SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - People in the Tricounty area are beginning recovery efforts after the severe flooding.
For some, the road to recovery has begun with the discovery of contaminated water.
"The flooding could cause contamination of your well," said Lydia Mandel, co-owner of Aquatic Analytics, where water is tested.
Mandel says several of their customers have discovered their water is not safe.
"There's a couple of different ways that could happen. One is if your well is completely submerged, the flood waters could seep into the well itself. Another reason: contaminated ground water. The sewage systems can't handle the flood waters."
Madel said that sewage can get into your well and contaminate it with E. coli and other forms of bacteria.
"If you do have E. coli contamination in your water, that will cause some gastrointestinal problems. You'll have diarrhea."
The Centers for Disease and Control suggests your have your well tested annually.
That's something the Samantha and Andrew Miller, who use a well system, say they should make more of a priority.
"I know we're supposed to test it once a year, but it kind of gets away from us," said Samantha Miller. "I know we're going to test it after this storm."
The Millers live in Summerville and have used a well for almost 10 years.
"If it rains hard enough, it just pools and ponds," said Samantha. "That's when the waste from our animals and also from our septic system can get into the water."
The recent flooding event caused their yard to pond, and it compromised their well system. Now, they're going to make sure it's not contaminated, and safe to use.
Lydia Mandel suggests you visually examine your water. If it's discolored, it's likely contaminated. Then, she suggests you get it tested. She says do not drink or cook with the water, without boiling it first.
If you'd like your water tested, Mandel suggests you get a credible, DEC licensed, water-testing facility to come out and check your well.
Aquatic Analytics is D-HEC certified. Their number is 843-471-1933.