COLUMBIA -- The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Friday that it will be expanding its private well water testing office hours in several counties. Standard operating hours will continue for all other office locations.

Those who have a private well that was flooded during the recent flooding event can have their private well tested for fecal coliform bacteria by DHEC to be sure their water is safe to drink. Sample bottles may be picked up at a DHEC Health or Environmental location from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To extend access to testing, several DHEC Environmental Quality Control offices will be open on weekends from 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 10 to Nov. 1 for sample drop-off. You may also pick up a sample bottle during that time. These offices are in Florence, Charleston, Aiken, Myrtle Beach, Orangeburg, Sumter and Greenwood counties. 

Other locations where bottles are available and samples can be dropped off in the Charleston County area include, McClellanville Town Hall and Ridgeville Town Hall. Locations in the Columbia area include Eastover Town Hall and Gadsden Community Center.

In addition, the DHEC lab will be providing sample bottles and accepting samples during the same extended operating hour period. The DHEC lab is located at 8231 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223.

DHEC advises residents with wells in counties affected by floodwaters to disinfect their well and have the well water tested before using it if it does not taste, smell or look like it did before the event. If your well was flooded, you can assume it's contaminated.

People with questions about wells can contact the nearest DHEC Regional Environmental Quality Control office or the Division of Water Quality at 803-898-3376.

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