SHOSHONE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Recent and widespread flooding may have contaminated groundwater in Lincoln and Gooding counties.
South Central Public Health District is advising people in this area to test their water for bacteria.
They don't have a definite cause, but speculate it's from recent flooding.
That would have pushed water down to the aquifer faster than normal, meaning it wouldn't be as filtered as it normally is.
The health district is providing test kits, and if the kits come back positive, they say you should clean your well.
"In a nutshell, you're going to want to get bleach and use bleach to clean out your well and your pipes, and wait a little while and take another water sample to make sure that cleaned it out," said Craig Paul, the environmental health program manager at the health district.
The test will take about 24 to 48 hours to yield results.
Until then, the health district advises using another water source, like bottled water, for cooking, drinking and even bathing.
Updated from original:
Authorities recommend a well-water check Wednesday afternoon for the northwest portion of Lincoln County, and a portion of Gooding County for possible groundwater contamination due to recent flooding.
Residents should test all drinking water, according to the alert notification.
“Because of possible well water contamination, South Central Public Health District is recommending that residents living within 10 miles of 8 Mile Road and 720 North do not use untreated well water,” according to a post on the district’s Facebook page.
Anyone who believes their groundwater may be contaminated can contact South Central Public Health District.
Water test kits have run out at the Gooding County Courthouse, but they are available at the Public Health District office in Gooding, at 255 N. Canyon Drive. Test kits are also available at the Lincoln County Community Center.
For more information, contact the South Central Public Health District at 208-737-5900.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story said there was a boil order in place. Authorities have updated that to a well-water check. They recommend getting a testing kit and testing any drinking water. The locations for test-kit pickup have been updated as well.