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ALERT FOR ALL PRIVATE WELL OWNERS IN FLOODED AREAS

By Audrey Stasko, Public Information Officer

September 14, 2021

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) advises residents living in homes with private wells affected by flood waters to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink. 

DOH-Citrus recommends ONE of the following:  

  1. Boil tap water and hold it at a rolling boil for at least one minute. Let it cool before using it for drinking, brushing teeth, giving to pets, washing food, cooking or washing dishes. 
  2. Disinfect tap water by adding eight drops of plain, unscented household bleach (four to six percent strength), which is about one eighth teaspoon or a dime sized puddle, per gallon of water. If a higher strength bleach is used (8.25% strength), only add seven drops of bleach. Mix the solution and let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure one time.  
Note: Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water for drinking. This will prevent contamination. In addition, containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution of one tablespoon bleach per gallon of water before reusing them. 
  1. Use commercially-available bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.  
After the flooding subsides:
  • Disinfect your private well using the procedures available from the Florida Department of Health website: FloridaHealth.gov/environmental-health/private-well-testing/index.html. You may also visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) website for instructions: water.epa.gov/drink/info/well/whatdo.cfm. 
  • If your well has been flooded, DOH-Citrus Environmental Health Program recommends getting your well water tested for coliform bacteria.
For those collecting their own water sample, the closest labs are in Ocala and Tampa.  
    • Advanced Environmental Labs (813) 630-9616 
    • Marion County Water Test Lab (352) 694-6042 
For those looking to hire a company to sample their water, call 352-513-6100. If the test reveals bacteria, the well and water system need to be disinfected.  

For more information about DOH-Citrus, go to www.CitrusCountyHealth.org or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus