Rock River slips below flood stage
Flood conditions in the Afton area caused by ice jams are improving, and the Rock River level is back under flood stage.
The water level at Afton this morning was 7.44 feet, compared to 10.4 feet on Monday afternoon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Flood stage there is 9 feet.
The Rock County Sheriff’s Department and Rock County Emergency Management have been monitoring the situation and report South River Road from Highway 11 to Happy Hollow Road is open to all traffic.
Oakley Road also is open to all traffic. Christianson Road remains closed because of high water.
Some families have moved back into their homes, however about seven families remain displaced while they await the water level to lower, according to the sheriff’s department.
Free sand and sandbags continue to be available at the Rock Town Hall.
Water well contamination could be an issue for returning residents. The Rock County Health Department is offering free bacteria tests for residents whose private wells have been affected by the flooding.
Standing water can let bacteria, viruses, chemicals or parasites into your well.
Even if flood water didn’t cover your well, standing water in your yard or your neighbor’s yard could be dangerous. It could allow contaminants to migrate under ground into your well.
If you suspect your water is contaminated, you should get water from a safe source such as a neighbor, municipal source or the grocery store, said Rick Wietersen, groundwater program manager with the health department.
Signs of a contaminated well are:
-- You have standing water in your yard or a neighbor’s.
-- You notice a taste, color, odor or sediment change.
-- Your well casing is shallow.
Before you use your well, collect a water sample and have it tested. Test kits are available at the Beloit and Janesville health department offices.
Call (608) 364-2010 or (608) 757-5441 for more information.