Hurricane season brings more than just potentially catastrophic winds and flooding. Once the storm is over and any flood waters recede, the process of assessing property damage can begin. Something that should not be overlooked is potable water quality. This is especially important in commercial spaces, schools, medical facilities, and hotels.
What is Potable Water?
Potable water comes from the surface and ground sources. It is generally treated in order to meet certain state and federal standards. These treatments mitigate exposure to microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, toxic chemicals, and fecal matter. Tap water is considered potable water.
The Dangers of Contaminated Water
During and after a weather event that results in flooding, water can become contaminated with a bacteria, sewage, heating oil, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, and other substances that may cause serious illness. If you drink contaminated water, you could get very sick. Drinking contaminated water may cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, nausea, and intestinal or stomach cramping. Dehydration is also likely as a result of the gastrointestinal problems caused by drinking tainted water. Salmonella and E. coli infections, as well as other serious illnesses are also possible. In some cases, these infections can be life threatening.
Boil Water Advisory/Alert
A boil water alert or boil water advisory may be issued after a severe weather event. If a local boil water advisory has been issued, it is essential to follow the directive carefully to prevent illness. When we talk about boil water alerts, we typically think of them in a residential setting. However, businesses in the local area are often connected to the same water supply. If a boil water advisory is issued in your area, it’s important to make sure the water is clean before you drink it or use it.
Potable Water Testing
Health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. We recommend potable water testing to ensure that the water supply is not contaminated. It’s an important step in ensuring the health and safety of occupants in residential, commercial, educational, medical, and hospitality settings. Reach out to one of our Environmental Health & Safety Specialists to schedule potable water testing today. Contact us now.
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