MANATEE COUNTY (October 4, 2022) – As Manatee County residents continue to clean-up after Ian, some are having to be extra careful when it comes to their drinking water supply—especially if that water is supplied through a well.
Flooded wells have the potential to be contaminated with bacteria. Surface waters are susceptible to many sources of contamination. During a storm surge or flood, sewage runoff and overflow from lakes, rivers and streams may be carrying bacteria such as E. coli and cholera, protozoa such as Giardia and viruses such as hepatitis. If surface water enters your well head, it may contaminate the well water that you rely on for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing.
If the well was flooded (meaning that the storm water went over the well head), residents should boil that water as a precaution until they can have it tested to assure that it is free of bacteria. The well water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Aerating the water by pouring it several times from one container to another will help to dispel the flat taste of boiled water. And be sure to cool the water before using it on skin.
The Florida Department of Health in Manatee County (DOH-Manatee) is providing sterile bottles to residents so they can collect a well water sample and return to DOH-Manatee for testing at labs. Anyone who should have their well water tested can pick up a sterile bottle and instructions for collecting a sample of well water from the Myakka Community Center, located at 11060 Wauchula Road in Myakka City.
Samples should be collected and dropped off at the Myakka Community Center before 2 p.m. Monday thru Thursday. DOH-Manatee will collect the samples from the Center and send to labs. Results will be shared with residents by phone within 48 hours of DOH-Manatee sending the samples to the labs.
More information about well water testing can be found on the DOH Website or by calling DOH-Manatee at (941) 748-0747.
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. For information specific to the County's Hurricane Ian recovery efforts, go to mymanatee.org/manateerecovers. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @manateegov