Prevent Illness: Disinfect and Test Flood Impacted Private Wells
Friday, August 31, 2018 - 11:10am
Free Well Water Testing Kits are Still Available
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) encourages Dane County residents who had flooding over and around their private wells to take advantage of the free well water testing being offered until September 6.
Flooded private wells are at risk of contamination from pollutants carried in the flood waters and it is important to test and make sure the water is safe to drink and prepare food with. PHMDC, in partnership with the State Lab of Hygiene and Department of Health Services, is offering free private well water testing for those who had recent flooding.
“This week, PHMDC tested 167 water samples. About 20% have come back with bacterial contamination, including E. coli,” says Doug Voegeli, Environmental Health Director for PHMDC.
To make it easy for well owners who had flooding, test kits with instructions are available for pick up and drop off at locations in Mazomanie, Black Earth, Cross Plains, Town of Middleton, Town of Montrose, and Town of Verona through September 6. After September 6, persons can call PHMDC for additional options.
Well owners should suspect contamination if the well casing becomes inundated; if there are taste, color or sediment changes in your water; or, if the well is shallow-cased and near areas that have been flooded. PHMDC also recommends well owners who are unsure if their well has been impacted, test their water.
“Before testing, the well should be disinfected,” said Voegeli. “This is best done by a licensed well driller or pump installer with expertise and equipment. Then take a water sample following careful instructions.” Information on disinfecting is here.
Well owners who think they have diarrheal illness from flood waters should contact their health care provider. Symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and typically develop within 1-3 days.
Well testing kits can be picked up from the following locations until September 6:
State Bank of Cross Plains
1205 Main St, Cross Plains
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Middleton Town Hall
7555 W Old Sauk Rd, Verona
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday
8:00 am – 12:00pm, Friday
Black Earth Village Office
1210 Mills St, Black Earth
8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
Mazomanie Village Hall
133 Crescent St, Mazomanie
7:30 am -4:00 pm, Monday through Wednesday
7:30 am – 7:00 pm, Thursday
7:30 am – 4:00 pm, Friday
Montrose Town Hall
1341 Diane Ave, Belleville
8:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Thursday
Verona Town Hall
7669 County Highway PD, Verona
8:00 am – 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday
It is very important that residents follow collection sample instructions, as well as adhere to drop-off timeframes listed in the test kits instructions since water samples must be processed soon after they are taken. Residents with questions about well water testing, can call:
- Public Health Madison & Dane County: (608) 242-6515
- Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene: (608) 224-6202 or (800) 442-4618
- Julann Esse(608) firstname.lastname@example.org