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Well Owner Tips in Case of Flooding


The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and Nebraska Department and Health and Human Services remind the public that after a flood, the owners of household wells should take certain precautions to make sure their water is safe and their well is in good operating condition.

An obvious concern is that flood water loaded with bacteria, chemicals or other pollutants may have gotten into the well. A less obvious concern is electrical shock if a non-submersible pump or any part of the well electrical system is flooded.

After a flood one should:
  1. Stay away from the well pump while it is flooded to avoid electrical shock
  2. Do not drink the water from the well or use it for washing to avoid becoming sick
  3. Get help from a qualified water well contractor or pump installer to:
  • Clean and turn on the pump.
  • Flush the well.
  • Disinfect the well.
  • Perform any other necessary maintenance.
  • Have your water tested for bacteria before drinking.
Water wells are specialized systems that require knowledge and expertise to repair and disinfect. If your well has been flooded, use bottled water or boil your water until a qualified water well system contractor can check out your well system.

For a list of Licensed Water Well Professionals, go to: http://deq.ne.gov/Publica.nsf/pages/WAT325

To contact state labs for water testing kits for bacteria, call: DHHS Main Laboratory at (402) 471-2122. For sample kits, press 2 or dial (402) 471-3935.

Other flooding information is available at NDEQ’s web site at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/Disaster, and at the University of Nebraska at https://flood.unl.edu/ *

To contact the Water Well Standards and Contractor’s Licensing Program, call: Lincoln – (402) 471-4982; Norfolk – (402) 922-3360; Grand Island – (402) 649-0516; North Platte (308) 530-2303.

* This document contains links to non-NDEQ websites; these links will open in a new tab or window.