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Well and Septic: Free Testing, Important Info for Ward 5 Properties Affecting by Flooding

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

If flood water has affected your property, you're encouraged to have your well water tested.

April 24: Flooding scenes over the weekend in Dunrobin along Armitage Avenue

There is information on testing here: Free Well Water Testing - Ottawa Public Health.

In light of the potential for contamination, Councillor Kelly has arranged to have sample bottles dropped off at the following sandbagging locations. They will be there as of tomorrow (April 25) at noon.

  • Morris Island

  • Willola Beach

  • Constance Bay

  • Armitage/Greenland

Additionally on Wednesday, our office will pick up from each of the four stations where there are bottles as follows:

Morris Island: 10am

Willola Beach: 10:30am

Constance Bay: 11am

Armitage/Greenland: 11:30am

Please leave them with the coordinators at your chosen locations. Please also review more guidelines for private well and septic systems below:

Guidelines for Private Wells

If flood waters have reached the level of your well head, or covered your well head, your well water may be contaminated and not safe to drink.

Residents who own private wells affected by flooding are advised to:

  • Best option is to stop using your well water and use another potable water source such as bottled water for ALL water use, including drinking, preparing food, cleaning, bathing, hand washing.

  • If you want to continue to use your well water and do not suspect chemical contamination, bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before using it for drinking, making infant formula, juices, ice or recipes, brushing your teeth, rinsing contact lenses, and washing food or dishes. Refrigerate your boiled water until it is used.

    • If you suspect chemical contamination of your drinking water and well, please contact the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) well help desk at 613-521-3450.

  • If you test during the current high waters, it is important to continue ongoing tests as results can change rapidly. If in doubt, do not use your well water as potable water until extended testing shows clear results.

Septic Systems

If your septic system is affected, please contact 3-1-1 to report your location so that the City can implement appropriate additional response measures and provide you with information on supports available.

Ottawa Public Health recommends that you do not use the septic system (e.g., no flushing toilets or draining water from sinks, bathtubs, showers or dishwashers) until the water level around the house is lower than the in the septic drainage field and enough time has been given for the soil to adequately drain. The soil requires additional time to drain in order to allow sewage to be absorbed. This may take several weeks after flood waters recede depending on the length of time the system was under water and the soil conditions.

For more information on Septic Systems and Private Wells during and after flooding, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s online resources.



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