Northeast states warn floods have made their drinking water dangerous

Officials across Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire warn runoff and contamination have made it into water supplies after heavy floods.
A truck transports water in Vermont
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jul 20, 2023

Officials in multiple Northeast states are warning residents about water contamination risks after extensive flooding soaked the region.

There are active boil-water advisories in place for cities across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Health agencies warn floodwaters may have contaminated wells and other water supplies with sewage, fuel and infectious disease.

In the last week, Vermont has warned a half-dozen entities of stormwater contamination, calling for residents to boil water until sampling shows the system is disinfected.

In Massachusetts, heavy rain overwhelmed some sewer systems, causing discharges into public waterways. In the city of Holyoke, more than 6 million gallons of combined discharge had flowed into the Connecticut River.

And in New Hampshire, where about half the state's residents use water from wells, environmental experts warned that people need to get that water tested if floodwaters have encroached on wells.

Water flows along a roadway impacted by recent storms and flooding.

Children lost in Pennsylvania flooding amid intense US weather

Emergency teams were still searching for at least two young children in Pennsylvania who were swept away in flood waters over the weekend.


The emergency measures come after heavy rain caused floods across the region, washing out roads and triggering mudslides.

Rivers overflowed their banks, inundated towns and in some places left coatings of thick mud behind, forcing residents to dig out.