FEMA May Help With Private Wells And Septic Tanks 

Release Date: April 27, 2009
Release Number: 1829-039

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BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota residents whose septic tanks or private wells were damaged as a result of the March 13 flooding may be eligible for federal assistance to restore them to use.

Homeowners of flood-damaged wells and septic systems may receive funds to pump a septic tank, perform required repairs or even replace them if the damage is permanent. Homeowners with private wells that were left useless may be eligible for assistance if the well is their sole source of water. Moreover, renters who have septic system problems that forced them to vacate their homes can apply for FEMA rental assistance, which can provide renters with safe, secure, temporary housing until the landlord completes septic system repairs.

Officials caution that water pumped from wells that have been flooded should be disinfected, tested and shown to be bacterially safe before being used for drinking, food preparation and other domestic needs. A single disinfection may not be sufficient because certain well systems, shallow wells, hand-dug wells and old wells are more vulnerable to contamination.

The North Dakota Health Department offers free well testing. Visit their websites at www.ndhealth.gov/flood/well%20disinf.pdf or www.ndhealth.gov/flood/. For instructions on how to disinfect wells and/or arrange for sampling, residents should contact the local health department.

Disaster victims in declared counties may apply for federal assistance programs by calling the toll-free registration line, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may apply by calling (TTY) 1-800-462-7585.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Apr-2009 09:41:11