Those with private wells in flooded areas are being urged not to use the stuff coming from the taps.
We are advising residents with wells in flood impacted areas to use an alternate water supply for drinking, brushing teeth, making baby food/formula; washing dishes, fruits, vegetable and other food; or making any meals, drinks or ice. https://t.co/jeSlvDJaki pic.twitter.com/0M6lI0tpJm— SMDHU (@SMDhealthunit) April 24, 2019
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit says flooding can contaminate a private well, and cause power outages affecting water pumps. If that were the case, the Health Unit suggests switching to bottled water or another safe drinking source.
The SMDHU also offers the following suggestions to keep your water safe during and after flood conditions or prolonged power outages:
- If available, use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters.
- Boil water for one minute to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present.
- If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle and then draw off the clear water for boiling.
- If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters have receded.
Safe drinking water should always be used for the following:
- Making ice; juice, coffee, tea and infant formula – Note: Ready-to-serve infant formula is the safest option for formula-fed babies if water safety is a concern
- For cooking and washing fruits and vegetables
- Washing hands and brushing teeth
- Dish washing – for extra safety, pour a capful of bleach into a sink full of clear water for rinsing dishes.
Those on municipal water systems generally aren’t affected by this, according to the health unit, as municipal systems have backups in place.