Flood-ridden counties urge residents to get wells tested, offer free service

Well water issues following Hurricane Florence

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - With people focusing on property issues like damage from debris, and fallen trees after Florence, it can be easy to forget to check the water.

“It’s definitely something you don’t want to take for granted,” homeowner Doug McVey says.

Wednesday, McVey inspects one of his two wells after days of heavy rain.

“It was just nonstop,” he says.

Florence dumped on his Union County property, much of it becoming pools of standing water. Wednesday, it is finally dry.

“To see it like that, it was pretty devastating,” McVey says of his Monroe home.

Even still, McVey and his wife drink only bottled water. They won’t be drinking from their well water – not yet, anyway.

“You have ecoli and bacteria that could be present in the well, after something like this happens,” he says.

It’s why his county, Union County, is joining others across the state in offering free well testing.

“In close to 25 years I haven’t seen this level of flooding in our county,” Traci Colley of Environmental Services says. “This is something relatively new for us.”

She says to call their office or fill out an online water sample request form, and someone will come by.

Already, it’s been busy.

“The notification went out yesterday, and we’ve had close to 25 samples,” she says.

Her office is especially wanting to keep an eye on spots like McVey’s – those near farms, that saw heavy Florence rain.

“The water was flowing so fast through there,” McVey says. “If you were to walk in it, it would tip you off balance.”

McVey works in water sanitation and plumbing himself, so he knows a thing or two about this.

“Those type of chemicals and things can contaminate your well,” he says.

But he is not taking chances. He’ll be calling the county in the coming days.

“All this rain water that soaks into the ground, it goes someplace.”

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