DPH: Drinking Water Emergencies

Drinking Water Emergencies

 
{Lake Watrous in Woodbridge, CT} Contamination (dangerous chemicals or substances) of drinking water does not happen very often in Connecticut. Contamination may be caused by water system failures, accidents or terrorist attacks. For example, things like chemicals or animal and human waste can get into our water supply and make our water dangerous to drink.
 
Your drinking water may not be safe during or after an emergency, like a hurricane. You will be told by your water company or local officials if your drinking water is not safe. Water has an unusual change in color, smell or taste, or has floating pieces in it, should NOT be used. Listen to your local news or your water company to know if your water is not safe.
 
PRIVATE WELLS
 
If you are a homeowner in a flooded are whose private well has flooded, you should consider your well contaminated. Flooded wells should be disinfected before use. To be safe, you should treat your water or use bottled water until you disinfect your well. For information on disinfecting wells, go to www.ct.gov/dph/floods.
 
TREATING YOUR DRINKING WATER
 
If you are told to treat your drinking water, use treated or bottled water when cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, or making baby formula. You should also use treated or bottled water to wash your hands when cooking. Adults and older children do not need to use treated water to shower or bathe, but should try not to swallow or get untreated water in their mouth. Infants, toddlers, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems should be bathed using treated or bottled water.

HOW TO TREAT WATER

You may need to treat your drinking water or used bottled water in an emergency. To protect you and your family, you should do ONE of the following to make sure your water is safe to use:

  • Boil your drinking water at a rolling boil for one minute. (Instructions on how to boil water in different languages.) Make sure water is clear of floating pieces before boiling; OR,
  • Use sealed bottled water; OR,
  • Add eight drops of liquid chlorine bleach for every gallon of clear water or 16 drops for every gallon of cloudy water. Do NOT use household bleach that has perfumes or ingredients other than sodium hypochlorite as it may be toxic. Be sure to mix the water well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before using; OR,
  • Add water purification tablets as directed on the package. When using treatment chemicals, be sure to mix the water completely and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before using.

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

If you notice suspicious people or activities near public drinking water sources or water supply facilities, you should report them to the local police. Suspicious activities might be:

  • People climbing or cutting a fence around a water supply facility.
  • People dumping materials into a drinking water reservoir or water supply.
  • Strange, unmarked trucks or cars parked near a water source or water treatment facility.
  • People opening or tampering with manhole covers, fire hydrants, buildings or equipment.
  • People climbing on water storage tanks.
  • People photographing, videotaping, or taking notes on water company facilities, structures, or equipment.
  • Strangers “hanging out” around locked gates of water supply facilities or water sources.




Content Last Modified on 8/9/2013 2:36:13 PM