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Water wells can provide a source of drinking water. If you intend on drinking from a well it should be tested periodically for safety. Wells can be contaminated with pesticides, agricultural runoff, heavy metals, toxins and other sources of health concern. It is the responsibility of those using a well to have it tested. In times of disaster a safe well can prove invaluable as a drinking water source as long as the capacity of the well isn't exceeded.
Be Careful Around Old Wells
Old water wells can cave in, so be very careful when around a hand dug well. These are usually lined with rocks. Over time the ground around the well, or rocks on top of the well can become undermined and easily fall into the well, carrying you with it. Many people have lost their lives falling into wells. Be Careful.
Other wells may be covered with old boards or other items. These are likely to fail if you step onto them. Do not walk over the well. Hand dug Wells are often deep and dangerous. Don't take chances.
After A Flood
If the well is contaminated with flood water it will not be safe to use. The water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If your well is contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.
CDC Well Water Information
CDC Well Water Fact Sheet PDF
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