Flood contamination concerns over private water supplies
Water supply specialists are urging farmers to monitor their private water supply for possible contamination now that flood waters have receded. Flood water in a private water supply can cause increased susceptibility to iron-related bacteria as well as stimulate bacterial activity if it is already present.
Iron bacteria is one of the most common contamination problems in private water supplies and left untreated it can lead to reduced yield, clogging of pumps and equipment and possible operational stoppages. The farming sector is one of the big users of private water and according to last year’s Drinking Water Inspectorate annual report, Drinking Water, the number of private water supplies is increasing.
In 2012, local authorities’ records contained details of a total of 44,552 private supplies in England, 473 more than in 2011.These records also showed that almost one million people lived or worked in premises that relied on a private supply.
Mike Deed, managing director of Geoquip Water Solutions said: “We have received an increasing number of enquiries from farmers in recent weeks concerned about possible bacterial contamination from the receding floodwaters, particularly in areas of high iron concentration. Our initial advice is to test the water and then to monitor it on a regular basis as the impact isn’t always immediately noticeable.
“Iron-related bacteria contamination is traditionally associated with iron rust red water on start-up and in time a reduction in water yield and flow.“
Geoquip’s advice follows a warning from the British Veterinary Association that whilst the water that flooding land, farms and homes across the UK is subsiding, the danger to livestock and pets remains.
BVA President and vet Robin Hargreaves said: “The terrible flooding has devastated many areas and it will be a huge relief for residents to see the waters subside. Unfortunately, the challenges for animal owners remain, as contaminated water continues to pose a threat to pets and livestock.” Flood water may be contaminated with bacteria, protozoa, parasites, viruses (micro-organisms) or other substances - which in turn can find their way into a private supply.
Deed continued: “If any farmers are particularly concerned, SafeWater offers a range of emergency water treatment systems which provide instant purification and can guarantee safe drinking water for no more than 1p per litre. The technology is available in bottles, jerry cans or tanks.”
- UU uses willow to provide energy and cut flood risk United Utilities has planted more than 30,000 willow cuttings in flood-prone rough pastureland either side of the access... Read More >
- Scottish Water calls for greater water efficiency Scottish Water has called on more people to reduce their daily water usage after confirming that around 80 million litres... Read More >
- Video: WWT Drinking Water Quality Conference The fourth annual WWT Drinking Water Quality Conference assessed funding priorities for water companies, looked at what's... Read More >
- Targeting borehole bacteria with a simple test Mike Deed, managing director of Geoquip Water Solutions, says when tackling contamination in boreholes, it is essential to... Read More >
- Electrochlorination: The safer alternative Ian Murphy, capital liaison manager, at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, discusses the electrochlorination project with James... Read More >
- Making smart water smarter As water increasingly becomes one of the world's most precious resources, ATi's new Technical Performance and Data Analyst,... Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >