As of the writing of this article, many parts of Tennessee are suffering from severe and dangerous flood conditions.  Floods are not only dangerous but the damage it causes is long-lasting as clean up cannot begin until the flood subsides which can take days if not weeks. In this article, we discuss what a private well owner should know about floods and how it may impact their property.

Precautions to Take Before the Flood

It is not always possible to take proper precautions before a flood occurs. If the property is in a flood zone, then well contractors should take the possibility of a flood into consideration. Regardless, if there is adequate warning, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Inspect the well cap. The well cap is placed on top of the wellhead and prevents backflow into the well. Before a flood, a well owner will want to inspect the well cap to make sure that it is tight and has no cracks that can make the well exposed.
  • Secure pressure tanks. A well owner will want to make sure the pressure tanks are properly secured from becoming dislodged either from the rush of water or floating debris.
  • Secure the power source. A well owner will also want to make sure that the power source is also secured and protected. If possible, turn off the power source to avoid any potential electric shock.

After the Flood

After the flood subsides and it is safe to do so, a well owner should check the well to make sure it is free from damage.  The owner should try and take any inventory of any visible damages.  The owner should try and inspect the well cap and wellhead for any visible damages.  Additionally, the well owner should inspect the pressure tank and the power source to make sure they are still intact.

Furthermore, the well owner should live under the assumption that the water in the well has been contaminated by microorganisms and harmful pathogens.  A well owner must test the water to make sure it is safe for human consumption.  Even if the well was not flooded, the water source may have been contaminated.

What Not to Do After a Flood

Knowing what not to do after a flood is just as important as knowing what to do.  A well owner MUST NOT do the following:

  • DO NOT turn on the power source to the well system. Even if the power sources remain intact and there is no visible damage, there can be an electrical shock that cannot only destroy the well system but seriously injure and kill humans and animals.
  • DO NOT use the water from the well until it has been tested and disinfected from harmful microorganisms and pathogens.

Private Well Tests Positive For Microorganisms and Pathogens

Whether the well tests positive for harmful microorganisms and pathogens, it is recommended that the whole system be shock chlorination.  Shock chlorination will not only disinfect the well system, but it will also clean the system as well.

Contact a Professional

After a flood, even if proper precautions were taken and there were no visible damages, a well owner should contact a professional. The technicians at American Pump Services will not only inspect the system from patent damages but latent ones as well.  Our technicians will also test the water quality and disinfect the system to make sure the well is safe to be used again.