NGWA Offers Advice on Protecting Water Wells From Hurricane Flooding

Oct. 5, 2016
Areas threatened by Hurricane Matthew should address possible threats

The National Groundwater Assn. (NGWA) shared steps for homeowners to protect water wells during hurricane flooding. Those in areas threatened by Hurricane Matthew flooding should act to address possible threats to their drinking water quality.

If a well has been flooded:

  • Do not drink the water or wash with it; use an alternative supply, such as bottled water.
  • Stay away from the well pump while it’s flooded to avoid electrical shock.
  • Get a qualified water well contractor or pump installer to clean and turn on the pump, flush the well, disinfect the well, and perform any other necessary maintenance.
  • Check with the local emergency management agency about any guidance relating to local conditions or specific contamination threats due to area flooding.

Bacterial contamination is to be expected in a flooded well, so disinfection of the well system after it has been pumped out and cleaned will be necessary, said Cliff Treyens, NGWA director of general public outreach. NGWA recommends that water well system professionals assess and service the well.

Well owners can search for NGWA-member or NGWA-certified professionals at under “Finding a Contractor.” Other resources for well owners in flood situations can be found in the “Water Quality” section and in a 10-minute video on well flooding on YouTube.

Source: National Groundwater Assn.