Walton Co. Health Dept. Urges Caution to Private Well Owners

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WALTON COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) of Walton County advises private well owners affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make water unsafe to drink.

DOH recommends one of the following:

· Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, washing food, cooking, or washing dishes.

· Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp. – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain, unscented household bleach (4 to 6 percent active ingredient) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure once. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.

· Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.

After the flooding subsides:

· Disinfect your well using the procedures provided by your county or state health department: http://www.myfloridaeh.com/water/privatewells.html. You may also visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website for instructions: http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/whatdo.cfm.

· If available, have your water tested through your county health department or by a laboratory certified by the state to perform a drinking water analysis for coliform bacteria.

For more information, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Walton County (850) 892-8021 or visit www.doh.state.fl.us or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

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