After an emergency, especially after flooding, drinking water may not be available or safe to drink for personal use. As a result, residents may have to find a source of safe drinking water or know how to treat their water for use in certain activities, such as drinking, making ice, washing hands, and brushing teeth.
Floods and other disasters can damage drinking water wells and lead to aquifer and well contamination. Flood waters can contaminate well water with livestock waste, human sewage, chemicals, and other contaminants which can lead to illness when used for drinking, bathing, and other hygiene activities.
Before an emergency or a temporary problem with a community water system, a community drinking water treatment facility should have an emergency plan in the event that service is disrupted. Water treatment facilities monitor drinking water to meet federal and state regulations.