Department of Health urges well owners, septic tank users, to be safe

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 / 10:36 am CDT
Updated: September 17, 2020 / 10:37 a.m. CDT

The water from the poor Guld of Mexico, which drained into a local road in Waveland, Miss., On Monday, September 14, 2020, was closed on the Gulf Coast on Monday with fast-strengthening winds of at least 161 km / h and a Potential of up to 0.6m of rain that can cause severe flooding. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbrt)

WALTON COUNTY, Florida (WMBB) – The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flooding to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that make their water unsafe to drink can do.

They also said homeowners should take steps to protect their septic tanks.

DOH-Walton recommends ONE of the following:

1. Boil tap water and let it boil for at least a minute. Let it cool before using it to drink, brush your teeth, wash food, cook, or wash dishes.

2. Disinfect tap water by adding eight drops of plain, unscented household bleach (four to six percent strength), which is about an eighth of a teaspoon or penny-sized puddle per gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25% strength) add only seven drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the process once. Note: Use a container with a lid or lid to disinfect and store drinking water. This prevents contamination. In addition, containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water before re-use.

3. Use commercially available mineral water, especially for mixing baby food. After the flooding subsides: • Disinfect your private well using methods available from DOH-Walton or visit the Florida Department of Health website:

Instructions can also be found on the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) website: • To find out if your water is safe, have a certified laboratory test it for coliform bacteria. To find a certified laboratory, visit the following website:


Your septic tank may not work properly after a storm. If you have a sewage system with a metering pump, aerator, or grinding pump, it won’t work properly without electricity. Use as much water as possible in your home until electricity is restored. If the septic tank is not working properly, it can create a sewer lock in your home. If the yard becomes flooded with contaminated water, keep in mind that you and your pets can trace the contaminated material into your home or vehicles, creating additional contamination problems.
General precautions

• Do not step on floodwater as it can be contaminated. If you have to enter flooded areas, it is best to use waders to keep your body dry and clean. • If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, heavy rainfall can saturate the soil. Limit water usage to prevent sewage from entering your home.

What should I do if sewage builds up in my home?

• If your home has been sanitized, keep everyone away from the affected areas. When your entire home is saturated, leave the house until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected or removed. • If you want to clean up the spill yourself, wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves. Clean walls, hard-surface floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water, followed by a disinfectant solution of 1/4 cup bleach in a gallon of water. • If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, everyone, including your pets, should avoid these areas. • If you have problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to ensure they are aware of these problems.

You might also like

Comments are closed.