on your pump, jeopardizing the overall integrity of your water system.

Well Disinfection

Whether it’s your permanent home or vacation home, you don’t want to have to worry about the health and safety of your family after a flood. A simple bacteria test can be done to determine if e.coli is present. If your well is contaminated, a process called shock chlorination may be performed to sanitize your water supply. During this procedure, a concentrated chlorine disinfection solution is added to the water. The treatment should effectively disinfect the entire water distribution system, including your well pump and distribution pipelines. But before given the all-clear, the well will need to be flushed and re-sampled to ensure the procedure was a success. You will also want to ensure that you have your well inspected to prevent bacteria from gaining access again in the future.

Water Treatment Equipment After Flooding

Once you have deemed your water supply is safe, it’s very important to sterilize your water treatment equipment before returning it to regular service. Any equipment that has been subjected to floodwaters up to the top of the media tank is at risk for bacterial growth inside the unit. Much like a well with bacteria, many systems can be cleaned with a disinfectant and return to their regular operation. In some cases, the media inside or filtration cartridges would need to be replaced in order to be able to once again provide safe water for your home. Your local authorized Evolve dealer is factory-trained to know the proper solution for all your post-flood maintenance needs.

No matter what type of water treatment equipment you have, if the product has been under water levels above the height of the electronics inside the controller, the entire system will have to be replaced. 

­What are My Options?

If you’re interested in replacing existing or implementing new water treatment equipment in order to provide clean water for your entire home, there are many different products that can be considered.

A water softener will help filter out excess calcium minerals which can affect your hair, skin, appliances, and cleaning efforts. A filtration system can tackle elements like chlorine, iron, manganese, and more, to get rid of unwanted smells, tastes, and stains. You could also consider a ONE Filtration system or a reverse osmosis system to reduce harmful contaminants in your drinking water. Remember, a well is just the source of water for your home It does not treat your water, and the water it collects is not always good. Evolve carries a full line of water treatment options that can give you the peace of mind that your family has access to the best water possible!

 

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