How Can a Hurricane Affect Drinking Water Quality?
Hurricanes certainly aren’t an unknown hazard, but you may not know all the hazards when these powerful storms strike. For example, how can a hurricane affect drinking water quality? If you can’t answer the question but live in a hurricane-prone area, this guide will help you prepare so you can have access to safe water even during extreme weather. Whether the sky is sunny or stormy, our bodies still need hydration to remain healthy and active, so start your emergency storm preparation today.
Between the high winds and heavy flooding, it’s not hard for water displacement to disrupt the local drinking water supply during a hurricane. A water treatment center isn’t exempt from damage when it’s in the path of a hurricane.
Water flooding the streets can overwhelm local sewer systems and water supplies, introducing new contaminants to a previously safe drinking water. These contaminants include viruses, bacteria and chemicals that render water unsafe to consume. Now, let’s get the bigger picture of how a hurricane can affect drinking water quality.
Let’s exemplify the extent of a hurricane’s effect on drinking water quality by evaluating an EPA assessment conducted after Hurricane Harvey. According to the results, 61 drinking water facilities were deemed inoperable after Hurricane Harvey.
The study also shows that 203 boil water notices were presented by drinking water facilities after Hurricane Harvey struck. Simply put, hurricanes can have a substantial effect on drinking water quality.
Protecting Your Family
When disaster strikes and water supplies are rendered unsafe, there are a few ways you can protect your family from water-borne illness. You can stock up in advance. Keep cases of bottled water on hand in a safe place. This helps ensure access to clean water but chemicals from the plastic can leach into the water over time, especially in warm areas, so be sure to replace your supply regularly. If you have active electrical and gas lines you can boil water before drinking. Be aware that boiling water kills dangerous viruses, bacteria and parasites but does not remove chemicals that excess rain water floods into the water supply. You can keep a few water purifier bottles on hand to purify water from any freshwater source, even if that water is contaminated. Water purifier bottles remove viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals, so you can be confident the water is safe to drink. One water purifier bottle filter provides the same amount of water as 400 single use plastic bottles.
Water purifier bottles for travel and camping can be a convenient and low-cost way to stay prepared, no matter what Mother Nature sends your way.
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