Beware of Contaminated Well Water

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Published 23rd April 2018, 2:42pm

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) advises

residents of Watering Place, Cayman Brac to refrain from using well water for

the purposes of drinking, bathing, cooking, handwashing and washing of utensils

until further notice. Affected areas include Poppy Lane, Mary Elli and Plaza

Drive. The DEH also urges residents of these areas to boil water from rain catchment tanks before


 Well water showed a high level of faecal bacteria contamination. “Eight (8) water samples were

tested,” says Patience Eke, Environmental Health Officer, Cayman Brac. “After

24 hours of incubation, seven (7) of those samples showed a high level of E

Coli and coliform.”

Initial tests were conducted after several residents of Watering Place

complained about sewage- like odour in their well water.

The DEH has since sought the assistance of the Water

Authority to conduct further tests to confirm the source of the contamination.

 E.coli and coliform are common bacteria found in the human digestive system.

Their presence in food/water is an indication of faecal contamination.

Underground/well water are usually contaminated when there is improper disposal

of sewage.

Residents are again encouraged to desist from using

well water for the purposes listed above. If they must use the well water; to

follow the under listed procedures:

1.    Bring the water to a boiling point.

2.    Disinfect  water with domestic non fragrance bleach-one teaspoon

to five gallons of water.

Note: Do not disinfect the water in the well as it is

difficult to estimate the quantity of water in the well, secondly, the contact

time for the disinfectant to kill the bacteria may not be achieved.

For more information on water testing, please contact DEH’s Laboratory by telephone

at 949-6696 or by email at