Several parts of the country, including our home state of Minnesota, have recently been deluged by rainstorms leading to significant issues with flooding. Part of the coverage related to this flooding, including stories published in both Minnesota and Missouri, has centered on the impact flood waters have on the safety of local drinking water.
This leads to perhaps the most important question of all, and one that we’ve heard from some FridgeFilters.com customers, is my drinking water safe?
In answering this question, we first need to determine where the drinking water dispensed by your fridge first originates from.
If your water comes from your municipality, ie ‘city water,’ the answer is very likely ‘yes.’ In the event of any contamination issues with local drinking water, cities will issue a boil water alert or advisory. Fortunately, most municipalities are quite good at being overly cautious in issuing these alerts if there is even a small chance of bacteria entering into a water supply (ie due to a sudden loss of water pressure or work on a water main.)
That said, there are notable recent exceptions, in both Portland, Oregon and Wake Forest, North Carolina where alerts were not issued quickly enough – leading to some residents reporting sickness and nausea.
The lesson that can be taken from this is that if there is ever a question on the safety of your municipal water, or worse, an ‘off’ taste or odor – boiling water prior to consuming or drinking only bottled water is advisable until a test can be conducted. Affordable DIY water test kits, available on our site here, can provide much of the data you need to make an initial determination.
If your fridge water originates from a private well, the issue is a little bit more involved, simply because every private well is different.
The stories linked to at the top of this post discuss the primary issue with well water safety as it relates to flooding: flood waters carry with them any number of contaminants, impurities and pathogens. As flood waters transform into run-off, they can quickly infiltrate wells, carrying all of these impurities with them.
If the water dispensed by your fridge is contaminated with pathogenic impurities, and face only the carbon filter in your fridge prior to pouring into your glass, these pathogens will still be present – for the simple reason that carbon filters are typically not designed to reduce bacteria.
Our advice for anyone living in flooded areas is this:
- If you are a city water user, monitor the water news or reports in your area closely. Boil water alerts will typically be communicated through major news outlets.
- If you are a well water user, test your water with a DIY well water kit as soon as possible. Even if your water test indicates that it is safe, our recommendation is still to flush your filtration systems and replace any filters in your home after all flood waters have subsided, to reduce any risk of being exposed to pathogens that may be trapped somewhere in your filters or system.
- If there is even the smallest question related to the safety of your water, or any off flavor or odors, boil your water or use bottled water until a test can be completed. Alerting a rep from your local water company to your concerns may help expedite a formal lab test.
We also invite you to contact us directly with any additional questions at 1-800-683-8353 or to leave a question via a comment below.
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