Ottawa

Residents in flood zone should get well water tested, health officials advise

Residents who get their water from wells in areas affected by flooding should get their water tested before drinking it, and should check well pumps for damage, Ottawa Public Health is recommending.

Check well pumps, septic systems, Ottawa Public Health recommends

A rusty mailbox leans precariously in the flood water surrounding a home in Ottawa's Constance Bay community. Ottawa Public Health is asking people who use well water to be careful as flood waters recede. (Mike O'Shaughnessy/CBC)

Residents who get their water from wells in areas affected by flooding should get their water tested before drinking it, and should check well pumps for damage, Ottawa Public Health is recommending.

On Monday city officials said  more than 300 homes near the Ottawa River have been affected by severe spring flooding.

Ottawa Public Health says anyone concerned about the quality of their well water should use bottled, boiled or treated water for drinking and washing until they can get their water tested.

Residents can have their water tested for free on weekdays at two city-run facilities at 100 Constellation Dr. and 2380 St. Laurent Blvd. Water samples can also be dropped off for testing on Tuesdays at 17 locations across the city.

Wells that have been flooded should be disinfected with household bleach before they're used again, and should be re-tested for bacteria seven to 10 days later, Ottawa Public Health advises.

There are no concerns about the quality of the city's drinking water at this time, officials say.

Check pumps for damage

Ottawa Public Health also said well users should get a qualified technician to check their well pumps if they think electrical parts may have been damaged in the flood.

The pumps themselves may also need to be cleaned.

Likewise, residents in flooded areas shouldn't use their septic systems if their septic fields were under water. Ottawa Public Health said those residents may need to get their septic systems checked before using them again.

Anyone coming into contact with flood water should wash their hands after in case the water was contaminated.

Representatives from Ottawa Public Health will be at four public information sessions planned for Tuesday and Wednesday to answer further questions.

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