As climate change drives heavier flooding, more and more homeowners are at risk of their well water becoming contaminated. Flooding can introduce all sorts of contaminants into wells, from agricultural runoff to sewage backups. If your well is flooded, it’s important to have it tested for contaminants as soon as possible. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the dangers of flooding to well water supplies and what you can do to protect your home.
Why Is Flooding Dangerous for Well Water?
Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. Each year, flooding impacts communities across the country, causing billions of dollars in damage. Not only can these disasters damage your home and property and put your family at risk, but they can also pose a serious threat to your well water.
When floodwaters inundate an area, they can pick up all sorts of contaminants and deposit them into your well. Many of these are harmful or outright toxic if consumed in drinking water and may introduce nasty bacteria into your home when used to clean or bathe.
Floodwaters can also damage or destroy your well pump, which means you could be without clean water for days or even weeks. If many homes in your area are affected by flooding, it may be some time before a professional can come out to help restore your access to clean water.
What Contaminants Can Be Introduced Into My Well During a Flood?
There are many potential contaminants that can be introduced into your well during a flood. Agricultural runoff is one of the most common sources of contamination after a flood. This runoff can contain pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that can contaminate your well water.
Sewage backups are another common source of contamination during a flood. If sewage lines are overloaded or damaged during a flood, raw sewage can enter your well water and contaminate it with harmful bacteria such as E. coli.
Other potential contaminants include road salt, chemicals from household cleaners or other products, and heavy metals such as lead or arsenic, which are highly poisonous.
How Do I Protect My Well From Flooding?
If you live in a flood-prone area, there are several steps you can take to protect your well from rising waters:
- Elevate your wellhead above the projected flood level. This will help keep floodwaters from entering your well.
- Install a backflow valve on your sewer line to prevent sewage from backing up into your well.
- Have a professional inspect and maintain your septic system to ensure it is functioning properly.
- Make sure any agricultural chemicals are applied according to the manufacturer’s directions to minimize the risk of runoff.
- Create a barrier around your wellhead to keep floodwaters from entering the area.
What Should You Do if Your Well Is Already Flooded?
If your well is flooded, it’s important to have it tested for contaminants as soon as possible. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you test for bacteria, nitrates, and other contaminants before using your water for drinking or cooking. You should also have your well pump inspected by a qualified technician to make sure it hasn’t been damaged by the floodwaters.
Are Floods Really Getting Worse?
Unfortunately, floods are getting worse in many parts of the country due to climate change. Heavy rains and melting snowpacks are resulting in more frequent and intense flooding events. And as development continues in flood-prone areas, more homes and businesses are at risk.
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain on parts of Texas and Louisiana, resulting in widespread flooding. One year later, Hurricane Florence caused significant flooding in North Carolina, and just a few months after that, Hurricane Michael brought record-breaking flooding to parts of Florida.
These more frequent and intense floods are expected to continue in the years to come, which means it’s more important than ever to take steps to protect your well from flooding.
How to Tell If Your Well Is at Risk of Flooding
There are a few things you can do to determine if your home is at risk for flooding:
- Check the FEMA flood maps to see if your property is in a high-risk area.
- Pay attention to local news and weather reports, especially during heavy rain or snowmelt seasons.
- Talk to your neighbors about their experiences with flooding.
- Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if you’re covered for flood damage.
If you live in an area that’s at risk for flooding, it’s important to take steps to protect your home and property. And remember, even if your home has never flooded before, it’s still possible for it to happen. So don’t wait until it’s too late to take action.
Protect Your Family from Contaminated Water with Whole-Home Filtration
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it’s important to take steps to protect your well water. Flooding can introduce contaminants into your well water that can pose a serious health risk to you and your family. By taking some simple precautions, you can help ensure that your well water stays clean and safe during a flood.
If you’re concerned that contaminants may come in with the next flood, get ahead of the crisis. Our professionals can help you achieve cleaner water all day, every day.
At The Science of Water, we assess and install water filtration systems to meet your unique needs, using advanced technology backed by both NASA and the EPA. With our advanced water systems, you can purify your water supply to enjoy safer, clearer, and more delicious water through every tap and appliance in your home — which is especially important in the wake of a disaster.
We even offer free water quality testing and consultations. Our technicians will assess your situation and recommend the perfect filtration system to suit your needs and budget.
Don’t wait for flooding or other crises to strike and compromise your drinking water. Proactively protect your household with safe water that can be relied on. For more information about The Science of Water or to book your free water test, just get in touch with our team today!