Healthy people, families, and communities.


For anyone who is on well water that is contaminated by flooding, be sure to watch this helpful Emergency Well Disinfection video by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. This video contains procedures for disinfecting private wells after extreme conditions.Emergency Well Disinfection Video pic for web

To those affected by severe weather this season--Stay safe out there! Use these tips from to minimize food loss and risk of illness when the power comes back on and the waters recede.

Food Safety after Flood

North GeorgiaDue to recent weather conditions, any well or spring that has been covered with flood waters must be considered contaminated. Do not drink the water until after flood waters have receded, the well or spring has been disinfected with household bleach and the water has been laboratory tested. Contact the local county Environmental Health Office for questions and further instructions, if needed.

Shock Chlorination
Disinfecting a Well
Well disinfection is necessary if the well or spring was covered with flood waters. Before chlorinating, it is important to check the integrity of the well or spring water source to prevent future contamination. Well construction must prevent entry of surface water, debris, insects and animals. The well casing and concrete slab should be sealed and the well cap or sanitary seal must be secure. Springs should be in a sealed spring house.
  1. Thoroughly clean all accessible outside surfaces removing any loose debris and mud around the well or spring.Then, wash the well area with a strong chlorine solution (1 quart of household bleach per 5 gallon of water).
  2. Determine the amount of water in the well. Calculate the amount of bleach chlorine needed. DO NOT USE SCENTED BLEACHES. Health officials recommend using the normal strength household bleach, which is 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite.
  3. Remove the well cap or place a funnel into the small vent pipe of the well cap. Use the table below and add the appropriate amount of bleach. A minimum of 50 ppm chlorine solution is required:Water Well cleansing chart
  4. Run water from an outside faucet through a hose until a strong chlorine odor can be detected.Place the end of the hose in the well allowing the water to run down the sides of the casing and circulate for at least 15 minutes.Replace the well cap.
  5. Turn off the hose and enter the home opening each tap, one at a time, until the smell of chlorine can be detected. Please include hot water faucets, toilets, bathtubs, washing machine, etc.
  6. Once the chlorine odor reaches all outlets, let the water system stand for 8 hours, preferably overnight. Refrain from any water use during this time, except for flushing toilets.    
  7. Flush the system of chlorine by turning on an outside faucet letting it run until the chlorine odor dissipates. Finally, run indoor faucets until the water is clear and the chlorine odor is gone. Do not run any unnecessary water into the septic system or allow the chlorinated water to drain directly into a stream or pond. Continue this process until the odor of bleach is completely gone.
  8. The water should be laboratory tested to determine if it is safe to drink. It is recommended that over the next several weeks two additional samples be taken to be sure results are satisfactory. Repeated chlorination and/or a well professional should be called if problems remain.
  9. If not sure how to disinfect a well or spring, how to take a well sample or how to get laboratory results, contact the local county Environmental Health Office.

Protect Yourself and Those You Love for the Holidays:

Get Vaccinated Against the Flu!


  1. NIVW-2015-IconCDC established National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. NIVW is scheduled for December 6-12, 2015.
    1. Flu vaccination coverage estimates from past years have shown that influenza vaccination activity drops quickly after the end of November. CDC and its partners want to remind you that even though the holiday season has arrived, it is not too late to get your flu vaccine.
    2. As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can provide protection against the flu and should continue.
    3. Even if you haven’t yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with one flu virus, you can still benefit from vaccination since the flu vaccine protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which flu vaccine you get).
  1. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza disease.
  2. Another goal of NIVW is to communicate the importance of flu vaccination for people who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications.
    • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older.
    • For people at high risk, getting the flu can mean developing serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, or a worsening of existing health conditions, which can lead to hospitalization or death.
    • A full list of “People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications” is available.

Learn more about influenza vaccination at


Reference: All information is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: