Residents Reminded of Safety Precautions for Wells and Septic Systems | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Residents Reminded of Safety Precautions for Wells and Septic Systems

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/(May 9, 2017) –  All users of wells, shore wells, and septic systems are reminded of safety precautions during flooding situations. The risk of contamination to wells and shore wells is high when flooding occurs. Septic systems can also be adversely affected.

The water from wells and shore wells may not be safe to drink if the well has been flooded.  Residents are advised not to drink the water from any well that has been flooded, and are reminded that boiling this water will not remove chemical contaminants.

Once flood levels have receded, well users are advised to test their drinking water to ensure it is safe. Until the safety of drinking water has been confirmed by testing, users of affected wells are advised to use another known safe supply of drinking water, such as bottled water. If drinking water is supplied by a municipal well, residents are advised to contact their municipality if they have any concerns.

If a septic system has been flooded, it is recommended that users decrease water use in order to prevent sewage back up into the home or the introduction of pollution into the environment.  Septic system users are reminded not to pump out septic tanks during a flood, and to stay off the soil absorption field. These activities can compact the soil, reducing the ability of the system to treat waste water and potentially lead to system failure.  For further information about septic system safety, residents are advised to contact their local municipality.

“We are asking users of wells, shore wells, and septic systems to take steps to protect their health and the environment while the area is experiencing high water levels” encourages Senior Public Health Inspector Andrew Landy.  “We are also encouraging residents to reach out to neighbours that may not receive this message or be aware of these precautions.”

For further information, please see our fact sheet about Drinking Water Affected by Flooding, or visit our website at www.hpepublichealth.ca or call 613-966-5500.

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Media Contact:

Andrew Landy, Senior Public Health Inspector
613-966-5500 x 249
alandy@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 36 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH's mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit www.hpepublichealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.