Photo Courtesy of NOAA
Lee County Utilities would like to give you some tips that you can do before and after a storm event relating to Utilities.
Before the Hurricane
- Locate your residence's emergency water shut-off valve and remove any shrubbery or obstructions. Test the water shut-off valve to be sure that it is operational. If the shut-off valve is not operational, have it repaired or replaced.
- Turn off the emergency water shut-off valve if you are leaving your residence prior to a storm. This will help minimize damage to your home's interior should a pipe burst inside the home.
- If you turn off the emergency shut-off valve, follow the manufacturer's recommendations on turning off your hot water heater and unplug. Some hot water heaters may be damaged if water supply is turned off for an extended period of time.
- Locate your sewer clean-out lid and remove any shrubbery or obstructions in case the clean-out needs to be located.
After the Hurricane
- Due to power outages, water treatment plants will be operating under limiting conditions. Water pressures will be reduced!
- Due to power outages, lift stations that are used to convey sewage to the wastewater treatment plants will not work or have only limited operations. Over use of toilet flushing or water going down drains may cause lift stations to overflow and backup into your home.
Because of reduced pressures and limited operations of lift stations, WATER CONSERVATION IS A MUST! Remember, just because power has been restored to your home, does not mean that power has been restored to all lift stations or water and wastewater treatment plants within your neighborhood.
- Limit the amount of toilet flushing.
- Abstain from running dishwashers and clothes washers.
- Limit the amount water used during a shower or the amount to fill the bathtub.
- Turn off all sprinklers! Remember to reset your irrigation timer once power has been restored.
- Abstain from pressure washing, car washing, or any other outdoor use of water that is not necessary.
Making Your Drinking Water Safe
During a storm event, trees can uproot water pipes allowing the underground pipes to be exposed to contaminated ground water or create a drop in pressure. Once the storm passes, treat your water supply as if it is unsafe to drink until you are notified otherwise. Boil water notices will be issued through your local Health Department and will be announced through your local Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The use of bottled water should be used until bacteriological test prove that the water is safe to drink. If you do not have bottle water here are ways to disinfect your water to make it safe. Remember to disinfect any water being used for your pets.
- Boil the water for at least ten minutes.
- If you do not have power and cannot boil your water, add eight (8) drops of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Let the water sit uncapped for at least 10 minutes before drinking.
- Add fifteen (15) drops of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon to use for rinsing dishes. Keep them clean until next use.
Showering or Bathing
- Showering or bathing in tap water that is under a boil water notice is safe, if you cut yourself shaving use an antibiotic cream.