Heavy rain and destructive winds go hand in hand with a hurricane and while home and business owners struggle to secure their property and personal effects, it’s the immediate threat to the water supply that can have can serious health effects long after the hurricane has gone. According to experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consuming contaminated water can lead to serious health issues including dysentery, and other gastrointestinal illnesses, hepatitis, and cholera with the elderly, young children and those individuals with compromised immune systems most at risk.
How Do Hurricanes Affect Water Quality?
According to the knowledgeable experts at AAA Water Team, Florida residents should take care before consuming water after heavy flooding due to the risk of contamination which can have a direct impact on municipal drinking water and wastewater utilities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions residents to be aware of broken pipes and low water pressure which increases levels of contamination. The EPA also reminds residents that one of the most important considerations after a hurricane is that water from a faucet has the potential to be contaminated. Further, residents should not consume water that is dark and cloudy or water that has an odor even for bathing or showering. The water supply could contain chemicals that can cause skin issues, allergies and other complaints. In many cases local utility providers will issue boil water advisories before severe weather or when water sources have the potential to be contaminated. The FDA maintains that boiling water will destroy most disease causing bacteria and organisms that could be prevalent although this is not completely fail safe.
How to Effectively Treat Water After a Hurricane or Other Natural Disaster
• Boil water for one minute or more before cooling and storing in a clean container
• Add 8 drops of plain liquid chlorine bleach that is free of dyes and contains 5.25 to 6% sodium hypochlorite to each gallon of clean water and 16 drops per each gallon of cloudy water.
• Or add water purification tablets and allow water to stand untouched for 30 minutes or more before consuming.
Boil Water Advisory Order
If a Do Not Use Notice is in effect, residents should avoid all contact with the water supply until the warning is released. According to the Water Quality Research Foundation, boiling water under a Do Not Use Notice will not destroy all contaminants and could have the potential to concentrate contaminants making them much more harmful. In this case drinking bottled water or a whole house reverse osmosis system is recommended. In regards to bottled water, experts recommend storing three days worth of water for each occupant of the home in a cool, dark place for drinking and personal hygiene. Residents that reside in warm climates such as those found in Florida should consider installing a whole home water reverse osmosis system to eliminate the risk of potential contamination. Water supplied by wells can also be contaminated by flooding and should be tested and disinfected when the water levels from flooding diminish and it is safe to do so.
Water Testing, Reverse Osmosis Water Systems & More in Golden Gate Estates, Naples, Cape Coral, Fort Myers & Lehigh Acres, Florida
AAA Water Team can come out and disinfect your water well (if you have one) and with a Reverse Osmosis system, there is no need to boil water! For more information regarding water testing and water filtration services, contact the knowledgeable experts at AAA Water Team today.