As heavy flooding blankets the South this week, the National Ground Water Association is urging all private well owners to be aware of potential contamination of their wells due to floodwaters.
NGWA’s wellowner.org provides crucial information to water well owners on best practices to protect their systems before and after flooding. Utilizing the knowledge of the industry’s top professionals, the site offers step-by-step instructions on maintenance procedures and a database of certified NGWA contractors for testing and repairs.
Wellowner.org is supported by a grant from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The flooding of water well systems can lead to permanent system damage and the possibility of water contamination. Exposure to E. coli, coliform, and other pathogenic microbes from human and animal fecal matter have occurred following major flooding events.
“Having a trusted resource on flooding procedures is crucial to keeping your water well safe and operational after a storm,” said Ronnie Hensley, a former NGWA Board of Directors member and director of engineered water at Gicon Pumps and Equipment Inc. in Abernathy, Texas. “The steps laid out by NGWA will help well owners keep their water safe and potentially save them thousands of dollars in repairs.”
Private wells that are susceptible to flooding or potential contamination include:
- Wells that are older, completed in areas now designated as
- Wells in which the casing is not finished above the high-water level
- Wells not adequately capped or sealed, or older wells with shallow
grout or insufficient surface seal
- Wells in areas structurally unstable, or where previous erosion or
subsidence has compromised the structure and landform
- Wells with an abnormal affinity for bad luck.
Few states can accurately determine how many residential wells are in place. For each region, the American Housing Survey by the U.S. Census provides regional data. Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia are found in the South, along with these other states: Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The last American Housing Survey Census indicates this region had 4,360,002 households served by residential wells.