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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Minimizing Water Use After a Storm

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  •  904-253-1270



    Mailing Address

    900 University Boulevard North 

    Jacksonville, Florida 32211 


Storms or hurricanes can contaminate the public water supply especially if a tidal surge or flooding comes along with it. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink, as water treatment plants may not be operating. Even if they are operating, storm damage and flooding can taint water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of your specific water supply.

Until services are fully back in place, every effort should be made to minimize the use of water. To conserve water:

  • Minimize the use of washing machines and the flushing of toilets; use only as necessary.
  • Use portable toilets where provided.
  • Fix any plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
  • While pump stations and sewage treatment plants are out of power, avoid adding water to sewer lines, as it may stop the proper function and cause a back-up into your home.

Report any sewage spills to proper utility company authorities for clean-up and sanitation. Such spills may be stabilized by the utility staff with an application of lime or other disinfectant. Restrict entry to such areas for 48 hours after cleanup.