LEONARDTOWN, MD (September 11, 2018) – In the event of a storm surge from the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Florence, residents and businesses who obtain drinking water from an individual well that is not protected by a flood proof cap, are advised to disinfect their wells if they know or suspect that flood waters have entered and contaminated their systems.

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) urges residents to use bottled water or an alternative safe source until disinfection and follow-up testing is complete. If residents do not have access to bottled water or an alternative source, their well water should be boiled for 3-5 minutes in a clean container before use.

“People who obtain their water from an individual well should disinfect the well and distribution system if floodwaters reached and entered the well casing.  In order to safeguard public health and personal well being, it is best to use a safe source until disinfection is complete and testing shows the water to be safe,” said Daryl Calvano, Environmental Health Services Director at SMCHD.

Please contact SMCHD’s Environmental Health Services division at (301) 475-4321 with questions on water testing and well safety.

Hurricane preparedness information and food safety tips during power outages and flooding can be found on the SMCHD website at: www.smchd.org/emergency-preparedness