pot of boiling water 

Drinking Water Safety After a Flood

Flood conditions are impacting water quality. The conditions continue to change. Anyone with concerns about water quality should boil their water.

The following areas are currently under boil water restrictions:

  • Lyons
  • Loveland
    • Meadow Mountain Water Supply (Allenspark)
    • Narrows Campground Lower (bottled water advisory)
  • Firestone

Boil Water Guidance

  • Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food.
  • Bring water to a boil
  • Let it boil for three (3) minutes
  • Let it cool before using
  • Store in clean containers with covers

Residents who are unable to boil water can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water.

  • Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach per each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.
  • Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.

Learn More

Well Water

Water from wells that have been flooded should be considered contaminated. Do not use the water from a flooded well for consumption, cooking, washing dishes, making ice, brushing teeth, or even bathing.

Any well that has been submerged should be considered unsafe. If unsure, assume that the well was flooded until the safety of the well is confirmed. Use bottled water or boiled water.

Safety Precautions

Clean hazards away from wells before cleaning and disinfecting wells and follow these precautions:

  • Turn off all electricity to the well before clearing debris. Do not attempt to repair the electrical system unless you are experienced with this type of work. Inspect all electrical connections for breaks in insulation and for moisture. Connections must be dry and unbroken to avoid electric shock.
  • Carefully inspect the area around the well for hazards such as power lines on the ground or in the water; sharp metal; glass; or wood debris; open holes; and slippery conditions.
  • Do not enter the well pit. Gases and vapors can build up in well pits, creating a hazardous environment.
  • Before the power is turned back on, a qualified electrician, well contractor, or pump contractor may need to check the equipment wiring system.
  • Use rubber gloves and wear protective goggles or a face shield and a protective apron when working with chlorine solutions.
    • When mixing and handling chlorine solutions, work in well-ventilated areas and avoid breathing vapors.
    • Warn users not to drink or bathe in water until all the well disinfection steps have been completed and the well has been thoroughly flushed and testing indicates it is safe to use.

Disinfection of Drilled or Driven Wells

Follow these steps:

  • If the well is equipped with an electrical pump, turn off all electricity and clear debris from around the top of the well.
  • Repair the electrical system and pump if needed. Contact a qualified electrician, well contractor or pump contractor if you are not experienced with this type of work.
  • Start the pump and run water until it is clear. Use the outside faucet nearest the well to drain the potentially contaminated water from the well and keep unsafe well water out of the interior household plumbing. If no pump is installed, bail water from the well with bucket or other device until the water is clear.
  • If the well is connected to interior home plumbing, close valves to any water softener units
  • Using a 5-gallon bucket, mix the bleach according to the size of the well with 3-5 gallons of water (12-19 liters).
  • Remove the vent cap.
  • Pour the bleach water mixture into the well using a funnel. Avoid all electrical connections. Attach a clean hose to the nearest hose bib and use it to circulate water back into the well for thorough mixing.
  • Rinse the inside of the well casing with a garden hose or bucket for 5-10 minutes.
  • Open all faucets inside the home and run the water until you notice a strong odor of chlorine (bleach) at each faucet. Turn off all faucets and allow the solution to remain in the well and plumbing for a minimum of 12 hours.
  • After at least 12 hours, attach a hose to an outside faucet and drain the chlorinated water onto a non-vegetated area such as a driveway. Continue draining until the chlorine odor disappears. Avoid draining into open sources of water (streams, ponds, etc.).
  • Turn on all indoor faucets and run water until the chlorine odor disappears.
  • Until well water has been tested, boil it (rolling boil for 3 minutes) before use or use an alternative water source. Wait at least 7-10 days after disinfection, then have the water in your well sampled. Water sampling cannot be done until all traces of chlorine have been flushed from the system.

Learn More

Due to increased demand, residents should call ahead to ensure the lab can do the testing.

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Contacts

Water Quality Program

303-441-1564
Submit a question

www.BoulderCountyWater.org

Boulder

3450 Broadway
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Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F

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