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Heavy Rain, Flooding and Well Water Safety

Forest with flooding
Photo by Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service,

News reports are providing information about flooded roads and properties in several Nebraska locations. Much of the flooding is occurring in rural areas. If flood water came near your private drinking water well, your water supply may have been contaminated with pollutants carried in the flood water. Resources are available to you through University of Nebraska- Lincoln Extension to assist in maintaining the safety of your well.

Managing a Septic System after a Flood

Septic systems are not designed to function properly when flooded, or when the soil around the soil absorption field (drainfield) is saturated. These conditions can lead to failure and contamination of private drinking water supplies.

Heavy Rain, Flooding, and Well Water Safety

Recent heavy rains and flooding may have impacted private drinking water wells. If flood water came near your private drinking water well, the water may have been contaminated with pollutants. Read more about what you should do if your well is affected.

Emergency Disinfection of Flood-Contaminated Private Drinking Water

Flooding and surface water runoff can contaminate some private drinking water wells. If your well was impacted and you do not have a safe alternative water source, emergency disinfection of water for cooking and drinking will be necessary.

Well Shock Chlorination

If you are thinking about shock chlorinating your own well, see the Shock Chlorination NebGuide for directions and use the Shock Chlorination Calculator to determine the amount of chemical required for your system.

Sharon Skipton
Sharon Skipton
Extension Educator, Retired Water Quality and adjunct Biological Sciences Engineering Faculty Member
Sharon's main areas of interest and research were related to drinking water, onsite wastewater, and healthy homes, with a current emphasis on drinking water system protection as well as water testing, quality, treatment, and conservation.