The recent floods may have contaminated some residential water wells, and health officials in several Pennsylvania counties are asking residents to test their water.
Flood waters can overwhelm storm water and sewage systems, and bring unwanted elements to a residential well, says William Roth with Bucks County’s health department: “The flood waters could be combined with sewage and with other kinds of contaminants that it wouldn’t normally have,” he said.
Harriet Morton with the Montgomery County Health department is telling residents that contamination is a concern when the well head itself or the area right around it was covered by flood waters. “They should refrain from drinking the water and have it tested to make sure that the well is safe,” she said.
Free test kits are available at the health departments in both counties. Bucks County officials have given out 300 kits so far; 150 more are on order. Health officials also advise residents not to swim in creeks and streams that were flooded since that water may be contaminated.