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.
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
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