Department of Health: Remember Water Safety Post-Debby

By: Florida Division of Emergency Management Email
By: Florida Division of Emergency Management Email

Tallahassee, Florida- July 6, 2012
Tallahassee, Florida- July 6, 2012

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) advises private well owners affected by flood waters from Tropical Storm Debby to take precautions against disease-causing organisms that may make their water unsafe to drink.

DOH recommends one of the following precautions before using water for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, brushing teeth or making ice:

· Boil water before use, holding it at rolling boil for at least one minute; or

· Disinfect water before use by adding eight drops (about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain unscented household bleach (4 to 6%) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination; or
· Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.

After the flooding subsides, complete the following steps:

· Disinfect your well using the procedures available from your local health department or provided on DOH’s Environmental Health website at

· Test your water by working with your local health department or by using a state certified laboratory to perform a drinking water analysis for coliform bacteria. A fee may apply.

The mission of the Florida Department of Health is to protect and promote the health of all residents and visitors in the state through organized state and community efforts, including cooperative agreements with counties.

For more information, visit or see the attached fact sheet. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. To GET A PLAN! visit For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

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