Hurricane season may as well be the fifth season for Floridians. After a hurricane, property owners who rely on well water face many important questions. Is my well water safe after a hurricane? Can you use a well after a hurricane? So we’ve put together an article on how to best be safe when using well water during hurricane season. During a storm, your first priority is, of course, going to be the safety of your family. This article aims to answer questions about hurricane safety for you so that you can provide them your full attention.
Homeowners who rely on wells and other on-site water systems are especially vulnerable when power is unavailable. Without electricity, your well pump will not work during a power outage. If you know a hurricane is on its way, stock up on potable water from bottled sources. You can even stock up on water from your own well. Be sure to get more than just the water you suspect you’ll need to drink. Toilets require about a bucket full of water to flush, and water that you’ve used to wash up can be used to flush toilets by pouring the water either in the tank and using the handle or pouring directly in the bowl.
If you have a backup generator, keep in mind most well pumps operate on a 240-volt basis, so if you are planning to use backup power, make sure the connections have been inspected by a proper electrician.
If your well is submerged or becomes damaged, you should consider your well water contaminated. Afterward, if your well remains flooded, do not turn on the pump or allow the pump to turn on. Keep everything off until you are sure the electronics have dried out completely. If you don’t know whether or not the well was flooded, you should err on the side of caution and assume that it was. All contaminated wells will need to be decontaminated before use can resume.
Damage to your septic system should also be surveyed, as even a disinfected well could become contaminated if there is an ongoing septic crisis in your on-site sewage systems. If your septic system is submerged, you may experience a backup of sewage into the home. Check the plumbing fixtures and wax seals on the lowest level of your home. If you have to clean up sewage, be sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and waders.
After The Storm
Once you’ve taken in the condition of your property, it’s time to begin taking steps to fix any potential issues. Well casings may need to be repaired, water levels changing dramatically may damage pumps, electrical systems could be in trouble. If you’ve got a septic problem, the issue is that much bigger. While some issues may be possible to address yourself, and while shock chlorination will solve many issues of contamination, it is always best to get a professional appraisal of your situation. You will want to perform testing on the quality of your water before using it, and many of the electrical repairs can be dangerous.
Don’t hesitate to call in a well water specialist to make sure that you’re meeting hurricane safety standards.