Heavy rain and flooding can cause surface water to enter your private water well. This means there is a risk of harmful germs like bacteria getting in and making the water unsafe (contaminated).
After the heavy rain stops and the floodwaters go down, send a
water sample to a lab to test for bacteria.
Don’t drink untreated well water until you get your test results back. If you think your well is contaminated with floodwater, you should
boil your water while you’re waiting for your results.
The Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab) tests private drinking water systems. The ProvLab can’t test water for every type of harmful germ. It does 2 standard tests on water samples to check for bacteria.
ProvLab can test your water for the following bacteria:
If your first water sample results show
no bacteria, then send another sample 14 to 30 days later to make sure the water is still safe.
If your first water sample results show there
are bacteria, then a public health inspector will call you. They may tell you to
shock chlorinate your well.
Visit Alberta Health Services Environmental Public Health to learn more about drinking water safety, including:
Current as of: February 18, 2021
Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.