Increased flooding attributed to climate change is creating potential health risks for millions of residents who rely on private wells for their drinking water.
Climate-driven flooding raises risk for well-water contamination
After a record-setting Midwestern rainstorm that damaged thousands of homes and businesses, Stefanie Johnson’s farmhouse in Blandinsville, Illinois, didn’t have safe drinking water for nearly two months.
Floodwater poured into her well, turning the water a muddy brown and forcing Johnson, her husband and their two young children to use store-bought supplies.
Even after sediment cleared, testing found bacteria — including E. coli, which can cause diarrhoea. The family boiled water for drinking and cooking. The YMCA was a refuge for showers.