Health & Safety Tips
Raw sewage and flood waters contain bacteria, fecal matter, viruses, and other hazardous microorganisms that can cause illness. Touching or walking through contaminated areas can bring germs into uncontaminated areas of your home. Children and pets are especially vulnerable.
Minimize your exposure by following these safety tips:
- Do not enter the affected area if the water level has reached any electrical connection, extension cord or electrical outlet. Electrical shock hazards and gas leaks must be assessed and addressed prior to entering the affected area. When in doubt, turn off the power supply to the affected area. Turn off the gas to the furnace and hot water heater as well.
- Wear proper protective clothing and safety gear. That includes rubber gloves, rubber boots, safety goggles and a dust mask.
- Wash your hands frequently. Always wash before and after bathroom use, before eating, and immediately after contact with contaminated water.
- Avoid skin contact with sewer water, especially cuts and sores.
- If you are cut while working in contaminated water, contact your physician.
- Disinfect all areas and equipment that come in contact with the contaminated water. A bleach solution of 4 to 8 tablespoons chlorine bleach to one gallon of water will remove odors and bacteria. Although an effective disinfectant, bleach may cause discoloration.
- Keep children and pets away from contaminated areas.
- Do not eat or drink anything exposed to sewer water.
- Keep contaminated items, water, and hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.