Flooding may contaminate drinking water - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Flooding may contaminate drinking water

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MISSOULA -

In addition to dealing with high floodwaters damaging their homes and properties, Missoula County residents impacted by flooding also need to be concerned about the safety of their water. 

According to release from Missoula County, water from wells affected by flooding may not be safe to drink because flooding can contaminate wells. 

Residents are urged to use bottled water until they can verify their water is safe to drink. 

The Missoula City-County Health Department does offer water testing Monday-Thursday. The tests cost $15. Those who want to test their water should call 406-258-4755. 

Floodwaters may also impact septic systems and sewers. From Missoula County:

As floodwaters are potentially contaminated by sewage, bacteria and viruses that can make people sick, residents who have had contact with floodwaters should wash their hands with soap and water, especially before eating or drinking. The Health Department also recommends residents ensure their tetanus shots are up to date. The department’s walk-in clinic offers vaccinations on a sliding fee scale. Clinic hours and additional information are available online. Septic systems and sewers. Floodwaters can cause wastewater to surface or to back up into houses on septic systems. If there is any sign of floodwaters backing up into a house, residents should clean and disinfect the area before using it. Residents also should not pump flood or groundwater into floor sinks or house drains, as that amount of water can overwhelm septic systems, leading to sewage surfacing on the ground or backing up in a house. (The same is true for residents connected to the municipal sewer; pumping large quantities flood or groundwater into the city sewer can overload the wastewater treatment plant.)

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