PEORIA -- Many Peoria County water wells have been exposed to flood waters which can pose a public health hazard. Flood waters carry contaminants such as parasites, bacteria, and viruses from backed up septic systems and other sources. All wells that have been exposed to flood waters need to be tested prior to use to help ensure the water is safe to drink.
The Peoria City/County Health Department is providing water well test kits free of charge to Peoria County residents with wells that have been exposed to flood waters. Test kits will be available at specific locations in the vicinity of the flooded areas and at the Peoria City/County Health Department, 2116 N. Sheridan, Peoria, from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Locations for test kits are listed on our website at www.pcchd.org and will be updated as needed.
Wil Hayes, Director of Environmental Health at Peoria City/County Health Department, urges residents to clean and test wells. "Water wells should be disinfected using standard procedures listed on our website at www.pcchd.org. Once the water recedes from around water wells, it is important that flooded water wells be thoroughly pumped, allowed to recharge naturally, and disinfected before sampling. This process is necessary for complete disinfection of the well and may take up to several days to complete."
The water well kits test for coliform bacteria and nitrates/nitrites, and include information on clean up guidelines for buildings, instructions for chlorinating the well, collecting the water sample for analysis, and a shipping label with specific timeframe instructions for mailing the sample to the designated lab. The test kit is free; residents will need to pay postage for mailing. After the lab completes the test analysis on the water sample, the results will be sent to the Health Department to interpret. The Health Department will notify the homeowner of the final test results, usually 7-10 business days.
After flooding, it is recommended to have your total system checked by a qualified electrician, well contractor, or pump contractor.
For additional tips and information regarding floods and water wells, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at www.pcchd.org or contact the Health Department's Environmental Health Division at (309) 679-6161. This press release courtesy of the Peoria City/County Health Department.
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