| Disinfecting Your
Well and Water System | Sewer/Waste Water
Concerns | Flood Waters
outside do NOT swim or bathe in rivers, streams, creeks, or lakes in flooded
For more information, go to the Water
Return to the top
Disinfecting Your Well and Water System
Private wells can become contaminated in a number of different ways
(flooding, insects, soil entry, etc.). Whenever you notice a change in
water quality, or anytime there has been flooding near your well, have
your well sampled for coliform bacteria contamination. Coliform bacteria
are indicators of surface water or fecal (sewage) contamination. When this
occurs, the well and water system will need to be disinfected.
Once an inspection has determined that your water system is free from
any sources of apparent contamination, you should disinfect the well.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
website provides procedures for well disinfection:
For more information, contact your Local Public Health Department.
Sewer/Waste Water Concerns
septic systems that have been flooded are no longer reliable. Portable
toilets or other appropriate facilities should be used. Remember, you
should not have contact with water that has been contaminated with
human wastes. Additional information about septic
systems affected by a flood (exit DHS) are available.
water and sewage disposal are not working, use portable toilets, or
facilities at the emergency site.
may back flow from your septic or municipal system through floor
drains, toilets, etc. Any affected areas, such as basements, must be
cleaned and disinfected, as with a chlorine solution. Anything that
cannot be cleaned should be thrown out.
Return to the top
Flood Water Hazards
Do NOT swim or bathe in rivers, streams, creeks, or lakes in flooded
areas! Flood waters have unseen hazards such as debris, chemical and sewage
contamination, and strong current. Taking a few simple precautions during
and after a flood will help keep your children safe.
- To protect yourself, minimize
the impact of flooding on your health, safety and property. (exit DHS)
- In case of water damage, contact your local
public health department for a list of plumbers and a flood
- If you receive a cut or puncture wound while cleaning your home,
tetanus shots are available through the Local Public Health
- Don't let children play in or near flood water, or in areas that have
been recently flooded.
- Wash your child's hands frequently, especially before meals.
- Disinfect toys that may be contaminated, using a solution of eight
ounces (one cup) of bleach in one gallon of water.
- Discard any soft toys that may be contaminated with sewage. Young
children may put these items into their mouths.
Return to Flooding
Last Revised: March 27, 2013