August 30, 2021
Post-storm health advisory for water testing and purification
MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises people with private water wells that may have been covered with floodwaters to have their water tested as soon as possible.
Sterile sample bottles are available from the local branch of the State Laboratory, 757 Museum Drive, or at the Mobile County Health Department, 251 North Bayou Street, Building 6. Samples should be returned to the State Lab (Museum Drive) between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The lab may be contacted by calling 251-344-6049. Testing will be free of charge for individuals with existing residential wells.
Do not take any chances. Do not drink any water from private water wells in an area that has been flooded or from water systems that may be compromised until you know it has been tested and the test shows it safe for use for any purpose.
MCHD offers the following guidelines for proper water purification to citizens in affected areas. These two methods are the easiest purification processes.
Before purifying, let any suspended particles settle to the bottom, or strain them through layers of paper towel or clean cloth.
Boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, keeping in mind that some of the water will evaporate. Let the water cool before drinking.
You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage, and let stand another 15 minutes. These two methods will kill most microbes in water.
Store bought bottled water is also another source of purified water.