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EPA advises well owners in flood stricken eastern Kentucky to chemically treat their water


Nearly all the water systems in eastern Kentucky are back up and running after July’s devastating floods. But That might not be the case for many people using well water in the area.

Drew Parker is with the Environmental Protection Agency and recently helped with the flooding in eastern Kentucky. He said there is something well owners can do to start the cleaning process.

“Anyone on a private well has been recommended by the Kentucky Department of Public Health, to conduct a shock chlorination process. This is basically putting a diluted concentration of bleach into their wells and letting it sit for a period of 12 to 24 hours then flushing the system out.”

He said owners are encouraged to do a chloride bleach treatment, but that is not all.

“After going through that process, people can start using the well but they are highly recommended that boiled, at a rolling boil from 1 to 5 minutes before consuming it until you can get results back on whether or not there are any kind of ecological contamination present.”

Parker said the chlorine shock treatment should handle most or all bacterial contamination, but a chemical contamination will require more work. More information about how to handle wells after a natural disaster can be found at the EPA and CDC websites.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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