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Ottawa Public Health: Recent flooding a concern for well water

Ottawa Public Health is warning residents to be extra careful using well water in flooded areas

A residence in the Cumberland neighbourhood of Ottawa is damaged by flooding on May 7, 2017. Ottawa Public Health is warning residents to be wary of contaminated water.

Alex Abdelwahab/Metro

A residence in the Cumberland neighbourhood of Ottawa is damaged by flooding on May 7, 2017. Ottawa Public Health is warning residents to be wary of contaminated water.

The city is trying to keep a flooding catastrophe  from turning into a public health disaster this week by warning residents to be wary of contaminated water.

A release sent out Saturday afternoon from Ottawa Public health warns residents to be extra careful using well water affected by the flooding.

“Ottawa Public Health recommends that you do not drink or use the water until it has been tested and found to be safe,” said the organization. “Wells may be affected if the well head is below water level, flood water is surrounding your well, or your basement is flooded.”

Public Health notes that if flood water has infiltrated a well or septic tiles, tap water should not be used and toilets should not be flushed.

Sample bottles to test water can be picked up at the R.J. Kennedy Arena, Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre and the Royal Canadian Legion 616 on Allbirch Road.

Water samples can be dropped off at the Emergency Community Support Centres between noon and 8 p.m. or at Public Health’s usual well water sample drop off centres every Tuesday.

Tests take between two to four business days for results.

Bacteria in the water isn’t the only threat: the city is also warning boaters to be wary of debris in the water and to remain off the Ottawa River.

Boaters are asked to treat the shoreline areas of the Ottawa River as no-wake zones along Fitzroy Harbour, Constance Bay, Armitage, Crystal Bay, Britannia, and Cumberland.

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