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Free well testing available to New Brunswickers affected by Hurricane Fiona

October 12, 2022  By Government of New Brunswick

Fredericton – Free bacterial testing of private water wells is being offered to those in New Brunswick affected by Hurricane Fiona.

Water sampling kits can be picked up at the nearest Service New Brunswick centre or at regional offices of the Department of Environment and Local Government. However, before a sample is collected, the well must be flushed with chlorine. Water samples submitted to Service New Brunswick will be sent to the Research and Productivity Council laboratory in Moncton for testing and results will be made available to the well owners.

Once floodwaters have receded and chemical contamination is not suspected, all water used for drinking, making juices and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, or dental hygiene should be held at a rolling boil for one minute. For infant formula, boil the water for two minutes as per the manufacturer’s instructions or use single-serve, ready-to-feed formula.


Water safety tips

  • Water can be boiled ahead of time, cooled, and then stored in clean, covered containers.
  • Water should be boiled until the well is chlorinated and test results show the water is free from harmful bacteria.
  • If your well water has a different smell or colour than usual, even after letting the water run, or you think the well may be affected by chemicals such as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals, do not use your well water. Contact your regional office of the Department of Environment and Local Government for followup.

Flushing well with chlorine

  • Ten days after floodwaters have receded, chlorinate your well using the guide, How to Chlorinate Your Well Water. This document is available online, at the department’s regional offices, or by calling 506-453-3700.
  • After chlorinating and flushing your water system, wait seven days before collecting a water sample for analysis.
  • Follow the instructions in the kit.
  • Ensure that you have your property identification number and, if possible, a well identification number if the well was constructed in 1994 or after.

Bacterial analysis and reporting can take up to four business days from the time the sample arrives at the lab. If an analysis indicates the presence of E. coli, the well owner will be contacted by officials. If no harmful contamination is detected, well owners will be notified by mail.

Owners of private wells are advised to test their water twice a year, in the spring and fall, and to have a bacterial analysis conducted to help ensure safety.

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