Hurricanes and heavy rains can create destruction and danger on many levels including long-term power outages, destroyed homes, dangerous flooding, risk of diseases and unhealthy drinking water. Once a hurricane makes landfall, or significant rainstorms causes flooding, both public water supplies and well water are at risk of contamination and can lead to illness.
Most often we see the media showing images and videos of retail and department stores selling out of bottled water prior to a storm, as stocking up on safe, clean drinking water is a necessary precaution. While hydration is a life-sustaining necessity, people cannot assume that drinking tap water during or after a significant storm is safe. Instead of stocking up on bottled water, there are other ways to ensure a safe supply of drinking water for your home including reverse osmosis water systems, drinking water systems, and whole home water treatment systems.
Dangers of Floodwater for Local Drinking Water
Floodwater following a hurricane or massive rain storm is more than simply rainwater, it’s typically contaminated with sewage, chemicals and often sharp objects like metal and glass. In areas hit heavily by natural disasters, water treatment plants may not be operating as normal or even if they are water lines may be tainted.
Drinking water can quickly become contaminated following a hurricane or heavy rainstorm when uprooted trees cause water line pipes to break or crack. In addition, sewage spills can contaminate water lines and affect utilities. Contaminated drinking water is a significant health risk, especially those who are most vulnerable including infants, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Contaminated drinking water following a major flooding is at risk for carrying diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, e. Coli, and dysentery.
Recent Examples of Hurricanes’ Contamination of Water
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused significant and lasting damages to southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. In the wake of the storm, safe and clean drinking water quickly became a major concern as the public drinking water supplies in many areas had been compromised and contaminated when floodwater inundated reservoirs.
Following Superstorm Hurricane Sandy in 2012, more than 690 wastewater and drinking water utilities in Washington D.C. and 11 other states were compromised as a result of the storms destructive wake.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s floodwater caused an outbreak of gut diseases triggered by E. coli due to the lack of safe food and potable water.
How to Protect Your Home or Business from Contaminated Water After Flooding
After a significant flooding event, it’s critical to understand that your home or business’ water supply could be contaminated. For this reason, installing a water treatment system like a drinking water system or reverse osmosis system in your home or business will help keep your water pure and clean, not only during flooding but every day. To learn what system is right for your home or business’ specific needs, schedule a free water test today or contact us for more information.