Kittitas County, WA -02/17/2016 – With minor flooding in Kittitas County, the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) is reminding residents that flood water is unsafe. Flood water is often contaminated with debris, disease-causing microorganisms, and even raw sewage.

If your well head was covered by flood waters, KCPHD recommends NOT consuming that water until the well has been tested and proven to be absent of bacteria.  Disinfection of your well is necessary if test results show bacterial contamination. Until you receive test results that show the water is free of bacteria, you should use bottled water or water that has not been exposed to flood waters.

If bottled water is not available, you should boil water before using for drinking, preparing food, washing dishes, brushing teeth, et cetera.  Boil water for one minute and cool completely before use.

When returning to a residence in a recently flooded area, water wells should be tested for safety.  For instructions on disinfecting wells, please visit the Kittitas County Public Health Department’s website for a fact sheet on the disinfection of private water wells.

Water testing bottles are available at KCPHD (click for map and driving directions) from 9am to 5pm for pick up, Monday through Friday.

For questions about boiling water, disinfecting wells, or water testing, please contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department at 509-962-7515.