The kind of flooding southwest Florida communities are experiencing during Tropical Storm Debby can lead to contaminated drinking water, especially for people who use private wells. When public drinking water is contaminated, health officials will issue a boil order.
Here are some tips to follow for keeping you and your family healthy during a tropical storm and flooding:
- Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
- Boil water for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking.
- Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp - this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of unscented household bleach per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure.
- Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.
- After the flooding subsides, disinfect your well using the procedures available from your local health department, or provided on the Department of Health Web site athttp://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/manual/floodinf.htm; and have your water tested by your local health department or by a laboratory certified by the State to perform a drinking water analysis.