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Hudson Valley News
Thu November 1, 2012
Westchester Health Commissioner Warns of Contaminated Wells
The Westchester County Department of Health on Wednesday urged people with private wells that were flooded to either boil their water before consumption or to use bottled water as a precautionary measure since sewage and other harmful contaminants can be washed into private wells by storm waters.
Residents should have their water tested if it is evident that their well cap was submerged, said department spokeswoman Caren Halbfinger.
“Sewage and other harmful contaminants can be washed into private wells by stormwaters, so we want residents to have their well water tested if it is evident that their well cap was submerged.”
Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said until well water is either disinfected or confirmed to be safe, residents and food service businesses with private wells should boil their water at a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute prior to drinking it or using to prepare food, wash dishes by hand or brush teeth.
County officials said residents should contact a well professional for help in dealing with the impacts of flood water on their water quality and well system.
The Health Department also cautions those who handle the cleanup of flood waters and mud that both may contain sewage and/or other contaminants. Heavy work gloves, long sleeved shirts, pants and boots should be worn during cleanup to avoid direct contact with the skin.