How Floods Affect Your Drinking Water [Friendly Warning]

Throughout the end of February and into March, parts of southeast Queensland and northern NSW have been experiencing historic levels of rainfall which have devastated businesses, and many families have lost their homes.

Photos and videos show these areas looking similar to a third world country as streets have turned into brown, muddy rivers, and supermarket shelves are stripped bare.

Mt Crosby and North Pine Water Treatment Plants were entirely out of action.

Seqwater worked tirelessly to fix the water supply problem due to the floods, while the Gold Coach Desalination Plant kicked in to supplement the water supply for affected areas.

How Flood Waters Affect Your Water

The harsh conditions of floodwaters have caused erosion of soil and river banks resulting in very cloudy, muddy water. Reports say the cloudiness of raw water is 100 times more than usual. In many cases, it is without a doubt that drinking water is affected.

In the water industry, this cloudiness in the water after flooding (referred to as turbidity) is caused by solid particulates such as soil, silt or clay.

This dirty water can often overwhelm various stages of standard water treatment by the clogging up of filters. It can also reduce the effectiveness of disinfection, such as chlorination.

As you can imagine, the risks of waterborne illness skyrocket as local authorities are also focusing on the logistics of saving lives and mitigating further damage.

There is only so much that can be done.

Drinking Water Warnings

The last time we experienced disruptions in water supply due to weather was in June 2021, due to storm damage in Victoria. Storm conditions damaged water infrastructure, which led to mass contamination of the entire water system.

Yarra Valley Water warned people in various suburbs not to drink the tap water, as not evening boiling water removes contaminants.

This time, Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and the Lockyer Valley have been urged to conserve water.

Our Climate is Rapidly Changing

We can no longer ignore warnings for climate change as we see the effects more and more every year.

After tragic events such as these, it can take many weeks or months before the debris is entirely cleaned up, so the best thing every Australian can do is be prepared.

Flooding, bushfires, heavy rain and storms can bring all sorts of nasties into our water supply - anything from soil, dirt, clay, metals, and many others.

What Can You Do?

1. Stay informed and remain smart.

Keep an eye on the water quality problems in your area and follow authorities' advice to evacuate if things become critical.

Important: No one knows what is in the floodwater, so DO NOT DRINK FLOODWATER!

2. Be prepared.

If you’re staying home, fill up large containers of tap water just in case you lose supply altogether, ideally before your water becomes cloudy or compromised.

Always use a water filter to purify the water coming out of your tap.

The best system we can recommend for emergencies is the 12L Filteroo Steel equipped with 2 x Filteroo Rain and City Cartridges and 2 x Fluoride Max Removal Cartridges.

You don’t usually get much warning in these situations, so many smart families are buying the biggest Filteroo or Berkey they can and storing it away for times like these where they may need to filter dirty water or simply making it a lifestyle of only ever drinking filtered water, knowing that there are contaminants in tap water, even under normal circumstances.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions; we’d be delighted to help.

Safety First

If you are in an area that is flooded, follow the advice from authorities for your survival and always have your trusty gravity water filter ready just in case your drinking water is compromised or you lose access to electricity and water altogether.

The best thing you can do is be ready.

As they say, don’t wait until the rain is pouring before you buy an umbrella.

Be smart, and have a water filter ready to go.

Take a look at our range of Gravity Water Filtration systems and contact us if we can help in any way.

If you have been affected by these floods, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

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