Hamilton County maintains advisory for private well contamination

originally posted on February 09, 2017


JASPER — The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton County is advising residents with homes near or along the Withlacoochee River on that the potential of well water contamination remains due to the influence of river water intrusion.

Recent well water samples collected in the area have indicated the presence of contamination from enteric bacteria.

If your well water has experienced a recent discoloration or the well casing has been inundated with floodwater you should boil the water as a precaution or use bottled water until a sample has been tested.

If you are concerned with your quality of well water you may have the water tested by a private lab, or you may call your local health department to obtain a sampling kit. The health department will continue to test wells in its sampling network to determine drinking water quality and make further advisements.

Water contamination presents several health risks to humans and may contain bacteria that could cause gastrointestinal and other diseases. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken if well water is discolored.

Boiled Water Precaution Instructions:

 Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute and cool before use. Common unscented household bleach (4% to 6% active ingredient can be used effectively as a chlorine disinfectant. Disinfect the water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) of unscented household bleach per gallon and then let stand for 30 minutes. If high strength bleach is used (8.25%) add 7 drops. Repeat the procedure once if the water is still cloudy.

This includes all the water used for drinking, making beverages or ice, cooking, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and washing areas of the skin that have been cut. It is recommended to use bottle water when mixing with baby formula.

For information on private well water sampling, contact the Florida Department of Health in Hamilton County at 386-792-1414, ext. 232 or hamilton.floridahealth.gov.

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