Flooding can be a prevalent problem in England and Wales, with one in six homes at risk to flooding. Not only can flooding cause unrepairable damage to properties, it may also result in contaminants entering the water supply network.
How do I prepare for a flood?
If you believe your area is at risk you can check for any potential flood warnings at the GOV UK website and sign up for free flood warning messages from the Environment Agency via text, phone or email. If you are at risk it is recommended you create a personal flood plan.
Who is responsible for managing flood risk?
While Flooding is often an unavoidable phenomenon, local authorities and the Environment Agency are in charge in managing flooding risks to mitigate the problem, details of their work can be found on the Local Government website.
What should I do if my tap water may be contaminated?
The quality of your tap water is the responsibility of your water company supervised by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). In most flooding circumstances the main supply is unaffected and so is safe to drink, however if you notice a change in quality – such as discolouration or a change in taste or smell, or unsure, call your water company. While waiting for confirmation if the main supply has been affected, boil all intended water (and let it cool to avoid scalding) or use bottled water. It is also your local water company’s responsibility to provide alternative supplies should the main supply be contaminated. Further information regarding how to boil water and other water usage is provided by UK Health Security Agency.
What if my water comes from a private supply network?
If your water comes from a private supply network such as a well or spring, then check that this hasn’t been affected by flooding before any usage. If you believe that the supply network has been affected or unsure, avoid all usage and use alternative supplies while waiting for confirmation or in doubt.