o If you suspect your water supply was contaminated, by xyh75214


									The recent wet season in this area has led to a need for increased level of awareness of
water related issues. The Health Department has received complaints of houses with
flooding basements and back up of septic systems. Important points to remember:

       During and after a flood it is important to test your private well for bacterial
       contamination. If a well tests positive for coliform bacteria, the well should be
       shock chlorinated.
          o If you suspect your water supply was contaminated, drink only bottled
              water or boil water (rolling boil for at least 1 minute).

       Septic tanks should not be pumped during periods of high water tables or
       flooding. If a septic tank is pumped it may “float” up due to hydrostatic pressure
       from ground water. If you septic tank is not working, you should use a portable
       toilet system or public facilities if feasible.

       Discard any food that may have come into contact with flood waters, except for
       commercially canned foods. If your refrigerator or freezer has been without
       power, evaluate food carefully. Any foods that have been at room temperature for
       more than 2 hrs or that have an unusual odor, color or texture should be discarded.
       A good rule of thumb is “WHEN IN DOUBT-THROW IT OUT”.

       When entering a flooded house, watch carefully for two of the biggest dangers-
       gas leaks and electrical short circuits.
           o If you smell gas, turn off the main gas valve and call the local gas
           o If you smell a burned odor or see frayed wiring or sparks, immediately
              turn off the power to the house at the main circuit breaker. Consult you
              local utility prior to turning on the circuit breaker.

       It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48hrs to prevent
       mold growth. Discard any water damaged items left wet longer than 48hrs.

After most water has been removed from an indoor area; the secondary issue is mold
prevention and cleanup.

Mold is naturally present almost everywhere there is moisture. Mold will grow in places
with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there
has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood
products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet,
fabric, and upholstery.

Exposure to moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects or no health effects
at all. Most common health effects occurring in individuals sensitive to molds are throat,
nasal, eye and skin irritations. People with mold allergies may have more severe
reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as
obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed
to mold.

  o Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
  o Keeping humidity levels between 40% and 60%;
  o Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  o Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  o Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

Controlling moisture is the key to controlling mold indoors.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture
problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products,
soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 5 gallons of

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with
ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) guide: http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.

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