CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Health officials are urging Cape Girardeau County residents to test their drinking water after the New Year Flood.
Officials say Cape Girardeau city drinking water was not affected, but those outside the city may want to test their water.
The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department waived fees for private drinking water test kits in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri after the state declared a state of emergency until Jan. 22, 2016.
City jurisdiction plays a large role in how residents will react to flooding in their area. People within Cape Girardeau city limits receive water from Alliance Water Resources, and cannot run the available testing kits provided at the Cape Girardeau Public Heath Department. People outside of the city who receive their water from private wells will have to contact the health department for assistance.
It is recommended to test your home or business's drinking water if you were affected by flooding and are located in Cape Girardeau County, but not within city limits.
"If flood water gets anywhere near your well head especially underneath, it gets submerged," Environmental Public Health Specialist Derek Honaas said. "Then you definitely need to get it checked, or like if you have any sudden change in taste, odor, color anything that noticeably changes about your water before flooding till now, I would go ahead and test it to be sure."
The water sample must be tested within 48 hours from the filling of the cup. It is important to bring the cup to the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Department and not the post office to assure timeliness of the sample.
Easy steps when using the kit:
- Wash hands
- Take screens off faucet
- Disinfect the faucet with bleach or heat
- Fill water at least to the 100 ml line or a little over
Water System Manager Kevin Priester said the 1993 flood influenced the city of Cape Girardeau to reconstruct its water management. He said the New Year Flood was unnoticeable when it came to its influence on the cleanness of the city's drinking water.
"We monitor a little more closely the flooded areas Red Star and then extreme southern Cape, where we look for pressure losses or pressure reductions in the pipe that could lead to contamination," Priester said.
He said it's almost scary almost what a non-event it was, at least for the water system.