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HEALTH Urges Private Well Owners to Test Water After Floods

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) recommends that all private wells that have flooded (wells that have standing water around them) should be considered contaminated and the water should be tested. As soon as water has receded, the well water should be tested for coliform bacteria. If coliform bacteria are present, the well will need to be disinfected and re-tested before it can be used for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth. Until you receive test results showing there is no coliform bacteria in your well water, you should boil your water for one minute before using it for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth or bathing infants.

Following are the labs that can test drinking water: --BAL, Cranston, 785-0241 --BRC, Jamestown, 423-1825 --ESS Laboratory, Cranston, 461-7181 --New England Testing Lab Inc., North Providence, 353-3420 --Northeast Environmental Testing Laboratory, Providence, 454-3400 --Premier Laboratory, LLC; Dayville, CT; 860-774-6814 --RI State Health Laboratories, Providence, 222-5600 (April 6 – June 30) --RI Analytical Laboratories, Warwick, 737-8500

All Rhode Islanders in need of flood disaster assistance should register with FEMA at or 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585). See the state’s flood website (, HEALTH’s website (, or call HEALTH's information line (222-5960/RI Relay 711) for more information.

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