Saturday, February 24, 2018

Flooding Preparedness

2010-05-13-FloodingHeavy rains in Northern Cook County and throughput the Chicagoland area have brought about incidents of flooding with storm and sanitary sewer back-ups in unincorporated and incorporated areas. The following recommendations are a few simple steps to minimize health hazards due to flooding:

  • Floodwaters can be very powerful. Streams, creeks, rivers, and areas of standing water may appear calm or shallow however they can be very dangerous. Do not attempt to enter or cross flooded streams or rivers.
  • As much as possible, avoid contact with floodwater. Flood waters can contain bacteria, fecal material, viruses, and other organisms that may cause disease. Before eating or drinking, wash and scrub hands and fingernails thoroughly with soap and clean water.
  • Check conditions of private well and septic systems. Contaminating flood water may have entered the private well while the well casing has been submerged under flood waters. If so, well water should not be drunk until the flood waters have receded. Private water wells should then be pumped out, allowed to naturally recharge, be disinfected and finally be tested before ingesting. Septic systems will not work until the ground water level is below the distribution lines. So be careful about flushing the toilet and pouring things down the drain; they may not have anywhere to go.
  • Check for safety hazards before entering a flooded home or basement. Make certain that no electrical, leaking gas or other safety hazards exist.