LEONARDTOWN, Md. – August 4, 2020  – Due to the surge from today’s storm event, residents and businesses who obtain their 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.

“Community members who obtain their water from an individual well and believe that floodwaters entered the well casing, should disinfect the well and distribution system.  It is best to use a safe drinking water source until disinfection is complete and testing shows the water to be safe,” said Heather Moritz, Environmental Health Division Director at SMCHD. 

A fact sheet providing information about disinfecting wells and step-by-step instructions for taking this precaution are available by visiting the health department’s website at http://www.smchd.org/well-certification-program/.

Residents should contact the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services division at 301-475-4321 regarding specific questions they may have about testing and well safety.