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Your well water and the flood of 2011

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at 9:37 AM

Considering the wide areas, the speed and the direction of ground water flow -- your well may not be safe to drink or use for bathing for many months. While the flooding can instantly contaminate the well with bacteria and other pollutants, the waste water from other flood damaged septic tanks or from chemicals that are seeping into the ground after being spread by the flood waters can contaminate your well ... even AFTER you have the water tested and find it to be safe to use.

It is necessary to take continued steps and repeat testing to ensure that your well water is and remains safe to drink and use.

The EPA advises that wells that are more than 10 years old are likely to be contaminated -- even in the absence of observable physical damage.

Additionally, the danger of electrocution exists from attempting to operate the electrical pumping systems after the water has receded. It is advisable to have your entire system thoroughly checked by a qualified electrician prior to use.

For more information about how to recover your well and protect yourself and your family from harm, visit http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/upl... .


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The Missouri Department of Natural Resources published this, today:

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 29, 2011 -- Some Missouri communities are battling rising floodwaters and preparing for imminent flooding while others are beginning their recovery. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has a natural disaster resource webpage that provides residents of flood-stricken community's important information on preparing for and recovering from flooding.

The department has updated its Natural Disaster Resources webpage -- dnr.mo.gov/disaster.htm -- to provide community leaders, emergency responders and individuals with fact sheets to aid in both the preparation for and recovery from recent floods.

Preparation:

Reducing the Impact of Flooding -- Private Water Wells

Reducing the Impact of Flooding -- Propane Tanks

Reducing the Impact of Flooding -- Agricultural Chemicals

A Public Health Guide for Emergency Shelters in Missouri for Shelter Coordinators and Staff.

How to Construct a Sandbag Emergency Levee.

After the flood:

Boil Water Notice.

Disaster Response Guidance for Public Drinking Water and Wastewater.

Disaster Response for On-Site Wastewater Systems.

Disaster-Related Animal Production Mortalities Emergency Procedures.

Emergency Guidance for Hazardous Materials and Hazardous Waste.

Facts on Open Burning Under Missouri Regulations.

Guidance on Wastewater Treatment Plants Affected by Flooding.

Household Chemicals and Household Hazardous Waste.

How to Handle Asbestos-Containing Debris.

Management of Petroleum and Other Materials from Damaged Boats.

Natural Disaster Recovery for Historic Buildings.

Restoring Drinking Water.

Water Pollution.

What to do After the Flood - Regulatory and Permitting Requirements.

What to do with Disaster Debris.

Visit dnr.mo.gov/disaster.htm for publications and fact sheets and dnr.mo.gov/psa/index.html#disaster for public service announcements on disaster assistance. If the fact sheets and documents do not address your questions or communities and residents are unable to access the Web, please call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 800-361-4827.

Residents should contact their public water supply directly for further information and consult the local news media for notification when any health advisories have been issued or lifted.

However, if any area has lost water pressure for any period of time, residents should boil their water for drinking for three minutes. Residents should continue boiling their water until notified that samples have been taken proving the water is safe to drink. If residents need additional information or cannot reach their water supply representative, call the department's Public Drinking Water Branch at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5331 or your nearest regional office:

Kansas City Regional Office -- 816-622-7000

Northeast Regional Office -- 660-385-8000

Southeast Regional Office -- 573-840-9750

Southwest Regional Office -- 417-891-4300

St. Louis Regional Office -- 314-416-2960

Individuals using private wells that may have been flooded should follow boil order procedures, which are available from their local public health agency.

For more information or questions on environmental concerns, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-361-4827 or contact one of the department's regional offices in your area. The additional information on the regional offices, visit the department's website at dnr.mo.gov/regions/regions.htm.

-- Posted by Jim Bushart on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 2:42 PM


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James H. Bushart
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James H. Bushart is a Building Analyst who is certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and is also a Certified Missouri Home Energy Auditor by the State of Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He has performed home performance analyses (aka "energy audits") for homes of all types throughout the states of Missouri and Arkansas. He has also performed over a thousand inspections of Missouri homes and commercial buildings and holds various certifications and licenses in residential building inspections.
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