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News stories highlighting what happens in the days, weeks and months following hurricanes in Central Florida.

After Hurricane Ian, 22% of private well samples in Seminole County are contaminated

Photo: CDC
Photo: CDC

Flood waters from Hurricane Ian have contaminated some of the private wells in Seminole County.

At a press conference Monday, Seminole County Health Officer Donna Walsh says 22% of the water samples tested so far had coliform or E-coli bacteria. Those bacteria are associated with human or animal waste. They are an indication the drinking water is contaminated.

"Contaminated drinking water may contain harmful bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms that can make you sick," Walsh said. "Hence the importance and the need for testing your private wells."

Walsh says you shouldn't drink the water if it could be contaminated. Use bottled water instead or boil it for more than a minute.

Seminole County homeowners can call 407-665-0000 to request the free testing. Health Department staff will come out and take samples and give them to an EPA mobile lab for testing.

The CDC provides information online about disinfecting a contaminated well.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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