Some parts of Idaho can experience severe flooding as a result of spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, rapid winter snowmelt, or the impact of wildfires in the state’s watersheds. This page provides information on how to prepare before, during, and after a flood.
Drinking water quality can be compromised during extensive flooding. Regardless of whether you have your own water supply, get water from a public water system, or operate a public water utility, you might have to take special steps to ensure that your drinking water is safe if your well, public water system, or water treatment plant has been flooded. General guidelines are listed below.
Public Water Systems
If flooding has occurred, homes may have a damaged or failing onsite sewage system. Check the system after heavy rainfall or flooding since the wastewater leaving the septic tank may not be able to seep into the already saturated soil.
Underground Storage Tanks
During floods, underground storage tank (UST) systems can become submerged or displaced by flood waters, leading to damaged UST systems or releases of regulated substances into the environment.
One of the most common problems after a flood is displacement of drums, tanks, and other containers that hold hazardous materials.
- After the Flood: Protecting Your Drinking Water
- Emergency Preparedness: Protecting Water Quality Before, During, and After a Flood Strikes
- Idaho Department of Water Resources - Flood Information
- Idaho Office of Emergency Management