As our area is hit with heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Ian, St Johns County Emergency Management is advising Historic City News subscribers and residents to exercise caution regarding drinking water, standing water and flooding. In particular, the county warns of the potential for a contaminated water supply.
Anyone who is exposed to floodwater should rinse with soap and water to prevent infection.
“Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. Residents and visitors are urged to listen to local announcements regarding the safety of the public water supply,” county officials warned. “If your public water system loses pressure, a boil water notice will likely be issued for your area.”
Owners of private wells whose water has been compromised by flooding are encouraged to take one of the following safety measures:
- Use bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula; or
- Boil water before use, holding it at a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.; or
- Disinfect water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime) of plain, unscented household bleach (4 to 6%) per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent contamination.
- After the flooding subsides, disinfect your well using the procedures available from the Florida Department of Health via the following web link: www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/private-well-testing/index.html
Additionally, take precautions around pooling flood water. Electricity from streetlights and power poles can be conducted through standing water.
Discourage children from playing in accumulated floodwater to avoid being bitten by insects or snakes.
During flooding, the greatest threat to drivers comes from moving water. Residents should avoid driving in moving water regardless of their vehicle’s size. Deeper water makes for a greater threat to life and property.