Health officials urge flood victims to test wells 27 Jun 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Health is urging private well owners affected by flooding in the northeastern region to have their water tested.

Assistant health commissioner Aggie Leitheiser says people should assume their well is contaminated with potentially hazardous bacteria if their well casing was under water, or if flood water came within 50 feet of the wellhead.

Leitheiser says water from the wells should not be used for drinking or cooking until the floodwater recedes and the wells are tested. Wells that are direct contact with flood water should be flushed and disinfected before they’re tested.

The agency says testing kits are free and available from local public health agencies.