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WQA responds to Hurricane Matthew
5 things people affected by storm need to know about their drinking water
Audio available for radio or digital platforms: Listen to WQA Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy
LISLE, ILLINOIS - The Water Quality Association today said that Hurricane Matthew poses a threat to drinking water for people affected by the storm, but that there are precautions that can be taken to protect residents in the affected areas.
“This is a powerful hurricane and our concern is for anyone who may be caught in the path of Matthew or who will be returning to their homes once the storm has passed,” said WQA Deputy Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We're concerned about possible drinking water contamination."
Five things to know
WQA recommends residents affected by Hurricane Matthew use bottled water for drinking and cooking until they know for sure that their tap water is safe. The safety of a home’s water supply, both private or municipal, may be affected by power outages.
Well owners affected by the storm are encouraged to test their systems and seek appropriate remedies as soon as possible. During and after flooding, water can become contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria, sewage, heating oil, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals and other substances that can cause serious illness.
Be alert for local boil water orders. Flooding can cause disruptions with a municipal water source, prompting officials to issue boil water orders in many communities. A WQA guide to boil water order notices can be found here.
Existing water treatment equipment should be inspected for possible contamination.
Residents should consider protecting their tap water either with a whole house system or at the tap treatment with a certified water treatment product depending upon the results of a water test. To have your water tested contact a water treatment professional or state certified lab.
WQA offers training and certification for professionals who can conduct testing and recommend appropriate remedies for specific contamination issues. WQA tests products for effectiveness, offering Gold Seal certification to those that meet independently established standards. To find a local water treatment professional or certified professional who can help choose the most effective products, visit wqa.org.
WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).