Test private well water and use caution when coming into contact with flood water in the Weiss Lake area


CONTACT: Leigh Willis
(334) 206-5375

The Alabama Department of Public Health urges residents of flooded areas, especially persons living in areas around Weiss Lake where there has been flash flooding, to test their water wells before consuming water from them.

Private wells that have been covered by flood water should be assumed to have been contaminated. Do not drink water from your well or feed it to your animals until you have tested it and received a satisfactory result.

Sample kits may be obtained from the local health departments and state health department laboratories which are equipped to sample well water for bacteriological contamination. Once a satisfactory sample is obtained, the well should be monitored by continued sampling to ensure the quality of the water supply.

Until water is known to be free of contaminants, residents should only use clear water which has been brought to a rolling boil for one minute or purified bottled water.

Flooding also may result in contaminants from various sources being washed into streams, creeks, rivers and coastal waters. If flooding occurs, these waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems, holding tanks, as well as other contaminants from a variety of sources.

Although skin contact with flood waters does not by itself pose a serious health risk, there is a risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water. If a person has open cuts or sores that will be exposed to flood water, keep them as clean as possible by washing well with soap to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling or drainage, promptly seek medical attention.

Although it is early in the year, with the fluctuating temperatures, the flooding may cause the eruption of mosquitoes. Also, be aware of balls of fire ants that are often common in flooded areas. When working in floodwaters, dress appropriately; rubber boots, rain gear, and cuffed gloves can help prevent ants from reaching the skin. In addition, any fish caught from these waters should be thoroughly cooked prior to eating it. After handling fish, persons are reminded to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and clean water.

For additional information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/floodsafety.html

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.