Hepatitis A is a liver infection that results from ingestion of the Hepatitis A virus. It is highly contagious and is usually spread through the ingestion of contaminated fecal matter, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. The best way to avoid Hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
A water source may become contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus if the feces of an infected person enters the water, which can occur by sewage overflows, improperly maintained sewage systems, and polluted storm runoff. Wells are particularly vulnerable to the Hepatitis A virus after a flooding event, especially if the well is shallow, a dug or driven (bored) well, or submerged under water for a long time.
If you suspect your water is contaminated, contact a state certified laboratory about getting your water tested.
The Hepatitis A virus may be killed or inactivated by bringing the water to a rolling boil for one minute (longer in higher elevation). It should then be allowed to cool in a clean, sanitized container with an air-tight cover and refrigerated.
Point-of-use filters cannot effectively remove the Hepatitis A virus due to its small size. If you are using a private well, disinfection by chlorination can kill the Hepatitis A virus. If you would like to disinfect your well, contact your local health department.