Water Damage >> Hurricane Katrina Flooding

FLOODED SEPTIC SYSTEMS What should I do if my septic system was flooded or damaged? Don’t use the system if the soil around the system is wet and flooded. The waste water will not be treated and will become a source of pollution.Once floodwaters have receded, Hurricane Katrina Flooding there are several things homeowners should do: 

Conserve water as much as possible while the system dries out and restores itself and thewater table falls. Have your septic system, including the septic tank and any electrical connections, pumps Hurricane Katrina Flooding and equipment, professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. 

Signs ofdamage include soil erosion on or around the drainfield, drainage through the plumbing issluggish, and back-up of sewage into the basement. Only trained specialists should clean Hurricane Katrina Flooding or repair septic tanks because tanks may containdangerous gases. Contact your health department for a list of septic system contractorswho work in your area. 

You can find the listing of the environmental program at this web addresshttp://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/doh_pub_contacts_map.htm Do not pump the septic tank during flooded or saturated drainfield conditions. At best, Hurricane Katrina Flooding pumping the tank is only a temporary solution. 

Pumping it out could cause the tank tofloat out of the ground and may damage the inlet Hurricane Katrina Flooding and outlet pipes. Do not dig or construct around the septic tank and drainfield while the soil is still wet or flooded. Do not compact the soil over the drainfield by driving or operating equipment in the area. 

If sewage has backed up into the basement, clean the area and disinfect the floor (see p. 6 for information on cleaning Hurricane Katrina Flooding and disinfecting surfaces). Contact your local health department (see last page) for advice.Where can I get additional information about flooded septic systems?What to do after a flood. 

DISINFECTING DRINKING WATER WELLS What if my well was flooded? If the area around your well was flooded (including by sea or Hurricane Katrina Flooding brackish water), ASSESS, FLUSH FLOOD WATERS FROM THE WELL, REPAIR, DISINFECT, then FLUSH the well again (seesteps below for more detail). 

The water should be tested to determine whether it is safe fordrinking. If, after following these steps, the well water tastes salty or has a chemical or gas/oiltaste or appearance Hurricane Katrina Flooding or if you still have concerns, contact your local health department (see lastpage) (LHD) or a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) registeredwell driller. 

Seethe other questions in this section to learn how to disinfect the well and locate the name of acertified laboratory to test the water.When should the well water be tested?Before you test the water, Hurricane Katrina Flooding make sure: All flood waters around the well have drained and the well area has been cleaned up. Any needed repairs have been completed. 

Some damage may need to be repaired by aqualified professional. The well is in good condition and operable. All flood water has been flushed from the well, and the well Hurricane Katrina Flooding and all household plumbinghas been properly disinfected (see #35, "Disinfecting Drinking Water Wells”). 

Flushedwell water needs to be discharged as far away as possible from the well so as not torecycle back into the well. For more information on flushing and discharges contact your Local Health Department (see last page). After disinfection, Hurricane Katrina Flooding the well has been flushed to remove chlorinated water. Wait seven toten days to make sure that all chlorine is out of the system. 

Flushed water needs to be discharged as far away as possible from the well so as not to recycle back into the well. For more information on flushing Hurricane Katrina Flooding and discharges contact your Local Health Department(see last page).After you have made any needed repairs and disinfected the well, your water is ready to betested. 

Until testing shows that the water is free of contamination, continue to use bottled or Hurricane Katrina Flooding boiled water for drinking and food preparation.What should the water be tested for? The water should be tested for total coliform bacteria. Total coliform counts give a general indication of the sanitary condition of a water supply. 

If total coliform are present, the laboratoryfollows-up with a test for E-coli. E-coli indicates that there is contamination from sewage or Hurricane Katrina Flooding other source of feces. If you suspect other contaminants (such as oil, pesticides or fertilizers),testing for these may also be needed. Who should do the water testing?

A laboratory approved to test potable (drinking) water in New York State should do the test. A list of these Hurricane Katrina Flooding laboratories can be found at http://www.wadsworth.org/labcert/elap/comm.html.How should I collect a water sample to have my well water tested?

Contact a certified laboratory of your, get a certified sample bottle and sampling instructions. Follow sampling instructions provided Hurricane Katrina Flooding by the laboratory.If you did not receive instructions from the laboratory, do the following: The bottle you got from the lab is sterile.o Do not open the bottle until you are ready to fill it.o 

Do not rinse the contents from bottle.o Do not touch the inside of the bottle or the bottle cap with your fingers. Before taking the sample: Use a faucet that has separate hot and cold water handles Hurricane Katrina Flooding or that can beadjusted to provide just cold water.o If the faucet tip has a wire screen aerators, remove it and any rubber gasketsfrom the faucet.o 

Disinfect the faucet tip with chlorine bleach (use bleach cap to bring bleachto the faucet tip); or by "flaming" the faucet tip with a lighter Hurricane Katrina Flooding or match for 10seconds (be sure to remove rubber faucet seals first). To take the sample:o Let the cold water run for 4 - 5 minutes.o Fill the bottle with cold water to the indicated fill line and cap it tightly.o 

Close the bottle immediately once it is filled with water from your tap.For other types of contamination (such as oil, fertilizer or pesticides) a professional may need to Hurricane Katrina Flooding collect the sample. Contact the laboratory to check on this.

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