Environment
7:57 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Warning for homes with well water

The Rhode Island Department of Health is reminding residents with private wells to take precautions. The melting snow could make the well water dangerous to drink.

"They should boil their water for one minute before using it for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth or bathing infants."

Health officials worry that excessive snow combined with sunny days will send water contaminated with bacteria trickling into private wells. The spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Dara Chadwick, advises any private well owners to take steps to make sure their water is safe to sip. “They should boil their water for one minute before using it for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth or bathing infants.”

Chadwick, says the excessive run-off could make the well water dangerous to drink.“Wells can become contaminated with bacteria and pathogens when they become flooded. What happens is the standing water around the well might become contaminated and trickle down along the casing and therefore contaminate the drinking water."

Chadwick says any private well that experiences flooding should be tested for bacteria. The flood advisory will remain in effect through the spring.

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