New Hanover Co. wells tested for bacteria after flooding caused by Hurricane Florence

New Hanover Co. wells tested for bacteria after flooding caused by Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNC Chapel Hill, NC State Extension, and Virginia Tech hosted a community meeting Tuesday to discuss water treatment options for private wells.

The universities discussed ways to help address common water quality problems following flooding events like those caused by hurricanes.

They offered well water testing to any resident or business using a private well for indoor or outdoor use in areas affected by Hurricane Florence. Any resident or business in New Hanover County or nearby areas is eligible to participate.

Samples will be analyzed for metals and coliform bacteria. Results from the study will help develop a better understanding of the effect of floods on private well water quality and improve communication strategies during disasters.

“After a hurricane, what we’re really concerned about is getting surface water in the well," said Virginia Tech scientist Kelsey Piper. “We look for total coliform and E. coli bacteria so it’s one of the most important things. We were testing for that and also the state and local health departments were testing for that. We’re also looking for other parameters in the water, other nutrients that may be occurring whether related to the flood or naturally occurring.”

The New Hanover County Health Department also has testing kits for any private well owners who would like to test their water.

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