Safe Drinking Water After a Storm or Hurricane
Hurricanes and other natural disasters can damage water supplies and make drinking water unsafe. In the aftermath of a hurricane, it is crucial to take precautions to ensure you have access to clean, safe drinking water.
Drinking Water Safety Tips
When you have been through a storm, keep in mind the following tips to ensure unquestionably that you still have safe water.
- Do not use any water that may be contaminated to drink, wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
- Use bottled, boiled, or treated water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene.
- Follow your state, local, or health department for specific recommendations regarding boiling or treating water in your area.
Potential Contaminants of Water After Storms
Floods and other disasters can introduce a variety of contaminants into the water supply, including:
- Livestock waste
- Human sewage
- Other contaminants
When your water comes from a private well, above all, consider the following guidance for safe water after storms.
- If extensive flooding has occurred your well may be contaminated! DO NOT drink the water! Use a safe water supply like bottled or treated water.
- Contact your local, state, or health department for specific advice on wells and testing.
Making Water Safe After Storms
Water often can be made safe to drink by boiling, adding disinfectants, or filtering. Water contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals, or radioactive material, will not be made safe by boiling or disinfection. Use a different source of water if you know or suspect that water might be contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals.
If you don’t have safe bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling is the surest method to make water safer to drink by killing disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Here’s how:
- Filter the water through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter, OR allow it to settle.
- Draw off the clear water.
- Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes).
- Let the boiled water cool.
- Store the boiled water in clean, sanitized containers with tight covers.
Other Water Sources for After Storms
If you’re unable to access bottled water or boiled water, consider using these alternative water sources:
- Water from your home’s water heater tank (part of your drinking water system, not your home heating system)
- You may drink melted ice cubes made with water that was not contaminated.
- In this instance water from your home’s toilet tank (not from the bowl) subsequently could be an option. Only use this if it is clear and has not been chemically treated with toilet cleaners.
- Liquid from canned fruit and vegetables
- Water from swimming pools and spas that hasn’t been contaminated with floodwater or stormwater can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning, and related uses. Do not drink water from swimming pools or spas.
Because of a storm or hurricane spreading debris, access to safe drinking water may be limited. To protect yourself, your family, and your pets from illness or death from unsafe water, follow the above tips to ensure you have access to clean, safe drinking water. Remember, it is essential to take action to safeguard your health in the aftermath of a disaster.
Major health concerns as well as economic impact are two important factors relating to the quality of your water. Health costs from poor quality water or dangers in untested water can result in medical bills and health concerns. Your water using appliances also take a toll on your wallet when used with hard or poor quality water.
We believe it is important to know what is in your water. We conduct free ($120.00 Value), in-home or business water analysis. Contact us today for your free water analysis. 866-928-3795 or firstname.lastname@example.org