Flood water may not be safe water


When returning to your home after a hurricane or flood, be aware that flood water may contain sewage. Protect yourself and your family by following these steps:

Inside the Home

Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles during cleanup of affected area.

Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings and most paper products).

Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.

Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.

Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers.

After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands).

Or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use (solution of ⅛ teaspoon [~0.75 milliliters] of household bleach per 1 gallon of water). Let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, use a solution of ¼ teaspoon (~1.5 milliliters) of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.

Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.

Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.

Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.

See also:

http://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/cleanupwater.html

Reentering Your Flooded Home(http://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/reenter.html)

Mold After a Disaster(http://www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/)

Cleaning and Sanitizing With Bleach after an Emergency(http://www.cdc.gov/disasters/bleach.html).

Outside the Home

Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles during cleanup of affected area.

Have your onsite waste-water system professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage.

Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.

After completing the cleanup, wash your hands with soap and warm water. Use water that has been boiled for 1 minute (allow the water to cool before washing your hands).

Or you may use water that has been disinfected for personal hygiene use (solution of ⅛ teaspoon [~0.75 milliliters] of household bleach per 1 gallon of water). Let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, use solution of ¼ teaspoon (~1.5 milliliters) of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.

Seek immediate medical attention if you become injured or ill.

SEPTIC systems:

http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/sanitation-wastewater/septic.html

CAUTION: Do not drink well water until you know it is safe. Use a safe water supply like bottled or treated water (learn how to make water safe (http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/making-water-safe.html)).

Be aware that flood water may contain sewage. For more information about how to protect yourself and your family, visit CDC’s After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water.

Precautions related to septic systems include:

Avoid contact with any septic system electrical devices until they are dry and clean.

Do not pump out the septic tank more than halfway or the tank may float out of the ground.

Reduce all nonessential water use (for example, dishwashing, washing clothes, showering).

Flush toilets as little as possible or use a temporary toilet.

If you suspect septic system damage, get the system professionally inspected and serviced. Contact your health department for a list of septic system contractors who work in your area.

Cleaning up floodwater:

http://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/cleanupwater.html

Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.

Additional resource: http://nasdonline.org/1970/d001564/flooded-private-sewage-systems-safety-sanitation-and-clean.html

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