Well Flooding: How to Prevent it?

Every year more than 500,000 private wells are affected by flooding. A private well owner may need to deal with a flooded well. In this article, we will discuss well flooding, what to do in case of flooding, and how to ready your well for the next flood.

Which wells are susceptible to flooding?

  • Water wells which are now a part of declared floodplains
  • Improperly constructed wells (casing is not fished above the highest flood level recorded)
  • Inadequately capped or sealed wells
  • Wells with less grouting and not enough surface sealing
  • Wells located in areas where flooding is common.

What to do after well flooding?

well flooding due to excessive water

If your well is unfortunately flooded, you must take swift action to ensure that the water from the well is safe to drink and you don’t catch any diseases as a result of the contamination from floodwater. Bacterial contamination is common after flooding. You must do the following.

Water Testing and Disinfection – Wait for the flood water to clear and then get your water tested. Contact a licensed testing facility for testing purposes. If bacteria are found in your water, you need to disinfect the water. Check the local laws to get an idea about disinfection. Hire the services of a certified well driller to carry out the disinfection process for you.

well flooding

Stop Consuming Water – The first and the most important step is to stop using flooded well water for drinking and cooking purposes. You must also avoid using it for bathing and washing clothes. Arrange bottled water until the floodwater clears away; well water is tested, disinfected, and then tested again for confirmation.

Stay Safe – Make sure you stay away from a flooded well. It will help you in two ways. Firstly, it will keep you safe from an electric shock, and secondly, you will avoid getting allergies or rashes from the pathogens in the floodwater.

Any other Maintenance Tasks – It is important that you get your well system and other plumbing components such as water filters, softeners, and treatment units inspected by professionals after flooding.

How to prepare your well for the next flood?

If you live in an area where flooding is common, it is very important to know about preparation, evacuation, and return-home guide for well water users.

Preparing

  • Make sure that the wellhead is cased above (4-6 inches) the highest flood level in your area. Ensure that the flood water will not seep into the top of the well through the wellhead or cap.
  • Check the concrete pads around the wellhead. Make sure there are no cracks or leaks in them. It may need a re-grouting with cement or bentonite or the state-approved grouting materials.
  • Arrange 5-10 gallons of water for emergency use for drinking and cooking.

Evacuation

  • Turn off the water pump and check that the wires are not naked and cannot cause electrocution.
  • Turn off the electricity to the septic system, water filters, and water softeners.
  • Fill the pressure tank with water to avoid contamination.
  • If the water well is in an open area, secure the well and components to keep them safe from rain and water.

Returning Home

  • When you return home, get your well water tested from a licensed testing facility.
  • Don’t consume water until you get a confirmation about its quality.
  • If bacteria are found in the water, hire the service of a licensed well driller to perform disinfection and well inspection.

Final Words

While you can’t stop floods from happening, you can minimize the damage caused by them to your water wells and plumbing system. Only a pro-active approach will help you limit the damage, and water testing and disinfection will ensure that you don’t suffer from the bacterial contamination caused by floods.

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