Until February 29, 2016... The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality will offer free testing of private well water for bacterial contamination. Water experts, water professionals and health officials all agree that well water ought to get tested for bacterial contamination once a year AND ESPECIALLY after drinking water wells have gotten flooded.
The free testing offer will apply to residents living in the following counties: Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Delaware, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, Mayes, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Ottawa, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Sequoyah, and Wagoner.
Important! If you live in an area where flooding has taken place and your well may have gotten covered in flood waters, health officials strongly warn against drinking from the well until the flood waters have gone away and a sample of the water has passed bacterial testing by a qualified laboratory.
Experts also suggest properly disinfecting the well after flood events and prior to taking a sample of water for bacterial testing.
For residents of the previously mentioned counties in need of assistance when it comes to sample collection, instructions or sampling supplies, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality can be reached at the following number: (800) 522-0206.
- Flood water picks up an innumerable amount of potentially harmful contaminants as it passes over roads, fields, septic tank areas, agricultural areas, etc.
- Water wells belonging to well heads submerged during flooding should be considered 'suspect' until testing shows otherwise.
- You should NOT drink from a water well after a flood event until it has gotten properly disinfected and afterward tested for bacterial contamination.
- The free well water testing offer mentioned above will end at the end of February 2016.