Well safety after flooding


SAN LUIS VALLEY – With the rapid runoff and standing water or flooding in some areas around the San Luis Valley, some home owners may need to check their well when the water recedes. If a well that is used for drinking water has been flooded or contaminated during repair work, it is important to thoroughly disinfect it before using the water. Property owners may want to consult with a local licensed water well driller or pump installation contractor.  Specific equipment and experience may be required for proper decontamination of a drinking water well.

To check your well after a flood, first Inspect the well and its components, including:  electrical wires and connectors, above-ground PVC plastic pipes, the well house and special equipment inside it, pressure tanks  or storage tanks, vents and over-flow pipes.

If contamination with flood water is suspected, contact a certified lab such as Sangre de Cristo Lab at (719) 589-1024 for water testing. If testing indicates that bacterial contaminants are present, disinfection of the well is recommended. Disinfection of the well to eliminate bacteria should be done by a professional. Contact a local well drilling professional for assistance. Two days after disinfection, the well should be re-tested.  

“Unlike a public drinking water system, private wells do not have experts regularly checking the water quality before it is sent to the tap,” according to Lynnea Rappold, San Luis Valley Regional Environmental Health Program Manager. “Wells that have been flooded or otherwise contaminated must be thoroughly disinfected before use.”

More information about testing well water, or disinfecting a well, go to the following resources:

  • Homeowner water testing:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/homeowner-water-testing-0

  • Household well water quality and disinfection:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/coepht/private-well-water-and-your-health

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