Disinfecting Your Water Filtration System After a Flood or Hurricane

Disinfecting Your Water Filtration System After a Flood or Hurricane

During the aftermath of a flood or extreme storm, the focus is often placed on the immediate preservation of life and the extent of the property damage. Once these critical concerns are addressed, residents will have to re-enter their homes and get back on track. It’s not often discussed, but a water filtration system can be severely affected by these weather conditions, and it will need to be disinfected before it can be used safely. The filtration system may be compromised and contaminated with chemicals, refuse and microorganisms. Let’s take a closer look at how to disinfect your water filtration system and make it safe to use again.

Some Initial Cleaning Steps

No matter the system or appliances that you have installed, the first thing that you will need to do is drain all the water from your water heater and appliances. Make sure the power is turned off first, drain the water and then clean away any mud, dirt, and debris on your water filter system. The owners manual for your system may have cleaning suggestions, and you need to choose a compatible product. Clean the internal and external surfaces with an appropriate strong disinfectant and ensure that any electrical components are dry.

Cleaning Carbon Filter Systems

A whole house water filter system will usually use carbon media to treat water. Remove the filter and throw it away, then clean the head and sump with bleach and a strong detergent. Then you’re ready to install a brand new carbon filter that’s appropriate for your system. If you have a whole house filter, empty the mineral bed and then clean the whole unit with water mixed with water.

Cleaning Reverse Osmosis Filters

The method of disinfection used to clean a reverse osmosis water filtration system will vary depending upon the degree of contamination. A testing kit will be needed to determine if the system is contaminated with microorganisms. The process of disinfection is very involved, but essentially you will need to use a chlorinated water solution and wash the system in stages. This is a complicated process, and if you’re not confident in how to proceed, it’s a good idea to ask a local water treatment expert for help.

Cleaning Water Softeners

The water softener should be flushed repeatedly with drinking water until the water emitted from the system is visibly clear. The brine well covers and the tank should then be removed. Make a note of the level of brine water in the tank and then empty it. Clean out the brine tank thoroughly with a strong disinfectant. Then mix together 3 tsp of bleach for each gallon of water, to create a chlorinated water solution. Add this water to the brine tank to the level you noted earlier and pour 2 tsp of bleach into the brine well for each cubic foot of resin. Finally, replace all of the covers and run a regeneration cycle to complete the cleaning process.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)


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999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
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