The Lake County Health Department is urging residents to take precautions to minimize health hazards during and after floods. Residents are advised to avoid contact with floodwater, which can contain harmful bacteria and other contaminants, and to avoid drinking or washing with water from private wells that have been flooded. Use bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing hands and bathing until you know your water is safe.
During a flood, a particular concern is septic systems becoming submerged and potentially releasing sewage into floodwater, which can then reach private wells.
Once floodwaters have receded, free well water testing is available for residents of the following areas in the Antioch Township and Fox Lake Area:
If you live outside these areas and know your well was submerged in floodwater, you are also eligible for a free test.
Residents with impacted wells can pick up a sterile bottle and lab form at the Lake County Central Permit Facility (500 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville), Antioch Township Office (1625 Deep Lake Rd., Lake Villa), Antioch Assessors Office (1490 Main St., Antioch), and Village of Fox Lake Office (66 Thillen Drive, Fox Lake).
During heavy rains and floods, the ground is often saturated, preventing proper operation of septic systems. Signs that a septic system is not working properly include sinks and toilets draining slowly, floor drains overflowing, and sewage becoming visible outside the home.
If you use a septic system at your home, take the following precautions during flood events:
After the floodwaters have receded, if you suspect your septic system has been damaged, get the system professionally inspected and serviced. A list of septic system professionals can be found at: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/818/Onsite-Wastewater-Treatment-System
Do not hesitate to ask questions if you have any doubts about the safety of any food, water or conditions around your home. For assistance and more information, please call Environmental Health Services of the Lake County Health Department at: (847) 377-8020.