Delaware Public Health: Free drinking water safety test kits available for private wells


The number one public health priority after a flood is safe drinking water. Delaware Public Health (DPH) reminds Delawareans to make sure your water is safe before drinking and bathing.

If you are on a public water system, check the website of your water provider to make sure your water is safe for drinking and bathing. Eighty-five percent of Delawareans depend upon a public water system. Follow any purification instructions on your water provider’s website.

If you are among the fifteen percent of Delawareans on a private well, DPH will provide free drinking water test kits to detect contamination from bacteria. Test kits will be available at the following sites and must be dropped off at the location at which you picked up the kit once you have a water sample. If the water is found to be contaminated, Public Health staff’s goal is to contact people within 72 hours to provide guidance on cleaning up your well. Test kits will be available after state offices reopen, potentially as early as Wednesday.

University Plaza, Chopin Bldg
258 Chapman Road, Newark

Thomas Collins Building
540 S. DuPont HWY, Dover

Delaware Public Laboratory
30 Sunnyside Road, Smyrna

Adams State Service Center
544 S. Bedford Street, Georgetown

Safety Precautions
If you are advised to boil your drinking water, heat water at the highest possible temperature so that it bubbles constantly (a rolling boil). Continue to boil water for one minute, and then let it cool. Store in clean, covered containers. Residents can also disinfect water using household bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before using it. Bottled water is another safe alternative.

Residents with questions about flood recovery can contact the Delaware Division of Public Health’s (DPH) Storm Recovery call center at 866-408-1899. The call center is open today and was scheduled to be open on 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31 to Friday, November 2, 2012. Hours may be subject to change due to call volume and storm conditions. For updated call center hours, follow Twitter #SandyDe or #StormDE.

Spanish speaking operators will be available. Individuals seeking TTY services should call 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460. A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can use a TTY to type his/her conversation to a relay operator, who then reads the typed conversation to a hearing person at the DPH call center. The relay operator relays the hearing person’s spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit

For fact sheets on flood preparedness and recovery, visit the DPH website at:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.