CDC Floodwater Health/Safety information: LINK
The initial danger of floodwaters is drowning, which is why people are urged to not drive into flooded areas, stand on the banks of flooded waterways, or recreate in canyons when rain is forecast. Once a flooding event ends, however, there can be additional hazards to health and safety.
Disease outbreaks (including hepatitis A) following floods are rare in developed countries like the United States, although exposure to floodwater contaminated with sewage increases the risk of wound infection, skin rash, and gastrointestinal illness (from ingesting the water). No drinking water systems are known to have been compromised by recent floods in Southwest Utah.
To protect your health after flooding, avoid contact with floodwater (including swimming or allowing children to play in it). If you have an open wound that is exposed to floodwater, promptly wash it well with soap and clean water and cover it. If redness, swelling, or oozing develops, seek immediate medical attention.
If you must enter floodwaters:
- Wear rubber boots, gloves, and goggles
- Wash hands frequently (especially before eating) and shower afterwards
- Wash exposed clothing in hot water and detergent
- Throw out any perishable food that has not been refrigerated longer than 4 hours, or any food that was exposed to floodwater.
- Prevent mold by removing carpet and all drywall and insulation up to 6 inches above the floodwater line. Spray mold inhibitor on the remaining wall frame and concrete and allow the area to dry thoroughly before repairing.
For more information about floodwater safety & health issues, click HERE