Rural homeowners in flooded areas, who get their drinking water from private underground wells, should be aware of possible contamination.
"No one should be drinking any flood water. It's a nasty soup out there," Clay County Environmental Health Specialist William "Bill" Hale told The Brazil Times Tuesday. "There is a huge amount of bacteria, animal waste and farm chemicals swept up in the water flooding many areas around the county. Anyone who is concerned their well has been submerged by the floodwater, or think it might have been contaminated, I encourage them to have their well tested."
According to information provided in a press release by the Indiana State Board of Health Department, "any well in a flooded area should be assumed to be contaminated with sewage" during the recent flooding, and should not be used until properly inspected and treated.
Because of the extensive flood damage in Clay County, Hale said the state health department has provided extra kits for local residents use, and waived testing fees.
"The instructions about how to take the water sample are on the kit, but, if a person has questions, someone will be available to help them," Hale said.
Kits are available at the Clay County Health Department, Medical Office Building (lower level) Suite B110, 1214 E. National Ave., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
For more information about well disinfection and other flood safety and cleanup information, log on to www.claycountyin.gov and click the Clay County Health Department link, or call 812-448-9021.